Later this year I will become 35 years old.
I came out as trans during pride season several years ago when I was about 27, and before that, I came out as generically queer when I was about 17. It seems that in just a few more years after I turn 37, I should be ripe for another coming-out experience, but, fortunately, that’s not the way anything works. I’m tapped dry, and much of my experience has been laid bare for my friends, family, and even the world around me to see. For the most part, when I came out as trans the last of my secrets were forced out into the open, except for maybe the one about that TV show nobody knows I watch with my cats late at night.
Coming Out in Two Acts:
My first coming out experience could be best described as loud. I decided that an explosive argument about gay rights with my mom was the best time to come out as queer, and the rest is history. My parents’ conservative religious and political views have softened quite a bit over time, however. Where they were once Fox News Republicans, they are now much more left-leaning in their politics. If asked, I think they’d even tell you they’re proud to have a queer kid.
Some combination of my parents evolving, coming to see Fox News as lies, and wanting to keep me in their lives saw them change a lot from who they were when I was a kid. I’m enormously grateful for that. Some of my friend’s families even after years aren’t quite so adaptive to their queer identities.
My second coming out was different. I was an adult this time, and I was in a relationship founded on drug abuse and relieving anxiety. That relationship was bound to end eventually, but it felt like it ended because I came out. I think that was a factor, surely, but it was more complicated than just my ex being transphobic.
For this coming out experience, things felt quieter. I knew that my parents would have little reaction to the news, and I was financially independent enough that their opinion didn’t matter much anyway. That said, they handled the news well and have supported me along my transition in the ways they are able. My romantic relationship ended fairly dramatically, however, and I left New York City abruptly after trying to form a…