New Guide Helps Transgender Individuals Be Themselves, Come Out to Others

Photograph of a teen smiling.

This Pride Month, help transgender young people—those who experience or express their gender in non-traditional ways—carve their own path to self-discovery using a guide prepared by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

Updated in April, “Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You” (PDF, 847KB) walks readers through decisions transgender people often face, like choosing the right time to come out or whether to transition physically through hormones or surgery. The guide’s not written specifically for youth, but it has lots of good advice that can help youth workers begin a conversation with transgender clients and promote tolerance among other young people.

Here are some of the guide’s key messages for transgender people learning to be themselves:

  • There are many ways to be transgender. “Transgender” is an umbrella term that means different things to different people. Not all transgender people undergo medical procedures. Some express themselves differently in different social situations.
  • Take the time you need. People need varying amounts of time to tell others they are transgender, or to adjust to news shared by a transgender friend or family member.
  • Expect good and bad. Expressing one’s true self can have many benefits, but some friends and family members may not be supportive.

For young people deciding how they should come out, the guide includes important things to consider such as whom they’d like to tell and what they’d like them to know. Readers considering medical transitions can also refer to a list of questions to ask their doctor.

Read “Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You” (PDF, 847KB).

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