Coming Out is Nuts

Emma Barnes
2 min readMay 22, 2023

I recall my first week of telling people “I’m trans” and watching their face do things I had not expected. If they didn’t choke on their weeties, they at least said something weird. Some said “nothing’s changed for me, man.” Others said “oh I hope you’re safe”. And others still squeeked “hmm I see”, while a kaleidescope of sad tran tropes flickered behind their increasingly distant eyes.


Saying “I’m trans” doesn’t mean to others what it means to you. How could it? Unless they’re trans themselves they have literally no idea what you’re going through. They haven’t lurked on trans subreddits. They haven’t read volume upon volume of trans memoir and trans lit. They haven’t deeply examined their own relationship to gender. The word “trans” in their head is likely just a collection of misinformation from the media. They’re even more clueless about gender than you were when you started asking questions. No words you say will change that. They will not see you like you wish to be seen.

So what should you do?

Don’t “come out” unless you know they’re already on board. Tell your bestie. Tell your partner. But don’t have “the talk”.

Change your name.

“I’ve changed my name”

Update your pronouns.

“I prefer they/them”

People with gender issues will have their tantrums away from you. It’s not on you to counsel them during their cognitive dissonance. That labour belongs to our allies. The people who were going to get it will get it all by themselves.

“Oh dang yes! congratulations babes!”

…same response whether you said “I’m trans” or “I’ve changed my name.” Nobody needs gender studies 101 to be happy for you.

Congratulations. You got this! ❤



Emma Barnes

Autistic, trans, survivor, abolitionist @friedkrill on Twitstagram