“Coming Out”
We in the LGBTQ community often talk about coming out.
You’ll hear someone say, “I came out to my family” or “I came out to a friend at work”. Its often a hard thing to do and it can be a stressful and challenging time for everyone involved.

I’m a lesbian and most everyone in my life know that I am. There are of course people that I would never bother disclosing my sexual orientation to. Like I don’t go up to the mailman, the cashier at the supermarket or my neighbors and say, “Hi, remember me….I’m Toni and I’m gay!”

That allows me discretion and a degree of privacy. BUT I’m also a transgender woman who is post operative and living as a woman 24hrs a day. So my coming out as trans is not something I really have to tell anyone who has eyes….and that’s where it gets interesting.

Remember I mentioned the mailman and the cashier at the supermarket? Well I saw these people every day for years when I presented as a male and one day…POOF…now they see a woman standing in front of them! Awkward? Yeah…a bit!

There are dozens of people who knew me as Tony 👦🏼who have since gotten to know me as Toni👱🏻‍♀️ and each time they witnessed the “new me” it was a “coming out” whether I wanted to or not. I’ve come out so many times I’ve lost track and chances are, Ill be coming out to other people for years.

So while I respect and celebrate my gay brothers and my lesbian sisters for their courage in coming out…its not quite the same for Trans people who actually transform their physical body and gender.

A lesbian woman, who is CIS, does not wake up with a big “L” on her forehead and the choice to disclose her status remains a choice. Not so with trans women and men.

So just some food for thought for my sisters who are in the process of “coming out”. Keep in mind that while the first person you come out to will be a HUGE event and is unbelievably affirming …you’ll be repeating that disclosure to every single person you previously knew before you transitioned.

Stay strong and stay real!
Toni Grace 🕊

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