The Trevor Project 866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline 877-565-8860

The Trevor Project

Trans Lifeline

Coming Out


Coming out as a youth:  

This is an excellent resource for you as you are coming out, and for your family members as you come out.  Take the time to read and review the information.  The scripts for coming out are wonderful. Recommend that your family members/chosen family members also review the information.


Coming out as an adult:

No matter what age you are when you come out, there will be challenges.  This article will point out some things to think about and ways to prepare yourself.


When someone comes out to you:  

The decision to come out may be one of the biggest decisions that this person will ever make. They are coming out to you because they trust you/love you/and/or feel they just can’t keep this secret from you any longer.  You may be shocked, or you may have suspected.  Let’s keep it simple.  Three critical responses for you to make:

  1. I love you/respect you/value you, and there is nothing that you could tell me that would ever change that.
  2. Tell me about this experience for you.  It may be hard to listen, but PLEASE just listen. No advice, debate, challenge, or argument.  JUST LISTEN.  What is their story of realizing their sexual orientation/gender identity?  Thank the person for trusting you enough to tell you this important information, 
  3. How can I support you in your journey?  If they have a website for you to check out, do it. A book to recommend? Read it.  What you do in this moment will have great implications for this person and for you, and certainly for your relationship moving forward.

Coming out is a gift that the person is bestowing upon the recipient of this news.  You are being invited into a real relationship with this person.  No matter what age the person is, your love and support are what they are asking for.  Give it.  Later on, you can ask questions, but ask permission first. Educate yourself by seeking good information, then ask the person for further help.  There may be grief as the image you had of this person may need to change.  Get help with that process from someone else.  The person coming out to you is rejoicing that you know. See a counselor to process your grief about the change.  Commit yourself to joining them on their journey.  

If by coming out, there will be major changes within the family (a young child comes out, a spouse comes out), take time to absorb the information. Try not to tell the whole story until there has been time to talk, seek help and continue.  Families have been learning how to negotiate these revelations together. You are not alone.  Reach out to others who have been there.  

An excellent website when a child comes out is  You might also check out

This article can help if a spouse has come out as trans.

Write us at We are happy to help. Sometimes talking can make a big difference. We have a support group that meets monthly (the second Sunday of the month), and we have resources for a weekly group for trans adults through Washington Gender Alliance.  We are here for you and your family.

Browse by Page
Accessibility Accessibility Options
Connect on Social Media

We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities.
If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call us and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the US Social Security Administration offers these tips for optimizing your computer and browser to improve your online experience.

If you are looking for mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking may help you navigate web pages and online services. This software allows the user to move focus around a web page or application screen through voice controls.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Closed Captioning
Closed captioning provides a transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally visually displayed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio due to noisy environments. Most of our website’s video content includes automated captions. Learn how to turn captioning on and off in YouTube.

Volume Controls
Your computer, tablet, or mobile device has volume control features. Each video and audio service has its own additional volume controls. Try adjusting both your device’s volume controls and your media players’ volume controls to optimize your listening experience.


Search the Website

Use keywords in the search box below to find what you're looking for.