Whilst this is by no means a one size fits all guide, here are some things you may want to consider


Welcome to this week’s IMO AKA In My Opinion. This is a column where we approach some questions, queries and dilemmas we often hear from our readership and offer up some advice. Remember, this is by no means a one-size-fits-all kinda deal, but hopefully these words help you feel less alone. 

If you’re reading this, I assume that you are either questioning your gender identity and preparing for the future or, more likely, you’ve accepted your non-binary identity and you are now ready to take the steps to come out to those in your life. 

Before we jump in, whilst we can never tell for certainty how people will take such news, this piece is written with those in mind who are in an environment where coming out would not put them in danger in their homes. If you are someone who is not in a safe environment to do so, please feel free to keep reading if this could help you in the future, but know that there is nothing wrong with waiting. Safety first. You’re still valid, deserving of love and respect. The ability to come out does not change your identity in any way. 

Work out what is right for you 

Do you feel more comfortable communicating verbally or through writing? Do you prefer dipping your toes in or jumping into the deep end? Do you like long and in-depth conversations or casual ones? These are all things you may want to consider when it comes to telling others about your identity. When I was coming out about my gender identity, I spent a long time talking to those closest to me as it was important to me that they understood me and I wanted to answer any questions they had. But with everyone else, I wanted it to be quick and casual, no biggie. 

If you prefer written communication, you can write a letter to give to your loved ones, recommend that they take their time reading it and express being open to answering any questions they have after. If you prefer dipping your toes into such things, perhaps you can try telling a trusted friend before telling your parents. If you prefer a deeper conversation you may want to consider the headspace and emotional bandwidth of the other person or people you want to tell. If you want it to be no big deal, make a nonchalant disclaimer. 

Only you know what works for you. Just remember there is no one way to be non-binary and there is no one way to come out. Find out what floats your boat and go for it. 

Find your support network

Sometimes coming out goes way better than you expected, unfortunately sometimes it can also not meet expectations. I am fortunate that in most cases, coming out has gone incredibly well for me. However in the cases where it didn’t I felt very fortunate that I could lean on my loved ones and chosen family to lift my spirits up. Community is very important for everyone, but especially when it comes to queer lives. A support network can lift you up in such times. Whilst access to supportive queer spaces can be limited depending on where you live, I have listed some resources at the bottom of this article so that you can find professional services to talk to. 

Sometimes time is needed

Many trans and non-binary people can feel frustrated when loved ones don’t grasp their pronouns or names straight away. It can be invalidating and feel as if those who you love the most don’t see you. This frustration is valid. It’s one of the reasons why, as already discussed, I wanted to have long conversations when coming out to those closest to me. But remember (as long as they are not doing so with malicious intent) some things just take time. We’ve all been conditioned into a very binary language and way of looking at the world and for those who have known our deadnames longest it can take more time to adjust. This is also when it would be great to have a support network of people who are more on the ball when it comes to LGBTQI topics and pronouns who can affirm your identity. People who used to stumble over my pronouns and name now haven’t misgendered me in a very long time and often call out others on my behalf who use the wrong pronouns

Find ways to love and validate yourself 

The most important relationship in this world is the one you have with yourself. Nurturing yourself along your gender journey will make everything easier. You cannot control what others think of you. Patience and kindness with self are essential. If after coming out, it doesn’t go as well as you wanted, you may need to navigate how to establish boundaries with others, this is easier to do when you respect yourself. 

Know that you are valid. Know that you can take up space. Know that being non-binary and living your truth is a wonderful thing. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way a therapist, or professional coach in any way. This advice is just based on my own lived experience and would likely change for each nuanced individual. But I hope that you can take something from this. DIVA does not necessarily agree or disagree with the statements made in this column. 

If you are looking for professional help here are a list of resources: 

Pink Therapy | pinktherapy.com

Mermaids | mermaidsuk.org.uk

The Trevor Project | thetrevorproject.org

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LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 


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