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Best way to come out to my kids

Nicole D

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Hi, I'm planning on coming out to my kids as trans in a few weeks. My GT suggested that I could ask around about how best to do it. I'm hoping some of you folks might have some advice.


Let me set the scene. I'm 53, married with four kids. My wife knows all about me being trans but by kids know nothing. They know me as male, not particularly masculine, and somewhat repressed.


My kids are as follows:

My youngest 16yo AMAB who is currently questioning their own gender.

Next is my son 18yo who is bi and will soon be leaving for his first year of college.

Then my daughter 21yo, who is a lesbian. I consider her to be pretty mature for her age.

My oldest is my 23yo son. He is quite independent and is working on the east coast.


As for myself, I'm pretty sure I'm trans, and MtF seems most likely at this point. I haven't done any kind of transition yet. I'm pretty limited by what I can do in secret without the kids finding out.


I should have the younger three of them at home in a few weeks time. I could get them together and make an announcement, or talk to them individually, or something else.

I imagine they will have questions about how this relates to our marriage. I love my wife and she has been fairly supportive so far, within limits. I think she would likely want to be present.


Any suggestions are very much appreciated.

Thanks so much,



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getting them together sounds like a good idea, and if you can't get your eldest, maybe video call? Overall, it depends on their personalities. If you can find a general feeling, that can help you decide. If they're usually very casual people, maybe make it casual. If their more serious, maybe an elated announcement. In the end, it's up to you.

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Best wishes with it all. I'm still too new to give you any advice. 



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Hi Nicole! Oh my, you are bringing back memories that seem so long ago, but really were just a short bit of time back in my journey. The best advice I've been given was by a girl in a local support group, it may have been shared here too, but this girl's words stuck. She said it wasn't really important how I come out, but to just do it. People are going to accept, or reject it no matter how I tell them. Obviously we should be prepared for the outcome; I've had both positive & negative reactions to telling my family. 


My children are in their thirties & though I was ready to tell them, especially as a divorce followed telling my ex, she said to wait until after the divorce, don't ask me why. Maybe she thought, poof I would just disappear when the judge signed the paperwork. As fate would have it, one day our youngest overheard us talking & stormed into the room asked if we were getting divorced. Oops, ah yes. Why? A natural question. So we sat down with them that night & I explained my story, how I'd felt I was a girl, then a woman most all of my life, how I hated myself, self medicated & hid deep in the closet until now. Both took it well, the youngest right from the start & the oldest took some time to process her dad is a transgender woman.


So, as was told to me, "Just tell them," I'll add, "with compassion, honesty & love."




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  • Admin

My personal suggestion for the situation you have described might be to start off with simply a personal letter to each of them, where they are now. It would be fine to do it via an E-mail, but do follow-up in person and as Nicole in person.  If you have one, a business style dress or pantsuit would be best.  Make-up and hair nice but not so it distracts from the building of your new person to person relations.  You are the same basic person you have been, but softer and more feminine and more relaxed.  After they get the letters, followup with some of the books that we have scattered throughout our posts here.  She's Not There by Jennifer Finny Boylan will be good for the older ones if they are really going to care.  Boylan also has a book about her child's coming out as Trans as well.  Plan something that is a family activity that while not fancy, is something you would do even now with them as your male self.  The idea is that very little is changing.  You may find none of this really is a surprise to them so don't worry about making a "grand entrance" especially the ones you say are under their own portions of the Trans /Enby umbrella, while they may not be the most ready to celebrate it, this changes NOTHING about your warm and accepting feelings for them.  Look through our earlier posts here for more ideas, get plenty of seep, eat healthy, and drink plenty of water.  BE YOU.

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  • Admin

It is a truly difficult and anxiety provoking conversation to have, @Nicole D.  i wish you all the best.


I was about 56, and my son 17 when I came out to him.  I was terrified, but started out reassuring him that i wasn't sick or dying, but what I had to tell him was serious.  I then explained chronologically about my life and what I had felt and done through the years to repress my feelings, and about not being honest with my wife, etc.  I finished by explaining what it is I intended to do.  Then I broke down sobbing, explaining that I hoped I wouldn't lose his love and respect.  He gave me the biggest hug and told me that I would never lose his love, and that he respected me even more.  He knew a lot about transgender issues, and even knew a couple of classmates who were.


We have been close ever since.  I hope that your coming out ends as well, but having to explain to three kids of different ages does make it a bit more complicated.  When kids are brought up right, to be kind, understanding and open minded, they usually react that way. 




Carolyn Marie

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Hi Nicole,

from what you have written your youngest 3 will probably think being gathered together for a family talk is more of a big deal than you being trans. Keep it short and simple and only go into details if they ask. Likely they will just want to be reassured about the family dynamic - just don't leave big gaps between telling one child or another.

I told my 2 when they were in their early teens (11 &13), my youngest (afab) was starting to question themselves and was worried about being accepted by the wider family thanks to my ex whispering in their ear, so I came out to them and the first thing they said was could they borrow my wigs for cosplaying. A few questions asked over the next couple of days but instant support and knowing I am trans has given them someone they could talk to safely about questioning and binders etc..

My eldest was more difficult, he stayed with me after the split and is not great with unforecasted change due to his ASD. So I waited until we were on a long car ride, he was emotional and told me he was going to get the doctors fired for letting me do this... but eventually he calmed down and we talked it through, his biggest worry was that I would start shouting at him like his mum did. Since then he has assigned himself the role of protector and both kids have been kept up to date with my transition progress even though it has meant keeping it secret from their mum, a couple of years later and I am now prepping to live as myself full time and my eldest has just left school, taking a big worry off my shoulders. My ex will get to know soon, but that is more out of politeness - we did not separate due to my transness, but dealing with that is what finally cracked my egg.

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  • Forum Moderator

My son took it pretty hard.  He had trouble looking at me for a period of time.  Over time he has gotten to be an advocate and our relationship seems stronger.  I would tend to tell the who are physically around face to face and perhaps speak to your older son over the phone or on Zoom etc.

It is a big scary step at least it was for me but it was also liberating.  Funny how being vulnerable to our children is so difficult.





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Wow, thanks for all the wonderful advice and experiences.

We're a pretty casual family. I think keeping it short but inviting questions sounds good. The fact that this does not change my relationship to them is key. I'm not sure about dressing for this since walking into the room dressed would be a big shock and doesn't give them time to process the fact that I am trans. Perhaps doing something dressed a little later might be the go. I've ordered a copy of "She's not there", I would like to read that too.

I have an in-person trans support group meeting tomorrow and I will bring it up there and see what they have to say.

Thanks again,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, here is what I plan to say. I did bring this up at the support group also, and they had a few suggestions.


I want to tell you all something.
I've realized something since my dad died, and that is that I'm transgender. 
Looking back, at some level I was always female, I just didn't know consciously until recently.

For several months I've been exploring my gender, seeing a gender therapist and going to trans support groups.
[your mom] knows all about this, and I don't want to keep it a secret from the rest of you any longer.

So you may sometimes see me in female clothes or makeup or a wig.
What's important is that I'm still the same person I always was. I'm still your dad. I still love you all just as I always did.
You don't need to treat me any differently. You can still call me dad or whatever you like.
Also if you have any questions about anything, now or later, please ask.


I am going to rehearse this with my GT also, as she said it might be useful as a kind of roleplay.



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Hi Nicole,


That sounds well thought out and tells them what they need to hear.


All the best



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5 hours ago, Nicole D said:

I am going to rehearse this with my GT also, as she said it might be useful as a kind of roleplay.

Nicole, I agree that there were a lot of great pieces of advice here in this thread. Your letter reads well, and as @Mirrabookaput it direct and uncomplicated. The idea of roleplaying it out with your GT is also a good idea.


Hugs and good luck,



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Hi all,

I came out to my daughter (21yo) today. This was a little earlier than planned because she was starting to suspect that something was up. My wife and I asked her to come out to our back deck and I did the speech. She took it very well. Initially she was a bit shocked but in the end was very accepting. She had a few questions and we talked for a while. She is happy that I am happy, which makes me feel just wonderful.

I also showed her and my wife photos of me dressed. This is the first time either of them have seen me en femme. I thought my wife might react badly but she seemed impressed and happy with my look. They also offered to come to Pride with me.

Then my wife and daughter went off to get groceries and when they came back, my wife had a bouquet of flowers for me. Wow. My wife and daughter are absolutely amazing.😂

This went so much better than I could have imagined. Thanks so much to everyone here who helped.

That's one down, three to go. I plan on coming out to my two younger children in about a week's time.




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Hi @Nicole D


So pleased that it went well for you. You wife and daughter sound very understanding. I'm sure it'll be fine with your younger children too.


Kira x

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  • 2 weeks later...

I came out to my eldest son (23yo) yesterday and my two youngest ones today. All were very accepting. All said they would support me. I'm feeling relieved and joyful that I can be openly myself now with my whole family. Thanks again everyone.



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6 hours ago, Nicole D said:

I came out to my eldest son (23yo) yesterday and my two youngest ones today. All were very accepting. All said they would support me. I'm feeling relieved and joyful that I can be openly myself now with my whole family. Thanks again everyone.




Very glad that it went well.


Kira x

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