I started this blog in hopes of helping and informing other gender fluids and so I shall. The story I wove of my own life is no longer a novelty, even when I came out to my mother, but recently I took another step forward. So, for those looking for a way to come out to their friends, I may just be able to offer some advice.
Though it isn’t the choice option, I chose to come out to my good friends over social networking. So I might as well tell you how I went about it, shouldn’t I?
The Traditional Way
So it seems all fine and well to come out on social networking, right? You don’t have to come face to face with someone, you don’t have to stumble about looking for the right way to express what you’re trying to say, it just seems that you’re avoiding a disaster when you go on social networking.
But I would like to remark that if you can, you should probably take consideration of actually telling a person face to face. When you talk to a person and can actually put emotion behind your words, you’re letting them know you’re serious. Identifying yourself as a certain gender is not exactly like commenting on how your day was or any of those other 2 dimensional posts, it’s something that can change how others look at you.
Besides that, it’s also not the best of manners to insist on others reading about who you are on a public site and unless you take care, the wrong people might find out. It can seem a bit one-sided so that others may feel discouraged in asking questions that might have.
Though the traditional way is best in my opinion (for etiquette and other similar reasons) there are circumstances that can’t be avoided – such as having moved away from your friends.
Should you decide to come out in the traditional way you can consult my past post on coming out to see what not to do.
The Modern Way
For a reason I haven’t been able to figure out yet, most of our lives now seem to involve the Internet in some way or other. As that world wide web grows, so does the means of spreading word to friends directly through social networking, eliminating the more personal visiting and phone calls. With that, there is also the appearance of coming out over Facebook and other such sites.
Due to this new option for informing others about your identity/sexuality, some may be considering coming out over the Internet. Though everyone has their own way of doing things, I might be able to offer some of my own advice.
I have given my opinion on traditional way vs the modern, but I daresay I did have more guidelines than just a prejudice to decide upon coming out on Facebook. I realize it is easier to write about who you are instead of telling over and over, and that is why I thought over it a bit more. If I went on and told others in writing who I was, then what would I do should I come face to face with someone who knew? Would I feel comfortable talking about it? That was the one thing I had to be sure of before I came out on Facebook – I could talk about in person just as easily as I could in writing. Though there must be more, I felt that was the most important question to be answered.
“A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves.” – Banksy
It certainly isn’t true for everyone, but unfortunately quite a number of people are bogged down by unaccepting family and friends. And to further it all, their Facebook account may be watched by such folk.
So what is to be done? Why, create a new account of course! I know, it seems a lot of trouble, but it’s worth it. I had to create a new account for other reasons and wound up with only very accepting friends, so, being that I had recently come out of a reachable range from my friends, I decided to take advantage of my new account.
Creating a new account on Facebook so that you can wind up with accepting friends is not uncommon and in the end you can tell others the modern way without too much worry.
When I first started thinking about telling my friends over Facebook, I decided that if I did I should at least look into how other people came out on Facebook. Most of the articles I found were about coming out on sexuality and mostly agonized over the lack of etiquette that was involved with coming out on such a site.
But that was on sexuality, you see, and I couldn’t leave it at that. So I went snooping again only with more detail in my Google search. Typing in a search about transgenders coming out on Facebook, I found but one article addressing a transsexual woman coming out on Facebook with the new Life Event feature. Well, that didn’t quite satisfy me either, as I wasn’t transsexual.
A quick dash over Tumblr’s tags proffered me a post on a guy coming out on Facebook as being gender fluid. The post contained a description of gender fluidity and a picture of the guy in a dress to further his point. Though this was certainly a step in the right direction, I decided to tap into Google again.
Finally I just decided to search for any other gender fluids who came out over Facebook. To my fortune, I find a thread on a forum for those who have come out to share their stories. The post was just what I was looking for in how another gender fluid would describe who they were.
Getting It Written Once and For All
Lingering over Facebook’s Life Event app, I tried to compose a post similar to what the gender fluid on that thread did, though not too similar. It was in excellent reference in figuring out what to include and tallied up to be a checklist in what I must include in a post.
In the end I wrote the standards I deemed necessary to include:
- the definition of gender fluid
- my chosen pronouns
- my name for my masculine side
- how others can tell when I feel masculine
- a link to my blog so most of their questions can be quenched
- a quick thank you for reading to satisfy my need for etiquette
Of course, for those who have unaccepting family/friends, you may want to include to not refer to opposite pronouns/names in front of them.
As I said, the friends I have on my account are accepting. I got quite a few likes, which I translated over to acceptance. I even got a couple of messages from friends saying they accept who I am and one even said they’ve been reading my blog, which I find to be a success.
Luckily, I never had a doubt they wouldn’t accept, and that is what is wanted when coming out.
What Can You Expect?
Questions. If people have questions, actual questions, it’s not a bad idea to answer. When I posted, I let my friends know I was willing to answer any questions they had to clarify. If they understand then it works out better in the long run.
So, if you do decide on coming out on Facebook, that is my advice, plain and kind of simple with a touch of my prudeness.