It was 6 in the morning when I called my mother to tell her, it was not a dramatic coming out where parents would disown their child. Before coming out, I had already realized that I was a woman, not a man and not non-binary, these lables were frustrating me. People referring to me by my old pronoun made me uncomfortable, I was dysphoric at that time, I became nameless for a month. In one night I felt like my entire world had changed. From being a man at some point of time to a trans woman, it was a difficult thing to process in one night. It was very overwhelming. So I decided to go back to Calcutta and at this point I started representing myself as Meera. The Trans Act was also coming, so I was a bit anxious. Before I could process this and give myself time to socially adjust, I started running off to the clinics, from doctors to clinical psychologists to produce a gender dysphoria certificate quickly. So thatI can legally change my gender, that was my sole focus at that time along with my college.
The reason I could be sure about my coming out was because of the bonding that I share with my parents. The way I explained them about Tansgender so I knew they would not literally or emotionally harm me. They would let me do whatever I needed to do, at the most they had issues with the decision. Which we were able to slowly sort out through talking about it. After telling my parents, I decided to come out to my friends.
Before the act passed, I changed my name on aadhar card, pan card and all the other official documents. I started my laser session and also began my hormone therapy session. Two, three months later, I decided to get my surgery done. And it was during the month of June, in the middle of the pandemic that I got my surgery done.
It was after the surgery when I realised the change around me, especially the transphobia. It is still there, but the magnitude is not incomparable to what I use to face when I presented myself as a non-binary person. I used to be a jovial kid, but that changed drastically when I started noticing the transphobia. The public staring and the harassment. Even in the metro, when I got on the ladies compartment. The stares and glares, from the ladies were enough to make me feel uncomfortable.
Coming out is subjective to the social construction of the person. A lot people told me not to come out as gay or trans person, because the family would not support you financially, especially in a conservative household. The financial support matters along with emotional support, right kind of family, friends or right place to go matter a lot. Maybe before coming out, it is good to educate your parents by approaching the lgbtq content. Reading about them not from a political viewpoint but more from a humane ground , that has always been very helpful for me…
I think once you come out you realize how much power you have, before that you take yourself for granted, you feel powerless, but after coming out you feel powerful. It breaks you, it does break you but it also makes you stronger.
Coming out, it is not easy, the experiences after that, on how much you want to work on your exposure, intervention you want to do, medical intervention or social intervention, it is not easy, it won’t be a rosy day for everyone. But once you put yourself out there, you will have people around you who will celebrate you for who you truly are.