Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Questions and discussions about gender, gender roles and identity.
Hel
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Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Unread postby Hel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:53 pm

I identify as kind-of gender fluid, in the sense that I loosely identify with being a girl, but a lot of the time I don’t think of my gender (it usually feels agender or like I’m a ton of genders at once, usually with more feminine qualities, but still not a ‘girl’)

I constantly bring up gender equality (for all genders, not just binary) to my friend group and my boyfriend, but since I haven’t known them all for a super long time (they’re from my new school), I don’t think they’ve realized I don’t feel completely like a girl. Luckily for me, they are all really accepting and open to the LGBTQ+ community.

However, I feel like my boyfriend should be aware of my gender fluidity/gender bending. I want him to know exactly who I am, and why I get so passionate about gender equality and the previously mentioned topics. But I’m anxious he won’t understand. I mean, logically I think he really will, but emotionally I feel nervous, because I am still so unsure about my own gender and sexuality.

Should I say something or just keep going on the way I have been? I’m perfectly happy, and I just want to be as open as possible with him.

Mo
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Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Unread postby Mo » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:23 pm

I don't think there's one correct answer here, and you certainly aren't obligated to come out to your boyfriend (or anyone) if you don't want to, but I do think there's a lot of value in the sort of intimacy that talking about the finer details of one's identity can bring to a relationship. I think it's all right to come out in whatever way feels right or meaningful to you right now, even if there are things you're not certain of; you can even tell him "here's how I feel for sure, here's what I'm confused about, here are things that feel like they fluctuate from moment to moment."

If it helps at all, several years ago I was writing an advice column about coming out and I came up with a formula of sorts for how to structure that conversation, and I still like it and think it may be a helpful approach. Sometimes when people imagine coming out, they think of telling someone "I'm [identity]" but don't have a sense of what else they want to say.
The structure I like to lean on has four points:
  • the identity name
  • your definition of that name or term
  • why you wanted to come out to that person in particular
  • how you'd like them to change their behavior, language, etc. where you're concerned, or any other requests

So when talking to your boyfriend, you might say something like "I wanted to tell you I'm genderfluid, which to me means [what it means to you]. I wanted to tell you because [you want him to know you better, you're excited to share part of your identity with him, whatever you're feeling], and I'd love it if you could [learn more about this identity with you, use different names or pronouns sometimes, etc.]." Obviously this is just a bare-bones script, and it's something you could use or adapt however you want, but I wanted to throw it out there in case thinking about a coming-out conversation in this way would be helpful. :)

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Heteroflexible A.K.A. mostly straight
Location: Austria

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Unread postby Hel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:37 pm

Thanks for the reply. There are a lot of helpful points. The problem is, I’m always second-guessing my identity. I don’t feel the need to change anything about myself, but I mainly just want society to view me for me, and not because I am biologically female. That’s why I like the label gender fluid. But I just don’t know if it’s necessary to tell my boyfriend, since I identify as female most of the time. I just don’t want it to cause issues in our relationship. I don’t think it will, but I’m still paranoid.

Heather
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Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Unread postby Heather » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:30 am

Can I ask what issues you think it would cause? has your boyfriend voiced any kind of transphobia or homophobia, or other things that give you the idea he'd be anything but accepting?

You know, you haven't changed: you're the person he's been with the whole time, so it's not like he doesn't already know you, you know?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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