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Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:53 pm
by Hel
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.

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:23 pm
by Mo
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. :)

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:37 pm
by Hel
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.

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:30 am
by Heather
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?

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:21 am
by Melamyl
How long have you been with your boyfriend? I'm guessing, he is already aware of your hidden side. I think being transparent won't hurt him because I can still feel from what you're emphasizing that you still love him.

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:52 am
by Hel
I've been with my boyfriend for over three months now. He's very open to the LGBTQ+ community, and has never said anything that seems like he's transphobic, homophobic, etc. I really like that about him.

Maybe it's enough that I'm open with my LGBTQ+ views. I've emphasized not liking social norms, especially related to gender. I mean, I've been 'officially' genderfluid and female since before I met him, so I think he's probably already aware. I mean, I might just mention genderfluidity and how I perceive my gender, but I'm not feeling urgent about it anymore.

It's like on those scale thingies; I'm just in the middle of the scale, slightly towards female, but mostly just a combination of all and no genders. Like, it's enough to be female, but not quite?

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:55 am
by Sam W
Hi Hel,

If you're leaning towards mentioning it to him (which sounds like a safe thing to do, from how you've described him) I actually think the way you describe it with the scales could be helpful if he has questions. Too, if he's pretty knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ topics, I think there's a decent chance he has some understanding of the concept.

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:27 pm
by Hel
I wanted to share my success with coming out to my boyfriend.

He already knows about my gender fluidity and has told be he’d like me no matter what gender I am - I told him same goes for him. He’s really supportive of my gender and it’s great. Today I was like, I think I’m pansexual and he just said oh, okay, and said he supports me. :)

Rant time:
Why can’t all of society react like this? Like, it makes me so upset when people make a big deal. Like, who cares if you’re gender fluid or pansexual or whatever? You’re a person. The only thing to judge is personality and/or intelligence, in my opinion.

There’s nothing better than someone who validates your existence. I’m just so relieved my boyfriend is so supportive and his reaction was so simple. Just wanted to share my success of coming out to him and share my views on society. It’s so simple to normalize LGBTQ+ stuff, so why can’t people just be accepting, like my boyfriend? Anyway, that made my day today, that coming out was so easy. I’ve come out before and it’s been difficult so I’m glad that it was simple this time around.

Re: Should I come out to my boyfriend?

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:28 am
by Sam W
Hi Hel,

I'm so glad the conversation went well and that he's so supportive! And I hear you; sometimes a positive coming out experience can make it seem even more ridiculous that some people react to coming out in unkind or unaffirming ways.