Trans Pride

Trans folks are asking: Why is it important to be out as trans?

Among trans folks, to be “stealth” means to go through life without disclosing your trans identity, instead presenting as cisgender. For many trans people, being stealth is a necessity for safety, or simply a comfort to avoid the discrimination that can come with being openly trans. But being stealth isn’t an option for all trans people, as one Reddit user lamented in a recent post.

“I want to go stealth but I’m realizing there is no way I can unless I magically get T somehow,” they wrote. “The androgynous stage sucks. I’m wondering why I want to be stealth in the first place, if I just want to openly be trans because… idk screw it? I don’t know. If you’re openly trans, why?”

The most upvoted comment didn’t just give one reason to be out — it gave seven.

“Because I want people who have been fed horrendous bullsh*t about trans people via media to see and know a trans person who… just goes about his business.”

“Because I want the terrified 14-year-old, closeted trans kid to see that there are happy trans adults.”

“Because I want the 38-year-old, who just started feeling off about how they are perceived, to feel a little moment of happiness when they see the colors and maybe give them a chance to find out who they truly are.”

“Because I want people in the community who have nobody, to know that I’m safe to approach.”

“Because I’m a passing binary trans guy and many people ignore or don’t know about our existence.”

“Because I am safe enough to do so, in a world that’s become extremely hostile toward trans folks and visibility and representation matters.”

“Because I remember how happy and relieved I felt in my early days questioning, wherever I saw a place or person showing pride or trans colors and I want to pay this forward.”

Essentially, that commenter pointed out why representation is so important: it dispels stereotypes, provides role models to people who may not have them in their personal lives, and reminds everyone, trans or otherwise, that trans folks always have and always will be here.

The other comments on the post largely echoed those sentiments, sharing stories of how being openly trans had helped the people around them.

“Two different people have told me they felt inspired to come out and transition after just seeing me exist as myself, and that warms my heart,” wrote one commenter. “I wear pride pins or trans flag earrings sometimes, because I am actually proud of who I am, happy to celebrate the journey I’m on, and want to show other people like me that they’re not alone.”

“Past all the memes, the stereotypes, the propaganda, we’re just ordinary people,” shared another. “To both the bewildered TERF that has never seen a trans person before and didn’t expect someone who’s nice and respectful, and to the closeted trans person who sees representation in broad daylight. And I’m proud of that.”

Others shared that trying to be stealth was bad for their mental health, and opnely being their authentic selves was the only way to be happy.

“When I decided to be more open about being trans, I stopped second guessing interactions with my friends. I found out that some of my cis friends were really passionate about trans issues, I started making friends with more out trans people,” one commenter wrote. “All in all, I’m ‘out’ because I’m happier not always trying to hide.”

“I hid it at first for a bit, but I found my soul feeling wounded and hollow (forgive the poetic description). This was because I slowly started to actually appreciate myself and my body, and acknowledging this was tantamount in healing,” wrote another. “I’m PROUD of who I am and I don’t want that to be a secret. I am confident, sociable, and the more I show people that I’m trans, the more people ask about it.”

Having read the responses, the original poster added an update: “You’re all so, so amazing. I am so proud of you! You’re so inspiring,” they wrote. “I feel really motivated to just be me, without trying to be stealth. Thank you so so much.”

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