1. Know yourself:
a. Be far enough along in your journey to be confident, self-aware, know your strengths and challenges interpersonally
b. Have well developed interpersonal skills: positive body language, eye, contact choice of wording. Therapy with mental health professional or image consultant can help with interpersonal skills
c. Understand your transgender nature and be able to tell you story in a clear concise manner
d. Be able to answer transgender 101 questions appropriately for your audience
e. Be comfortable sharing feelings appropriately; disclosure is primarily an emotional/relational process, not a “just the facts” process. ( a therapist can help with this also)
f. Respond with compassion and not anger when people have an unexpected or negative response-walk in their shoes.
g. Focus on the relationship and maintaining it.
2. Know the person you are disclosing to:
a. Do your homework: what do you know about the person you want to tell
i. Who are they
ii. What are their beliefs systems
iii. What life experiences have they had
iv. What is their education/work background
v. What adversities have they faced? Joys?
vi. Where are they developmentally? How old are they?
vii. What is their ethnic, racial, familial background?
viii. What are their political views?
ix. What is their religious background
x. Are they flexible or rigid?
b. What is your relationship with them
i. Find the connection to that person-emotional, spiritual etc.
ii. How does the power of love come into play?
c. Past reactions predict future reactions
3. Making the Disclosure
a. Rehearse or write out what you want to say
i. I have a problem/situation, something really difficult. I am transgender meaning for me______________. I am going to _________________to help me remedy this problem. By doing this and coming out to family and friends I feel happier/better/at peace. You are so important to me (emphasize the relational importance this person has to you). Please join me in this change with love. Although this is very difficult, we can get through this together. I can answer any questions you have and help you connect to resources.
b. Be sure to emphasize that this information is private and not to share it with others, just as you would not broadcast or share their private information.
c. Disclosures go best when they come directly from you