How do I come out as nonbinary?

90 Answers
Last Updated: 08/11/2019 at 4:19am
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Amelia Winsby, PsyD

Psychologist

I often work with clients who experience a wide range of emotions and difficulties. I am non-judgmental and enjoy working with individuals from all walks of life.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
June 21st, 2018 3:25pm
In times as this it can be hard to come out about your self, But know that its not in my place to tell you what you need to do. Its your choose to pick your own way and style to come out. I will be happy to support you and to share a Link on ideas to coming out. I do ask that you make shore you have planed out both path (Accepting and Being Kicked out) and your safe, & cups has lots to offer in helping you get this done pre to coming out. Forum Post :https://www.7cups.com/forum/LGBTQMOGIISupportCommunity_58/ResourcesforLGBTQMOGIICommunity_766/41AwesomeIdeaWaysToComeOutToYourFriendsAndFamily_59680/
NerdGorgon
July 1st, 2018 1:34pm
Coming out can often be tough, especially when you try to come out as something your parents, friends or colleagues may not even have heard of. From my experience it helps them to understand if you first take a few minutes to explain what exactly nonbinary means to you. Be prepared to answer their questions - even ridiculous sounding ones, or the same question over and over again by different people. Another possible approach would be to drop the term altogether when talking to them. Sounds illogical, huh? But the point is, this is about your identity. Who you are, how you interact with the world and, ultimately, how you want the world to see you. Sometimes people who strongly believe in the gender binary react a lot more supportive when you tell them "Please understand I feel uncomfortable being called by female terms, because I don't want a letter in my birth certificate become the main focus of who I am as a person." or "Please accept that even though you know me as a man I nevertheless enjoy several things traditionally regarded as feminine. These are part of who I am and I don't want to feel guilty for my interests or hide them from you." If people close to you initially react poorly, give them some time. Offer to be available for questions, try to stay calm and let them know what's important to you about the way you want to be seen. But also don't be afraid to seek out new contacts when someone constantly disrespects your nonbinary identity. Often people feel confused after someone just came out to them. They may want to show support, but don't know how. You could give them basic guidelines like "I'd appreciate if you refer to me as (insert your preferred pronouns here)". In case your gender is shifting throughout the week, it also helps to agree on a marker, eg. "If I'm wearing this leather string on my wrist, it's one of my boy days."
ElaineSaysHello
July 7th, 2018 7:27am
Maybe start off by telling your closest friends if you're not ready to tell your family. This will help ease tension and know that at least we here at 7 Cups are very accepting of you coming out
Anonymous
July 27th, 2018 3:16pm
You start off by telling the person gender doesn't matter in an individual and it doesn't define who they aim to be :)
Anonymous
August 11th, 2018 2:57pm
If you want to come out as a nonbinary person. Just do it when you feel comfortable. Don't force yourself into it. Lots of people have hard time when coming out. Remember lots of people had the same feeling as you in a point of your life.
CameronCares
August 18th, 2018 6:04pm
It's important to explain how you feel. They may not understand some terms like nonbinary or genderfluid. Tell whoever you are coming out to how it impacts you. As I said to my ma, "I am nonbinary. I feel like no gender. Not a man or a woman." Once they understand, tell them how you'd like to be referred to (pronouns, name, etc.) Answer any questions they have. If they believe it's a phase, prove to them it isn't. Keep reminding them of pronouns, wear the clothes you like, and be yourself. They will understand eventually and support you.
Anonymous
August 29th, 2018 10:59am
I would only tell a few closest friends at first so it is a little easier but I know coming out isn't always easy and you shouldn't be afraid to come out, sometimes people just do it and say 'hey I need to tell you something, I am non-binary' whereas others find it harder, you could always do it in a casual conversation or a conversation about dating or something and say when it comes to your turn say what you feel and if you don't feel comfortable doing so then you could find other ways of doing it, I am sure there are many other people who could give you some more advice on here, even ones who have been through the same as you
Anonymous
November 8th, 2018 3:05am
Write down how you feel everyday. Every time you think of “proof” or a “reason” that you are, write it down. Start by bringing up nonbinary people in conversation and see how your friends and family react so you can feel out whether or not it is safe for you to come out at that time. Wait for when you feel you are safe and comfortable to say it and follow your own timeline. You know you best, so get in touch with what is best for you. Through this process that may be difficult, you will be able to tell who the people that truly love and support you are
LittleNarwhals
November 11th, 2018 6:35am
For anyone thinking about coming out as trans, safety is the most important thing to keep in mind. Wait for a time when it is physically, emotionally, professionally, and financially safe for you to tell people you're nonbinary. Since we live in such a gender binary focused world, many people will probably not understand. Be patient and assertive. It's less emotionally draining to keep resources on hand to answer repetitive questions rather than having to continually explain yourself. Some nonbinary people find it helpful to have a system involving pins, wristbands, or other attire to indicate their current pronouns if they change on a regular basis. It's often helpful to first come out to someone you know will be understanding and supportive and use them as an ally as you come out to others. It will take time for everyone in your life to grasp what you're telling them, so give them as well as yourself some grace. Self affirmation is very important in the face of rejection. Good luck!
RawPower73
November 16th, 2018 9:26pm
When I first figured out I was non-binary, it was very challenging to think of how I would tell people. Prior to being able to talk about it, I made sure to affirm and validate myself. I understood that someone's opinion or lack of acceptance may be undoubtedly difficult, but that it had no hold on my journey to be my authentic self. I started by having a conversation about gender to gauge who I thought I may be able to tell first without it being a deal. I was honest with myself and knew that if the first person I told reacted negatively, it would be incredibly discouraging. Having a supportive person to come out to first really helped me to accept the thought that anyone who really cares about me or who I want to keep in my life would understand or come to understand me. I kept in mind that it may be hard to hear for some, but that I would be open and sincere about how much this meant to me and affected me. I've told most of the people in my life since. It was challenging and not all positive, but I knew it was important and right for me.
Anonymous
November 18th, 2018 3:21pm
First you start with your most trusted friends that will support you then work up to other friends and then to the parents and family. If you feel safe and your parents will support you then tell then first. I know it hard and if you just try this way, it might work. Coming out is always overwhelming but if you need someone to talk to there are many listeners ready to talk with you, including myself, I hope this has help you guys in some way.
Am3r1canDrag0n
December 20th, 2018 5:35pm
First figure out if you're telling everyone in a group setting or one on one. Then figure out if they know what non-binary is. If they do, it's easier to explain, if they don't, you might want to explain what it is, and where you are on the spectrum, before coming out. Be sure to be upfront, be honest, answer any questions they may/may not have. You might have to explain the difference between gender and sex too. be prepared for ranges of emotion, some people might get angry, some quiet, and some might be super curious to the point that some of the questions are a bit over the top. Whatever the case, remember that those who mind don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind.
Anonymous
December 28th, 2018 8:55am
Coming out in anyway can be tough. When you come out you need to be sure the timing is right and that you are safe and/or have a safe place to go to, coming out can really help your mental well being. Coming out can seem challenging and scary but once you do it it will be a big relief. When you come out it can sometimes be easier to tell everyone you want to tell all at once. It can be easy to over think coming out and how to come out. Coming out can definitely help with your stress.
Anonymous
December 30th, 2018 2:36am
Being nonbinary is a very real thing, so first off don't let others invalidate you. It is an important step in coming out to first, make sure you are in a safe environment. Safety is key in this formula! Then you can explain to them, that you feel comfortable that way. The comfort of feeling like you belong in your own skin that way. If the person cares, they should understand and accept you. And as all things go, it can take time. The person may be shocked, but don't let the initial shock scare you away, they usually come around. There will always be a community and people willing to support you
Poptheweezl1058
January 3rd, 2019 11:57pm
Make sure the person you are trying to come out to understands what non binary means, explain it in a way that does not scream it, for example you Could say "I read across a term earlier, nonbinary, it means..." Dress more gender neutral/suggest the idea gently without saying it You could style your hair differently or have it cut Make sure if you come out you wont come to any harm / you won't get hurt if you come out Make sure they know for definite they understand the terminology And when you are sure your ready for them to know, tell them Hope this helps -pop
Kai98
January 11th, 2019 11:37am
Coming out is already difficult as it is, but coming out as nonbinary is something special. Society's mindset is very stubborn and ignorant, and therefore you should always be wary when attempting to do this. Of course whilst I say that you should also be aware that within society there are many people who would stand by you if you came out to them. It really depends on the person. So to the question, how do tou come out as nonbinary? Id suggest you sitting down with them with a nice warm cuppa and a few biscuits, and then calmly just saying it. As long as youre in a safe environment, there is nothing to be afraid of. You are you, and theres nothing you can do about that except either ignore it or embrace it. So well done for even taking this step towards further encouraging those close to you to embrace it
LiamLight
January 19th, 2019 3:00am
The most important thing to do is be prepared to explain, even through questions that may be insufferable and unintentionally offensive, the best way to help people understand is to explain thoroughly and without malice. If you feel safe coming out that's great, but I cannot stress enough that if you don't feel completely safe coming out, do not feel obligated or let anyone else force you into coming out. Coming out needs to be a deliberate process; something you do when YOU'RE ready, and only you know when you are ready. It's great that you ask this question, and i wish you luck in this process. Remember you always have people here to support you if the people in your real life don't live up to standard.
TanOfSix
January 20th, 2019 3:47pm
Before coming out, you need to ask yourself a few questions. #1: Are you 100% ready to come out? If yes, on to the next question. If no, wait. #2: Is the person queerphobic? If yes, please don't risk coming out. If no, come out as subtly as you can. If you don't know, try dropping hints to the person and note their reactions, then act accordingly. #3: Will it be worth it? Well, if you'll feel better, then yes. I have a few regrets of my own; I shouldn't have come out to some people who are very queerphobic. But in the end, it feels like a weight off the shoulders. So come out if you can, and well, there are many, many ways you can come out. Write an email, bake a cake and write on it, send a letter, shout it out loud. Take your pick. I hope this helped!
Savvy102317
January 24th, 2019 1:03am
Always remember never to come out if it’s not safe and only come out if your ready not because someone else thinks your ready. It’s your identity not anyone else’s. How you choose to come out is up to you, maybe with a funny pun, a letter, a text, a sit down conversation. It’s all up to you. Make sure to explain what it means to be non binary if they don’t understand at first and try to be painet and understanding. To some people this is completely new, they won’t understand right away and it might take them a while to learn. I hope you have a great and safe coming out experience :)
luvmal
January 31st, 2019 3:39pm
Coming out as anything on the spectrum can be daunting and many people from the lgbtq+ community have a difficult time being who they are. In the same breathe, it can be brightening once you are out, leaving you with a sense of relief. Being 100% comfortable within your environment is vital to this situation. This is about you; You should feel safe & secure with the people around you. Take some time to think about exactly what you want to say when you come out, and just go for it when you're ready. All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, you can do it.
bluenmoon
February 3rd, 2019 1:42am
As a non-binary person, I want to say a few things. Before coming out to someone, you have to have a little patience to explain what it is to be a non-binary person and about the pronouns that you identify. A lot of people really want to understand you and treat you like you really deserve, but they need someone to explain it (for many it's not intuitive). And when you feel you're ready to talk for the first time, I find it safer to talk to someone you really trust (like a close friend). Over time you will gain more confidence and coming out to people will become something natural. And one last thing, if you live with your parents and they are very conservative and you think you will suffer some kind of risk if you talk about it, wait a while until you have some financial independence (I have some bad experiences about it). So you're not going to be helpless if something happens.
ValliIsHeere
April 6th, 2019 5:56am
Hi! As I am a nonbinary person, I know that it can be a bit difficult to come out. For coming out to friends who are aware of what it means to be trans/nonbinary, it really could be a simple "can you call me (insert prpnouns) because i'm nonbinary". But with people who may not understand, it's a ton more difficult. I'd say to try and attempt to maybe..share/talk about "an article/character in a book" that you read about. That theu don't feel like they belong on either of the 2 binary sides of gender. That's the best way to see if those people understand/accept, or if they're just very close-minded ang against it. If they're accepting, then you know it may be easier to slowly come out to those people. Hope this helps a bit :)
Heatherfeather05
April 18th, 2019 5:56pm
Coming out is probably one of the biggest life challenges a person could face. I don't really know how one "comes out" I don't think there is a set way but if I put myself in a that position I think there are some things I can come up with to consider. Timing probably is one, is it the right time? Would coming out effect your safety? If so where is a safer place, and what are the laws for discrimination in your are. It's important, whether or not the people you are telling understand or accept it, that they understand what you want and need from them moving forward. Be transparent with your feelings, and direct, they are going to have questions no matter how it goes, and maybe if you feel like it might help you could provide them with accessible information they can look into, it isn't your responsibility to educate anyone, but for the sake of mutual understanding maybe it couldn't hurt. Finally, be brave, there is no easy way, but you can do this!
Anonymous
April 20th, 2019 3:39am
For starters make sure your coming out into a safe environment. Possibly start a conversation with those close to you to see how they react. If they react well and non violently then carefully breach the subject. Be prepared to answer questions as well. And remember if someone doesn't except you that its okay as long as you except you. If you need to talk to someone else about it, you can always talk to someone here on 7 cups. We are always willing to lend a listening ear. Another good idea as a backup plan is making sure that you have a place to stay if they handle the news badly.
Anonymous
May 4th, 2019 10:23pm
Well, there is no one correct way to come out as nonbinary. It's usually very situation specific, depending on who you're talking to how you come out Is going to be different. For strangers what I usually do is wait for them to misgender me and then politely correct them with my preferred pronouns. For people I know casually I would do it like you just got married and your last name has changed but instead of saying "Oh, it's actually Alex SMITH now I got married last fall" just say "Oh, it's actually CHOSEN NAME now I came out as nonbinary". I hope this was helpful
Anonymous
May 22nd, 2019 7:33pm
I started out slowly, I told people I thought would be the most ok, I gathered information to tell people when they asked the usual questions about the gender binary and what nonbinary means. If it's safe to do so I'd recommend getting a pronoun badge or changing/stating your pronouns on social media, this means that you get to test the waters but also simultaneously lets more attentive people know (I've had people approach me to talk after I put my pronouns on social media). Good luck! If you're struggling with this please give me a yell! I believe in you and you may have a better response than you're expecting, I did!
LiaT
May 29th, 2019 5:26am
This is a difficult question and varies from person to person. For me I found it safest to tell those in my support network and some of my closest friends before telling my family and the rest of the world. I had a close friend of mine come out by posting a little paragraph on social media stating something along the line of "I'm non-binary and would prefer it if you can you the pronouns they/them when addressing me to me or when talking about me." It's all based on personal preference. It's scary at first but so worth it in the end to be your true authentic version of you!
endearingtruth
July 6th, 2019 2:10am
To come out, be honest. First, come out to the people closest to you, those who you think are less likely to react negatively. See their reactions, then come out to other people. If you know someone will react badly, you'll have to ease it out. Don't change how you act very much. If you're a minor and your parents will kick you out if you come out, try not to come out to your family until you're old enough to support yourself. I wish you the best of luck coming out, I hope you get support and don't get negativity.
Aayla
July 31st, 2019 9:23pm
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle for nonbinary people when it comes to coming out, is that there is very scarce knowledge about this reality. So it's important to share all the information you can about the notion of gender and its different declinations. Then you can open your heart and tell them how you feel, maybe tell them how you came to realize what your identity is, and let them now you're there if they have any questions.
AidenCarver
August 11th, 2019 4:19am
There's no right or wrong way to come out as non-binary. Just be honest with your feelings while saying it out loud to someone. Remember you might not get a positive response. But just be yourself. That's the best you can do. Something like, "I think I don't fall in the binary side of gender. I'm most likely somewhere in between. I'm still figuring it out but that's what I wanted to tell you. " Remember that the person would most likely question you even further. If this person happens to be genuinely curious about you and want to know more then that's fine but remember some people just ask questions to make you feel you're not valid. So beware. Coming out is a daunting process for sure. And it takes time and patience to do so. Also, the chances of positive responses are more if you know this person very well and you know they'll love you know matter what. In any case, Good luck. I hope your coming out process turns out to be smooth as hell. And I hope this helped.