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To Sam

Transgender in the ATC

Hey Sam, I'm a 14 year old transgender (ftm) and also an air cadet. I'm worried about how to come out to my squadron and also my parents. My mum and I got into an argument that resulted in me coming out in the wrong way and now mum barely talks to me, at the moment, I feel like the only place where people do like me and I have friends is at air cadets but I'm worried that if I come out, I'll lose friends. At the same time, I want to come out soon so that I don't have to wear a skirt. I also want to see a gender therapist but the closest one to me is in London. Do you have any ideas on how I can resolve these issues?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Coming out about your gender identity is a big step and it’s important that the timing is right. Make sure you feel comfortable and confident enough. It’s possible to come out and have no problems at all. Sometimes though it can take a bit of adjustment for the people who have known you the longest. Expecting this and being realistic about it will help make it easier for you.

Being more nervous about telling friends and family is normal because they matter most to you. There's more potential to get hurt if they don’t react how you’d want them to. The situation with your mum is hard, but it might be that she is taking some time to get used to this news. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t accept you.

A good way of coming out to friends is to find someone you trust the most and tell them first. This person can then support you when you tell other people. They can be there for you if anyone reacts in a way that upsets you. Choosing the right person is really important, so think carefully.

If seeing a gender therapist is important to you, then you need to make sure your mum knows how much it means to you. Getting the right kind of help will make your transition smoother, and so it’s going to be important to get the situation with your mum sorted soon so you can explain to her what you want. This might mean having more difficult and emotional conversations with her. So make sure you prepare for this first – think about what you want to say to her.

You can always talk this through with a ChildLine counsellor if you like – and we have some good support available from other young people on the message boards.

Thanks for the letter, take care.

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