Transitioning on Facebook, and being out
At first, I resisted getting a Facebook account — I was happy enough without it, thank you very much. But I ended up getting one last year, while I was still thinking gender-confused. So now I’m trying to transition my profile over to male while facing the “out or not” dilemma.
The actual female-to-male profile transition was easy. Luckily, I had signed up with my gender-neutral nickname; I changed it to my chosen name. I didn’t have too many photos, either; a friend helped me purge the older, more female-looking ones. I had never marked my sex as “male” or “female”, and I left it that way, because I think it’s annoying that they ask, especially if they only give me two options. Plus, my sex is none of their business.
The hardest part is deciding whether I want to be out as trans on my Facebook or not. I don’t actually state “I’m trans!” anywhere, but I am part of many trans groups, and I have my gender blogs on my profile because I’m proud of them. Plus, there are lots of tiny details: a friend signed one of my pictures “haha, look at her”.
I didn’t think I minded being out; but I’ve been meeting new people and I don’t necessarily want them to know I’m trans when we’ve just met. When people find out, they start treating me a little different; not unkindly, but as if they were seeing me differently: seeing me as a girl. It’s the old question of when/how/if to come out, but instead of deciding in each individual situation, you have to decide once, for everyone you’ll meet. And the newspaper keeps running articles on how important social networks are for getting jobs.
Right now, most (all?) people in my life know I was assigned female at birth, and I’m planning to do trans activism anyway, so it isn’t worth it to hide my past. I think I’ll probably open up a new Facebook account before starting college, which is when I plan to start T. It’ll be a fresh start.