I was in a conversation with a friend who revealed they identified as "trans/fluid". It wasn't said as a declaration, rather it was said in such a way as if I already knew about it. I hid my surprise moderately well and rolled with the conversation as if I did already know.

I did this because I was embarrassed - not because of what they said, I don't care about that, just because of I thought this was probably important to them and the way they said it made me think I might have been told before and forgotten, but having time to reflect, I don't think that's the case.

What I want to know is twofold:

How I should have reacted/How should I react in a similar situation in future

If I should do anything now to explain that I didn't know (And do I also say clearly that it doesn't matter to me, or is that dismissive?) or do I just continue on like I knew already (which is now true for future conversations!)

Appreciate that every individual is different, but I would especially appreciate input from other trans/fluid individuals.

  • like in most situations, people tend to forget things, even important dates. How many times do movies and TV shows make fun of absent-minded males on forgetting anniversaries and what not? fairly frequently. So forgetting something a friend told you isn't exactly unusual. Especially if it's something not as important to you as it is to them.
    – ggiaquin16
    Jun 18 '18 at 15:24
  • 2
    Hey there! Your question is closed because asking us "what to do" is too broad, and leads to opinion based answers. If you update your question to target a specific goal, we may be able to help you find answers to your question.
    – Jess K.
    Jun 18 '18 at 15:31
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    I could/would answer this one, but as the question is phrased it is indeed a what to do question. Perhaps if you could phrase it as a question 'What is an appropriate response to a friend's indirect revelation as trans/fluid?' and edit the body such that you leave in your original response, but leave out the questions regarding future conversations with said friend (If I should do ...), because those specifically make this is a 'what to do' type question.
    – GretchenV
    Jun 19 '18 at 11:08

The most important thing is to keep in mind that your friend is like any individual you'll ever meet; just a normal human being. He doesn't represent all trans/fluid people. There's no special etiquette or magic formula of to act around them or how to react when they're coming out of the closet.

Treat them the way they want to be treated. It sounds obvious, but you should see how they are about being trans/fluid. Does your friend's family, friends or other relatives know about it, or does your friend want to keep it silent? Are they have difficulty with being trans/fluid, or are they proud of it? If your friend's telling this as a big secret that no-one must know because they're afraid their parents won't accept it, don't treat it as if he just told a random gossip. If your friend says during a conversation, "oh yeah, I'm trans by the way. Anyway, where was I," then sure, you can be surprised, but there's no need to make a big deal out of it, act surprised, worried or anything.

What you can do now, is to be honest; tell them that you were surprised and thinking about it for a while (assuming you are). Tell them you're cool with it. Do it in person, texting may come out differently than you mean to.

TLDR: No need to hide your surprise. Being acceptable and being normal are different things, so be honest about being surprised. Just keep it clear you're cool with it.

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