The Choices: Degree of "Outness"
Mainstream society has begun to acknowledge and become more accepting of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender) people. Consequently, some LGBT people have felt more comfortable sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with others.
To be out means that people know about a person's gender identity or history, sexual orientation, or both. Although many studies of gay and lesbian individuals have found that being out can lead to greater self-acceptance and self-empowerment,21 it is unclear if "outness" carries the same positive benefits for transgender people.
The choice to disclose gender history or transgender status is often on a need-to-know (or want-them-to-know) basis:
Sometimes, being out or not is not a choice. Transgender people who have not had genital surgery and must disrobe in urgent care settings may not have any control over disclosure. At other times, transgender people are accidentally or intentionally outed by someone who knows their gender historywhether their intentions are benign or malicious. Outing may also happen when transgender people have to produce documents that have their former names and/or gender markers on them, such as driver's licenses or health insurance cards.