What happens when something personal is so private that it forces a person to keep things from their own best friends?
One young woman recently found out, and she shared her whole experience in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Signal-Courage2350 on the site, highlighted the subject area in the post’s title.
“AITA For telling my friends to stop saying I’m non-binary?”
OP began by describing some key dynamics in her friend group.
“I’m a 19 cis female. I’ve had the same circle of friends throughout high school, and they’re all pretty friendly and mostly LGBTQ+.”
“I’m bi and I don’t really like to talk about it much, and they usually respect it, but they all had official ‘coming outs’ over the past few months.”
For OP, it wasn’t that simple.
“One of my friends is trans, one of them is also bisexual, but they both started asking me what I was exactly, since I’d made flagrant blatant comments that I was part of the LGBTQ+ (but wouldn’t specify what because I cannot come out right now safely).”
Nonetheless, people started talking.
“That’s when they started ‘assuming’ what I was. They made comments that because I liked to dress in a masculine way (and a few years ago cut my hair super short) that I must be non-binary.”
“I told them I wasn’t. They kept insisting that I must be, and even would start using ‘they/them’ pronouns for me.”
OP was shocked–and confused.
“I hated it. No disrespect toward non-binary persons, but I am not one of them.”
“I finally told them to stop calling me nonbinary and that I was a female person.”
“They said I was an AH for not telling them what I was and that they’d keep guessing until they nailed it. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
A hefty majority of Redditors were completely on OP’s side. They were shocked on her behalf.
“Uhmmmm forcing someone out of the closet, even if the door is cracked, is BULLSH**. You have the right to come out on your own terms when you are ready. NTA” — peithecelt
“NTA, this coming from a 53 yo cis afab bi. As you said, you’re not ready to be out as anything other than supportive of the community, and your so-called friends are being the a-holes AND NOT ALLIES by not letting you alone about it.” — snobahr
“NTA. What is their problem? For people that I would assume are trying to be allies, they sure are pushy for you to identify as something you’re not. They either need to accept you for who you are or lose that friendship with you.”
“My advice: tell them in person that you’re not lying to them. If they can’t accept that, then remind them that relationships are based on trust.” — Steigy73
“NTA Sorry to say this but it sounds like they’re not your friends. They should know better than anybody how important it is to come out and how personal it is and should only be done when you’re ready to.”
“It sounds like they were privileged enough to have an environment that they could come out safely and now they’re mad at you for not coming out? They’re selfish and I’m sorry you have to deal with that negativity.” — LucifersCorner
Some were more blunt.
“NTA. You need new friends.” — HJI84
“NTA, but these people are not your friends. Friends are understanding, which they don’t really sound like they are.” — MyCyanide92
“NTA. That’s just weird and rude OP” — TheQueensLoyalFool
And many found the whole thing a bit ironic.
“NTA. A significantly large amount of my friends belong to the LGBTQ+ community, and would find this distasteful at best. If you were non-binary, you would say as much for yourself which is proper.”
“Until you say ‘I’m non-binary,’ or specify you want different pronouns, it is inappropriate to refer to you other than by your desired pronouns, and it is wrong to ‘guess’ what your sexual orientation is until you share it by choice.” — OriginalNinjaCat
“NTA Your friends obviously don’t understand what the Q in LGBTQ stands for. They need to respect boundaries and stop prying, it should be enough to just state that you are queer/questioning.” — SquilliamFancySon95
“NTA and I’d expect these people to know some pretty basic things they’re over-looking.”
“You don’t demand someone out themselves to you. You don’t misgender someone or use the wrong pronouns just because you think they’re NB (or trans) when they have specifically said they’re not. You definitely don’t ‘insist’ someone’s gender or orientation.”
“They may want you to feel safe and be open about yourself with them, but it’s your choice if and when you come out as bi and who you come out to.”
“Your friends might be lovely people, they might think they’re coming from a good place, but they are over-stepping some pretty big lines here. This is coming from a cis straight man but I think my LGBTQIA cousins would agree.” — Mr_Ham_Man80
“NTA. With all the hype about misgendering people who identify as something other than the traditional he/she, how is it that they feel it’s ok to do it to you just because your preferred pronoun is the traditional one? Hypocritical.” — privacyishard
And a few treated this as an example of a broader tendencies.
“NTA, some people really see it as womanhood = femininity, so when you’re more masculine they assume you must really be something else.”
“It’s incredibly regressive and shi**y and honestly these people are just going to get more and more exhausting. It might be worth finding some more considerate friends” — Bihalfelf
“This is a huge problem in younger queer circles, where they insist on knowing exactly what you identify as. It often ends up being so that they can make jokes and stereotype you for the memes. Older queer people are usually more fine with you not having a solid identity.”
“Don’t let them get to you, you dont owe them sh**, and the need to know exactly what your identity is is EXTREMELY inappropriate. nta” — fu**ingweeabootrash
At the very least, it looks like OP was able to rely on Reddit for some unconditional acceptance.