Making assumptions about another person’s identity is a mistake people should avoid. Acting on those assumptions is even worse.
After reacting to a friend’s false assumptions, a man turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor Hungry_Escape_6883 asked:
“AITA for telling someone to fuck off after they repeatedly tried to convince me I was trans?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’ve had a group of people who I’ve hung out with for a few years now, who I met through a close friend of mine, also a member of said group.”
“Since COVID hit, we’ve mostly been playing video games together online, or having one person stream themselves playing a game while the others watch in a call and we all chat, which is something we did back when we could meet in person.”
“One of the people in the group came out as [Male to Female] transgender a few years ago, who I’ll call ‘J’. We’ve never been particularly close, but have gotten along well enough and I’ve never had any issues with her until now.”
“However, as we’ve been playing video games as a group a lot more, J took notice of the fact that I tend to pick female characters in games where you’re given a choice of gender. There’s no deep reason for it, it’s just something I like to do, but she latched onto it and kept making comments and jokes about me being trans and not knowing it.”
“It made me uncomfortable, and I told her to stop, but she doubled down on it, and it became clear after a bit she genuinely thought I might be trans due to this.”
“I told J, very politely at first, that I wasn’t trans, and my reasons for picking female characters largely boil down to aesthetic purposes and to please stop.”
“She basically ignored me and continued to press me about it, whenever I said I wasn’t trans she would always reply with ‘are you suuuuure?’ or ‘at least consider the idea’, and when I explained again why I pick female characters, she replied with ‘yeah, that’s what I said, too’.”
“It got to the point where she just wouldn’t let it go and after one more comment about it I just blew up and told her to knock it the hell off.”
“My specific words were something like ‘Oh, f’k off with this shit, I’ve told you so many times that I’m not trans, stop projecting your own feelings onto me, it makes me insanely uncomfortable and I’ve told you numerous times to stop but you never listen’, and she got really upset and left the call.”
“Half the group is mad at me now, saying she was just kidding around and saying that ‘it’s transphobic that I’m so hostile towards the idea of being trans’. I’m not. I have no problem with trans people.”
“I’m just comfortable in my own identity and know that I’m a man, and am tired of being second-guessed about it.”
“It’s caused a giant split, and some other things came to light where one of the group showed me screenshots of a private chat of J repeatedly calling me an ‘egg’, which I guess is slang for a closeted trans person.”
“A lot of people are insisting that she was just trying to help someone who might have been in a similar situation that she once was, but I expressed clearly that it made me uncomfortable and I was not in a situation like hers.”
“They say that I shouldn’t have snapped at her like that but I didn’t know what else to do, and am second-guessing myself now.”
After receiving a number of comments, the OP returned with a response.
“Legit did not expect this to blow up in the way it did, sorry I haven’t really responded to anyone but I’ve checked all the comments. Thanks to everyone for responding.”
“I do want to note that I don’t want this post used as justification to paint all trans people as doing things like this, as I saw a few comments implying that, because they’re not.”
“This was an isolated incident with one person, and I saw a lot of trans people replying to this and saying that J was in the wrong, which helped me feel a lot better about how I reacted.”
“I admittedly don’t know very many trans people in real life but it was never my intent to try and imply that this is common behavior for trans people or something, because I don’t believe that at all and don’t want to paint anyone with a broad brush.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. My God, that is so annoying. Imagine if it was reversed—a trans person tells a cis person to f’k off because they repeatedly asked the cis person to stop saying that maybe they are also cis and it makes them uncomfortable? All of a sudden that’s totally ok to tell them to f’k off!”
“Then the cis person teases the trans person and says they are a closeted cis person? How on earth is that ok to tease about? NTA NTA NTA OP.” ~ -honey_badger
“Or imagine if OP really was Trans, why would you try and out someone like that? That alone is terrible!” ~ mindue
“I would have totally understood if the friend asked once privately and let OP know he could talk to her about it if he was questioning.”
“Doing so publicly is not OK especially repeatedly.”
“OP NTA. You are not transphobic, you’re comfortable in yourself and your gender identity and set a reasonable boundary.” ~ Thedoctorisme
“NTA. You are the only one that gets to decide what your gender is. PERIOD.”
“As a thought experiment, ask people how they would react if you continually asked someone who was trans if they were sure of their gender. That’d be transphobic of course.”
“So how is what this person did to you any different? I would advise not directly flipping the hypothetical around on this person directly because then it is a lot easier for you to stray into asshole/highly emotionally charged territory.” ~ housepage
“Also point out that the argument that she was trying to ‘help someone who may be in a similar situation as she once was’ is not acceptable. You don’t help someone by harassing them about their identity.”
“There are many reasons people remain in the closet and they get to decide when they come out. They don’t need to be passively aggressively teased out of the closet.”
“I wouldn’t say ‘and even if I was trans this wouldn’t be okay’ cause they’d probably latch onto thinking its some kind of backwards admission and miss the whole point, so I’d bring it up in an abstract sense as well and not directly put yourself in the hypothetical.”
“But my point is, even if you were trans, your gender identity is irrelevant. You stated this was making you uncomfortable, she needed to stop. The end.” ~ BitchRen
Boundaries are an important thing to respect. If a person asks you to stop questioning their identity and says you’re making them uncomfortable, you need to stop.
If you don’t—no matter the motive—you’re the a**hole.