For many of us, we would do practically anything to make sure our younger siblings are properly cared for.
But even in that endeavor, there should be limits, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor myclothes-aita wanted to support his transgender brother by providing him with new clothes and a place to stay.
But when he didn’t take care of his older brother’s possessions, the Original Poster (OP) decided there had to be boundaries.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not allowing my transitioning brother borrow my nicer clothes?”
The OP invited his younger brother into his home.
“I (27 Male) have a brother (16 Female-to-Male) who came out as trans about a year ago.”
“To say the least, my parents are a**holes, so he lives with me currently.”
“I bought my brother some clothes – just some more generic, lower-priced clothes (about $750 spent so far) – since all his older stuff, in his words, are ‘too fem,’ and he doesn’t have a job and no support from our parents.”
His brother kept asking for more.
“But he constantly asks if he can borrow my nicer clothes (nothing too crazy, but I have a few pieces that are…. fat in the price department, so I’d like to keep them in good condition).”
“At the beginning, I let him, but the dude’s a slob – one time he came home, and the sweater (~$350) he borrowed looked like he kept wiping his nose on the sleeve. it was nasty.”
“Another time, a pair of pants (~$200) looked like he was legit just rolling in the grass with them.”
“Every time he borrows my clothes, it looks like he just doesn’t care enough to keep them nice.”
“Like, I don’t make that much, so when I spend way more than actually needed on an item, I’d like to be able to wear them for a long time – so I’ve barred him from borrowing any of my nicer clothing.”
His brother was angry about the new boundary.
“To say he’s p**sed is an understatement. He says I can always just clean the clothes since I would anyways.”
“I told him he could at least attempt to keep them clean, like in the first place?”
“I told him if he wants nicer clothes, he can get a job/ it got to the point where I actually put a lock on my door to keep him out of my room.”
“He thinks I’m an a**hole – I know I may be putting too much importance on my clothes and objectively, it is silly. which brings me here.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the brother didn’t need to borrow what he couldn’t respect.
“No teenager needs to have a $350 sweater. I can almost guarantee no one at school has one either. Idk what kind of clothes you bought for him, but even $750 worth of clothes seems like a lot to me.”
“My kids get $300 every school year for clothes, shoes, & whatnot. We usually have to buy shoes & hoodies again for Xmas, and when my 11yr old inevitably busts the knees out of his jeans, but any more than that seems wasteful.”
“Maybe because he’s transitioning, he hasn’t quite gotten his own style and confidence. My son does well and is popular, and he wears $40 Levi’s from Walmart.”
“There’s a saying ‘clothes don’t make the man,’ and while it’s said this is about judging a person based on their appearance. I always took it as you can look great in anything as long as you wear it with confidence.”
“Someday he’ll understand the importance of being hygienic and clean, but he is still a teenager.”
“Until that day, don’t let him borrow your stuff.”
“NTA” – s0rela
“I don’t know what name brand the OP is buying, but at those prices, they are a designer brand and look great. I’m sure the brother sees these brands as fitting his style.”
“That being said, a 16yo should know at that age how to respect someone’s belongings. I hardly ever borrowed things in my life from others, but when I did, I ensured it was as returned in the condition it was loaned to me, if not better.”
“OP is NTA and until brother accepts that borrowing something is a privilege granted to them, OP should keep his bedroom door locked.” – Jeffy1091
“NTA. But, OP, I would take it further. ‘If I do not give you permission to use something of mine, and you take it, it’s stealing. If you cannot respect these boundaries, you can’t live here.'”
“You need to be careful that by being considerate, you aren’t letting this kid turn into someone who behaves in an entitled, unkind manner. Boundaries are boundaries for a reason.” – crystallz2000
Others agreed and suggested getting a job.
“I’m sorry, sixteen-year-olds should not have access to a three-hundred-and-fifty-dollar sweater if they can’t take care of it! No, the kid should be happy to get something new at Target (I like shopping there).”
“And if they want something nicer, then they can go get a job. Maybe they would appreciate and take care of the clothes. NTA.” – LuvMeLongThyme
“I get that he wants to wear nice clothes but he can get a job and buy them himself. I’m seventeen and really into classic menswear. I just bought myself a new suit with money that I earned.”
“You can put together really good outfits for a under $50. There’s plenty of solid clothes for really good prices on Amazon or at Target. I have a few white tee shirts that I got for under $20 which are really nice quality and have lasted a year and a half at this point. You don’t need a fuck ton of money to dress well.” – lordreuben666
But some could also agree that coming out had to be hard.
“NTA, but there are bigger issues here. You have a 16 year old sibling who has been dumped on by his parents and is now living with his older brother. You have done your brother a great kindness which he being 16 doesn’t quite understand or can express. I agree with the boundaries but give him time to adjust.”
“He’s also transgender which is not the easiest thing to go through. Being a teenager is hard enough without gender dysphoria. And remember, Teenager = DRAMA without being transgender.”
“As to the clothes. You never stated if buying expensive clothing is the norm for your family. If your parents blew quite a bit of their income on clothes your brothers behavior is not that hard to imagine.” – PackmuleIT
“Trans guy here. NTA. You’re a good brother. He’s being unreasonable as kids often are.”
“I do wonder if there’s some other issue underlying this behavior. Obviously the parental situation would be a big stressor. Maybe check up on him. Kids and teens aren’t always great at expressing what’s actually bothering them.” – Nihil_esque
“NAH. He can thrift good clothes (Plato’s closet if you have one near and he wants name brand). If he ain’t looking after it, he can’t borrow it.”
“I’m going with NAH, just because transitioning without support from his parents is gotta be hard, and although the anger might be misplaced I doubt he’s doing it out of malice.”
“Thrifting is also a great way to cheaply work out style.” – OcelotTea
While the subReddit appreciated that the OP was taking care of and supporting his brother, they also admitted there needed to be a limit to his kindness, so he could teach his brother to be responsible and grateful, too.