Parents always want to be there for their children.
Particularly, as their children grow up and begin to discover who they are, parents should want to make sure their children know they love and support them.
Even if it means cutting out friends or family.
In the case of Redditor sarah_q_harmony, that meant boycotting Christmas with her parents because of the way they treated her child.
But concerned she may not have handled the situation as well as she could have, the original poster (OP) took to the SubReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my parents they can no longer see my child unless they begin using the proper pronouns?”
The OP first filled readers in about a major change in her son’s life and the impact it had on her entire family.
“Hi Reddit, I’m a 45 year old woman so please bear with me on this, I’m not tech savvy, but I heard about this page through TikTok and wanted to try my luck here.”
“8 months ago my 15-year-old son came out to us as Female to Male (FTM) transgender.”
“It was a shock, but my husband and I love and accept him and we immediately put him into therapy and gender counseling while he began his transition.”
“We understand that some people have difficulties understanding and being open-minded about the situation.”
“When we told the family there were mixed responses and there were some relatives that had to be cut off, unfortunately.”
Among the family members not having an easy time, were the OP’s parents.
“The two people having the hardest time are my parents, especially my mother.”
“They have always been extremely close with my son as he is their first and only grandchild.”
“So at first I gave them a little bit of leeway and at times would very gently remind them to use my son’s new name and correct pronouns.”
“They were still struggling by the time we made it to Thanksgiving this year, and numerous times called my son the wrong name and pronouns in front of our whole family.”
“I know this really upsets my son, and while I love my parents and understand they are struggling I am my son’s advocate.”
This resulted in a very difficult decision in regards to the holidays.
“A couple days after Thanksgiving I reached out and explained to them that unless they agree to use my son’s correct pronouns at Christmas this year(we always have it at their house) then we would not be attending and they would no longer be allowed contact with our son.”
“They were very upset by this, and it truly does hurt me to do this to them because I know more than anyone how they are probably feeling, but I also know they are not trying and I can only allow them to make their grandchild uncomfortable so many times.”
“Their main concerns are that our son will eventually change his mind, and while I validate their concerns we have precautions put in place to help him.”
“We agreed as a family that he will be in therapy for a year before he will be allowed to start hormone therapy treatment when he is 16.”
“My whole family pretty much disagree with my decision.”
“They agree that my parents need to try harder, but they also feel that I am being too harsh on them and forcing them to accept something they are not ready to accept.”
“I cannot talk to a lot of my friends about this because they cannot relate to what my family is going through, hence why I’ve come here.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where the felt the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors overwhelmingly agreed the OP was not at all the a**hole by refusing to let her parents demean her son anymore.
Almost everyone came forward in commending the OP for how well she handled the situation and for standing up for her son.
“NTA – as a transgender person, you are doing the right thing.”
“I wish most transgender kids had parents like you.”- broadwaycade
“NTA you did exactly what the research shows trans teens need the most.”
“They need a trusted supportive adult, if that adult will stand up for them and enforce their boundaries, all the better.”
“One of the big tenants of my personal philosophy is ‘unconditional love does not mean unconditional participation’.”
“That is the concept your family does not seem to be grasping.”
“You can all love each other unconditionally, but you will not make your son available to anyone who forces him to defend himself.”
“When they misgender and deadname him, they force him to defend his mental health and his peace.”
“When they pull the ‘what if it’s a phase’ stuff they force him to defend the very premise of who he is.”
“Every time they do that they are showing your son that they respect their comfort more than they respect him.”
“Good on you for showing him that he doesn’t have to tolerate that from anyone, no matter how much they love him.”- JustheBean.
“You are doing what is best for your child.”
“That must take priority over everything else.”
“Maybe missing him over the holidays will give them a wake up call and things will become better.”-MerlinBiggs.
“Let me get this straight: the moment a woman gets married, it’s ‘congratulations Mrs. (Name of Husband)’ but yet they think it’s too hard to remove one letter from a word (she —> he)?”
“You have a son to protect and nurture and if his grandparents don’t want to respect him then you will do what you need to do.”- RaggieSoft.
“I hate to go there, but what if your parents are convinced that your son will change his mind and bought him presents that are appropriate for a girl rather than a boy.”
“You are protecting your son because your parents have had eight months to adjust to this and they haven’t.”
“I’d tell the rest of the family:”
“‘We have legitimate concerns that my parents have purchased gifts appropriate for a girl rather than for a boy.'”
“‘This is because, like you said, they are not ready to accept that we have a son now rather than a daughter.'”
“‘Why should we risk exposing our son to their grandparents’ lack of acceptance during Christmas?'”- naranghim.
Touched and overwhelmed by all the support she received, the OP eventually returned to Reddit to offer her appreciation, as well as voice her support for any families going through similar situations.
“I am so overwhelmed by how many lovely people have seen this and shared their support for my son.”
“Thank you! “
“And to those of you who’s parents are having a hard time accepting you I am so sorry! “
“You deserve to be loved and respected just as you are!”
“I hope they come around and realize how wonderful you all are, and even if they don’t please know that this mom right here loves you for just being your most authentic self and that is the best thing you can do for you!”
“You can’t help how feel and you are never wrong for expressing that!!”
As sad as it is it came to cutting off family, it’s hard not to find the OP a huge source of inspiration for all parents out there.
Here’s hoping her own parents will eventually grow to be as proud of her as they should be and come to accept their grandson for who he is.