It’s hard enough for a teenager to come out as trans when so many people are intolerant, whether that’s vocal or felt silently.
But that battle can be even more steeply uphill if the teen’s loved ones don’t provide a truly massive amount of support while navigating the declaration of their identity.
One parent found themselves in a tough spot when some family drama cropped up surrounding his son’s gender identity.
The father, known as Only-Designer-4682 on the site, explained it all in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP) explained who the key players were right in the post’s title.
“AITA for not standing by my wife when she was lecturing our son?”
OP then began with a run down of the whole family landscape.
“so me [47-year-old male] and my wife [46-year-old male] have four kids [9-year-old female, 11-year-old female, 13-year-old male, 17-year-old male], and one of them is a trans guy [17-year-male].”
“my wife hasn’t been the most supportive, we are working on it and I am fully on my son’s side. (ik she is TA for this but this isn’t what my question is about)”
And recently, a rather terse exchange occurred.
“today my son came down wearing boxers and a hoodie, my wife started to complain about how it’s inappropriate to walk around like that, saying that it’s too revealing.”
“she told him to put some pyjamas on.”
OP’s son made his response clear.
“a few minutes my son came down in a pair of pink pyjama shorts my wife brought for him. she turns to him and tells him that he looks much better now.”
“he laughs and tells her ‘that’s weird, these shorts are a good five centimetres shorter than my boxers’ and had a huge smirk on his face.”
But OP suddenly found himself in a tough spot.
“my wife started complaining about his attitude and turned to me to get me to say something, I just told her that he’s right.”
“she’s now pissed at me for not being a united front for our kids and encouraging that kind of disrespectful behaviour. so AITA?”
OP closed with an edit to explain how unusual the exchange was.
“EDIT: just wanted to add that this is the first time my wife has taken issue with this, it’s not uncommon for my daughters to lounge about in underwear and t-shirts. (also for those asking, there is no slit or hole in his boxers)”
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
Nearly all of the Redditors who read OP’s post were on his side. In fact, many thanked him profusely.
“NTA. And good on you for supporting your son. Plus, his initial clothes are unisex sleepwear. Your wife is just being petty.” — brownies671
“NTA And as a trans dude, thank you for supporting your son” — DemonicSymphony
“NTA, as a trans person knowing your son has a parent like you brings me so much joy. What your wife said was not on at all, besides if there’s no guests and your bits are covered, nowt wrong with being in your pants around your family…”
“…if anyone should be desensitised to some skin it should be the people who wiped your bare arse for years” — barrenvagoina
“NTA. You’re showing your son that you support him no matter what, which is incredibly important for trans teens in general, and even more so for those with an unsupportive parent. Keep supporting him in front of your wife.” — Nessnixi
“As someone who’s dad was a victim of this, you are preserving your relationship with your child. I do not speak to my dad (or my mom) because he stopped supporting me to have a ‘united’ front with my mom.”
“Everyone in my family is miserable because of my mom but they all deal with it cuz money.” — MaiPiggy
Other people did understand OP’s wife’s logic, but spoke directly to that issue in this specific context.
NTA – I know there is a sect of parents out there who think you should always side with the other parent in front of your child and then in private raise any concerns.”
I don’t agree with that. Sometimes you need to stand up for your kid when they can see it.”
“You need to show them that you will back them up when someone, including their other parent, is being unfair to them”
“That’s what you did here. You showed your son tou have his back when anyone, including his mom, is being unfair to him.” — JudgeJed100
“NTA. In general, yes, it’s best to not contradict your spouse when she disciplines your child, but that only applies to situations where reasonable people could disagree.”
“Your wife is not being reasonable here, and given the transphobia you’ve mentioned, it sounds like her actual discomfort was in seeing her trans child in boxers because they’re for ‘boys,’ not because she has any issue with the kids being in underwear.”
“You are right to protect him from that and make it clear to her that you won’t stand for it.” — Ok_Sympathy6395
“NTA – we all know that the real issue here that your wife had was that she’s still uncomfortable with your son’s identity and is taking out her discomfort by making petty comments about your son’s clothing. He called her out on it and now she’s mad, but making it an ‘attitude’ problem.”
“The purpose of parents presenting a united front is twofold – most importantly its to create consistent boundaries for the child. Its also out of respect for the other parent.”
“In this case though, your child didn’t need you to hold a consistent boundary, he needed you to stand up for him when someone was being less than supportive of his identity. As for respect for your wife…given that she created this situation out of disrespect for your son…no.” — chrystalight
And finally, a few really let OP’s wife have it.
“I wear boxers as bedtime shorts. I’m a woman.”
“Your wife’s transphobia is a problem. NTA but please protect all of your kids from her toxic behavior.” — SourSkittlezx
“Nta, mum is being a di**head. Son is pushing back very understandably, You being supportive is king sh**” — Frenchie1001
“NTA. It’s not supposed to be parents vs kids. Parents have to be an example, be fair, listen, understanding. That’s what you’re doing. That’s not what your wife is doing.” — MoodyStarGirl
Here’s hoping OP’s unconditional support of his son begins to rub off on his wife as soon as possible.