Living in our current age, it’s becoming easier for people to come out as who they are. While not everyone will agree and support it, there are more people willing to accept it than in the past.
However, Redditor thr0wawayacc0unt8916 isn’t one of those people. When her child came out as non-binary, the original poster (OP) didn’t handle it well.
Now she’s asking the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit if she was wrong.
“AITA for not wanting to use my daughters new name”
This is what happened:
“Throwaway for obvious reasons.”
“For context I was brought up in a traditional home and while I don’t consider myself a Christian or Catholic I do agree with some of what the bible says.”
“Onto the story then: My (45, F [female]) daughter (15) came out to me a couple weeks ago as nonbinary and asked me to use they/them pronouns and to call her by a completely different name than the name I gave her. I told her that while i support her while she is under my roof I will call her by her birth name.”
“She didn’t really say anything so I assumed she was fine with it. But now she’s gone through the trouble of trying to get her name on the same roll and getting teachers and friends to call her by this new name.”
“When her friends come over and call her this new name I always tell them not to.”
“She is clearly upset by this but what am I meant to do? It’s always something new with her, short dyed hair, bisexual, now this?”
“I don’t know how much I can take anymore. I don’t think I am asking much by wanting to call her by her birth name, the name I chose.”
“Am I really the a**hole in this situation, I don’t think so but my daughter thinks I am.”
On the AITA board, people explain their situation, how they reacted and then are judged by other commenters.
This is done with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP’s story has her outright denying the existence her child experiences. In this instance, it was judged OP was the one in the wrong.
But that didn’t stop her from trying to defend herself.
“Surely you understand that you’re not going to change anything by using their old name and refusing to use the pronouns they’re asking you to.”
“I completely understand why this is difficult for you but, in reality, if you don’t try to understand things from your daughter’s point of view and respect her wishes, it’ll only drive a wedge between you two and possibly completely brake down your relationship.”
“Are you prepared to do that for the sake of avoiding you feeling a little awkward about this?” – ghostofkilgore
“But how can she be non binary if she’s got the woman parts, I find it stupid. If she wants to break off contact because of this then all I have to say is wow” – thr0wawayacc0unt8916 (OP)
“Probably YTA. You named them on the information you had at the time of their birth about their gender.”
“New information is now available and they are picking a name that’s more in line with their gender identity.”
“They’vs probably been through a lot – of which you were unknowing – before coming to you with this new information. Choosing a new name matching to their actual identity is a coping mechanism for them which you need to respect, and help them with.” – CarpeCyprinidae
“I can see the reasoning there but I don’t want to have to call her by a different name and pronouns when she’s had the ones I gave her at birth for 15 years now, why change it now?” – thr0wawayacc0unt8916 (OP)
Despite her defenses, the comments continued. Many commenters pointed out that if these things didn’t really matter, then why was she willing to lose a relationship with her child over them.
Eventually, OP learned from her mistakes.
“Yeah. You’re the a**hole. ‘I’m not really religious but I agree with some of the Bible’. So you agree with the bits you like or resonate with you?”
“Is the rest not applicable? And if it isn’t applicable then why is the small narrow bit you cling onto any more worthy of throwing away rationale and your child”
“Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s got nothing to do with the Bible. That’s the crutch your bigotry uses to support itself. You are just freaked out by difference cause you don’t understand and you’re worried what your mates at the bar might think”
“Take time and understand. Give your child support. Be open and honest. It won’t come over night. But once they now you’re trying you’ll be surprised how much easier things will become” – whatevs81
“I mean I don’t want to lose my baby girl. She’s my only daughter and if she wants to be no gender, then I won’t have my baby girl anymore but part of me will always see her that way” – thr0wawayacc0unt8916 (OP)
“YTA, ugh you sound so selfish! My god near the end I wanted to bore my eyes out why are you making this about you?”
“Your child is still obviously going through something and THEY need your support. Also what does not agreeing with the bible have to do with respecting someone and their wishes? They’re friends are and you have no control (thank god) of that.”
“What you do is what you do. Stop trying to control the way their friends are trying to respect them.” – Current_Arrival
“Your right, I’m very sorry and I will be talking to them tomorrow to apologise” – thr0wawayacc0unt8916 (OP)
The comments and explanations got to OP, and made her see that there is something there to respect, especially to keep a relationship with their child.
She updated her post with some more information.
“Ok so after reading the comments and thinking about it. Yeah I am the biggest of AH. Jesus Christ I’m going to lose my child over a stupid decision of what was given to me when she was born.”
“I don’t want to lose my baby girl but I am willing to give her up for a chance at a relationship with my new, nonbinary child. Tomorrow once we all wake up I’m going to have a chat and find a common ground for us to feel better.”
“I admit I was a bit hot headed in the comments so I apologies for the nasty replies. I hope all of you guys have a lovely evening or day!! :)”
Even in the last update, OP was still misgendering her child. But it’s a start, and it shows a willingness to try and understand what it means to be non-binary, or at least respect who her child is.
Since that update, the post has been deleted, but it’s unknown why at this time. OP’s comments are still up, and it’s a great read to see someone slowly realize their love for someone is greater than their fear of the unknown and unfamiliar.