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Nonbinary Redditor Balks After Being Told They’re Required To Wear A Dress To Brother’s Wedding

Dismayed older woman
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Gender identity is no longer a binary in 2023.

However, not everyone is capable of understanding and respecting that sadly.

Redditor modernbaseballfan69 is nonbinary and was preparing for their brother’s wedding.

A recent argument between the Original Poster (OP) and the bride and groom led them to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

They asked,

“AITA for refusing to attend my brother’s wedding because of the dress code?”

The OP went on to tell their story.

My brother is getting married in a few months, and his future wife recently asked me to be a part of her bridal party.”

“I was thrilled and excited to be included, but then she informed me that the dress code for the bridal party was gender-specific, with women expected to wear dresses and men expected to wear suits.”

“As someone who identifies as non-binary and is more masculine presenting, I am uncomfortable with conforming to a gender binary that doesn’t accurately represent me.”

“I brought this up with my brother and his fiancé, but they insisted that they wanted all their guests to adhere to the dress code, regardless of how it made them feel.”

“I ultimately decided that I did not want to attend the wedding, as I did not feel comfortable being pressured to conform to a gender binary that doesn’t accurately represent me.”

“My brother and his fiancé are now upset with me, accusing me of being difficult and not willing to compromise.”

“After a fight with them, I found out they went behind my back and involved my mom.”

“She called me yesterday and told me I can put aside my identity for one day to make the day special for my little brother.”

“I now feel bad and didn’t realize something as small as the clothes I feel comfortable wearing would cause a rift within my family.”

“So AITA for refusing to go to the wedding?”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“‘Put aside my identity for one day’. Uh, no.”


“It is fine for them to dictate the formality of the wedding. It is not fine for them to dictate your preferred gender expression.”

“A suit that is on the same level of formality as suits others are wearing should be considered just fine.” – poeadam

100% this!!!”

“OP, I’m getting married this year, and we have an NB friend (he/him) who is in the wedding party. Due to our numbers, he will be on the groom’s side.”

“We had a long discussion about his outfit, and he said he’ll wear whatever we want him to, but he wears dresses/skirts on a daily basis and is more comfortable in “feminine” clothing.”

“So we settled on a tux jacket and a black floor-length skirt for the formal pictures and the ceremony. He has multiple outfit changes planned for after the ceremony 😂”

“It’s 2023 – gender conforming “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen” are no longer the norm!!!”

“If someone wants you in their wedding party, it’s expected that they’re close enough to know you and your gender identity.”

“If they don’t accept your identity, then you don’t owe them the time/money/responsibilities it takes to be in their wedding.” – ziggy_starcat32

Yep, this is correct.”

“I am getting married in a few months. My sister is a bridesmaid, and she prefers to wear men’s clothes. So she’ll be wearing the same suit as the groomsmen.”

“Why would ANYONE ever want another person to be uncomfortable in the clothes they’re wearing? For some freaking pictures?”

“Or because some a**hats don’t care about other people and will “talk” about it?”

“My fiance and I want my sister to be a part of our day, and I would never want her to feel anything less than like herself during it.” – Venssy

“I fail to see how a person in pants is THAT shocking after 1902. NTA” – Disastrous-Assist-90

“I live in an area with a heavy presence of 2 sects of Christianity that don’t allow women to wear pants, and I used to work catering events sometimes for weddings at a restaurant.”

“The number of times I was asked nicely not to wear makeup… if I could wear a long skirt that fit uniform, and then I would still get dirty looks from the attendees because I had a pixie cut back then…oh and definitely NTA to op” – ToastBusters21

“Even as a guest, being told as a woman I couldn’t wear trousers, I refuse to go. How rude.” – Randa08

I was ready to say to OP “Just decline to be in the wedding party; you can still go as a guest.” But as the bride and groom are dictating what guests wear, too, this is a solid NTA.”

“I am a cisgender midde-aged woman, and dress in pretty feminine clothes when dressed up, but I don’t wear dresses.”

“They are not the clothes that look best on me – flowy palazzo pants are my go-to.”

“I’d totally decline to go to the wedding as a guest if I couldn’t wear my regular formal attire! What is wrong with this controlling couple!” – nodumbunny

“NTA ’put your identity aside for one day’ clearly your mom isn’t as supportive as she seems with who you are.” – swagdaddio69

I’m 100% behind OP not going.”

“This is just me personally in my family dynamics. I’m gay. If my family asked it in a nice way, I would find someone to play “girlfriend” for some of my extended family’s events.”

“When I had a boyfriend, he was just “roommate” or “a friend” at these things (his family was the same, and he had no problem with this).”

“But this was me doing it because I know it wouldn’t improve my life one bit to come out to them.”

“But if I was told to “put my identity aside for one day” that would make me 180 on things and rock the boat. That’s a big enough fuse for me to set that family drama bomb off.”

“There’s nothing wrong with who I am. Now you’re going to have to talk to them instead.” – upsidedownbackwards


“Dress codes are things like ‘cocktail,’ ‘black tie,’ or ‘semi-formal.’ They’re not ‘people we decide are men must wear pants and people we decide are women must wear dresses.’”

“Your brother and his fiancée are being queerphobic, and it’s fine to absent yourself from such an event.”

“Mom’s comment about putting aside your identity for one day is awful. I’m so sorry. Perhaps you could ask her when she was last expected to abandon who she is for a day.” – embopbopbopdoowop

“NTA. I wonder how they would feel if you were getting married and told all your cisgender guests to put aside their identity for one day. Would your brother wear a dress because you asked him to?” – BlueRFR3100

NTA. Your family is being queerphobic freaks.”

“You have asked for accommodation, and you were told no.”

“You then said, fair enough, then I won’t go. You’re not showing up in a suit to spite them. You’re not dressing in non-binary flag colours.”

“You’re not crumpling up a pride flag and shoving it down their throats. (Personally, I think you should do all of the above.)”

“They INVITED you, and you said NO. You’re allowed to refuse an invitation.”

“It also sounds like your mom is uhhhhhh not handling your transition like a supportive parent should, to put it mildly.” – Kspsun

“As a fellow queer human, I’m saying NTA.”

“I don’t feel like the responses you’re getting are from people who actually understand the nuance here.”

“Their policy is ridiculous, and I’m assuming they made it purposefully exclusionary towards you. Because otherwise, why not say black tie or formal and let everyone do their own thing?”

“F them. Just politely decline.” – SnooCakes9110

“NTA. Having a gendered dress code is super tacky.” – Korkinator

“‘found out they went behind my back and involved my mom. She called me yesterday and told me I can put aside my identity for one day to make the day special for my little brother.’”

“I’m assuming that since your mom called you that you don’t live with your parents and are, therefore, an adult.”

“Your mom can’t tell you what to do. You’re not a child. If you don’t want to attend, don’t attend.”

“Your brother and his fiancee (and, by extension, your mother) are more concerned about a strict dress code than your presence at the wedding.”

“NTA” – mdthomas

Sadly, these people do not respect you. Would they ask a vegan to eat animal products because that’s what they want on their wedding day!?”

“These wedding-type posts are so aggravating – why do people getting married feel like they can disrespect people and get away with it!?”

“NTA” – thistreestands

A few Redditors did disagree.

I’m non-binary, and I’m sorry, but gently I think YTA. I’ve been to a lot of weddings with no gender-specific dress code.”

“However, regardless of that, I just hate dressing up. I don’t feel like myself in fancy clothes. I’m not comfortable in either a fancy dress or nice pants.”

“But I never have refused to go to a wedding of people I care about because of my clothing preferences. I set aside my identity on the superficial level of clothing for one day.”

“The fact that you care more about clothes than being there for your family says a lot. It also says a lot about how you view gender – that it is an aesthetic, not a personal internal experience.”

“You’re still non-binary in a dress. Gender is more than clothing. And being there for people you care about is more important than gender anyway.” – ExtremeNuance

Two Redditors offered an interesting compromise the OP seemed kind of into.

“Maybe a Kilt? Won’t work for the bridal party unless future SIL is willing to work with you.”

“As a butch lesbian, I wear my kilt and full regalia to heterocentric formal events. I still get to be me, and no one is freaked out by pants. Most of the time, people love my kilt and want to talk about it.”

“I usually wear a collarless shirt, and my fly or the full Prince Charlie coat with a shirt with ruffles.”

People can see feminine, but its all culturally correct, and I get to feel like me and not me in drag.” – Rothum90

“Was going to suggest kilt as well. Get yourself a nice rainbow tartan to really mess with their heads! There’s even an official LGBT tartan …well, if you’re into the whole clan tartan thing.”

The OP responded to that suggestion.

“I had no idea about the tartan! Thanks!”

While not everyone agreed on the OP’s a**hole status, hopefully their family can learn to truly support them.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)