People experience gender—a largely social construct—differently and in recent years researchers have proven gender is more fluid than it is black and white.
Supporting those we love is important.
But what if your spouse’s choice of expression cost them a job? Or risked your home?
One Redditor by the name of rosegoldyeet turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgement on their own troubles when trying to support their non-binary husband’s style while in desperate need of employment.
“AITA for telling my non binary husband to change his clothes?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained their situation.
“My husband has massive gender dysphoria and recently came out as nonbinary (he/him), which isn’t an issue. The issue is he can’t hold a job down and now we’re losing the flat because of his loss of employment due to discrimination in his last job.”
“To be blunt, he’s .. quite open. He spoke openly about his sexuality (bisexual) and gender identity in his last workplace office and it offended the manager.”
”He also has super long hair, likes wearing lots of makeup, and dresses ‘traditionally feminine’, minus skirts and such. He has a job interview today.”
“We were told if he can’t secure this job, we’re most likely gonna lose the flat. He says he wants to wear makeup for the interview which is fine, but I admittedly was cringing inside because I knew how he does it.”
“He emerges happily from the bathroom with knee-high shiny high-heel boots, bright pink eyeshadow, sparkles scattered across his entire face, and deep cat liner.”
”I stopped him and asked if he was actually going to walk into the interview like that and he got immediately angry and started yelling at me, before sulking to the sink to wash his makeup off. He’s also opted for doc martens instead of the boots.”
“The thing is, I don’t really care what he identifies as and all other days happily go out with him when he’s dressed like that. But I feel terrible telling him not to be himself for the sake of his employment and a flat.”
”It was already hard enough for jobs to take him seriously before he properly came out due to his super long hair, but now it’s worse.”
“And we kinda can’t afford right now for a job to find a reason to discriminate against him, as wrong as that sounds.”
Redditors were asked to decide what they thought by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors reached a consensus declaring the OP was not the a**hole here.
“NTA. You’d tell a straight, cis woman that pink sparkle makeup and this type of clothing wasn’t appropriate for an interview. But there is ‘traditionally feminine’ clothing that is appropriate for interviews.”
“If your spouse wants to dress feminine for work, they need to get women’s business clothes, learn to do makeup that is done like an adult professional woman, not a 12 year old, learn to put their hair up in a professional looking style, (if long enough, a bun held with pretty hairsticks should work) etc.”
“It may also help for your spouse to consult with an LGBT/trans friendly job coach, to get an idea of how best to address the issue of being non-binary with potential employers, and to help establish the difference between being out as nonbinary (good) and over-sharing in a professional situation (not good.)”
“It does take time to learn these skills and how to use them in the new context of being out as non-binary. But these are not skills that your spouse needs to figure out on their own, so finding help makes sense.”
”A trip to a trans-friendly stylist who is willing to teach, and knows the skills for helping someone gendered male at birth present as feminine or non-binary, and a job coach to learn the skills to deal with these issues in interviews and the workplace, may help.”~Jazzlike_Humor3340
”NTA. Being professional and dressing appropriately for a job interview is simple adult responsibility. Its nothing to do with gender identities. He could dress feminine but still appropriately.”~Don’t-trust-it
”NTA – I’m nonbinary as well so I empathize with your husband, but honestly the issue here is not that his outfit was insufficiently masculine, it’s that it was wildly inappropriate for a job interview with any employer other than a strip club.”
”I pass as a cis woman and if I showed up to a job interview dressed as you described, no employer in their right mind would hire me. Which of course is not how it should be, but your husband is not going to change that reality OR help improve your shared circumstances by dying on this particular hill.”~invomitous-rex
“NTA. Regardless of gender identity, there is an expectation of professionalism at certain job interviews that knee high hot pink boots and glitter don’t match. Personally I wouldn’t take anyone of any gender identity seriously if they showed up to an interview like that if it was a professional setting.”
”He should be dressing similar to employees where he wants to work. An interview is when you impress your potential workplace and show them what kind of employee you would be. If dress code can’t even be attempted to be followed, then what else should they expect?”~FuriousPI314
The stressed out spouse added an update to their post.
Happily the pair were able to make amends and come up with a way to help the husband fine tune his style.
“UPDATE: he just got back from his job interview and seems in higher spirits. He apologised for yelling at me and told me he understands where I was coming from.”
”He’s still adamant he didn’t feel himself, to which I’ve offered to sit and help him find inspo online/practice new looks together. He’s happy to!”
”He said the interviewer was an old traditional lad, so he was actually glad I convinced him to change.”
“Apparently it went really well and they got on good. Thank you for all of the responses. Take care and stay safe everyone. :)”
It is lovely to see this couple found a compromise and that OP is taking action in an affirming way for their husband.