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Trans Man Refuses To Stand On Sister’s Side At Wedding Because People Will Think He’s ‘A Girl’


Redditor bridesman16 is a 27-year-old woman who is getting married next year.

We all know how stressful it is to plan the perfect wedding, and the road to her nuptials was no exception.

The drama involved her and her brother butting heads over his position in the wedding party, which led to him making her out to be a bridezilla.

She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for asking my trans brother to be my ‘bridesman?’”

The Original Poster (OP) explained what led to their conflict:

“My (27 F) brother ‘Jake’ (fake name; 25 M) transitioned from female to male three years ago. I was and am completely supportive of him.”

“I am getting married next year, and I’ve been gathering my bridesmaid team. My twin sister is going to be my maid of honor, and it was also important for me to have Jake with me at the alter.”

“So, I asked Jake if he would be my ‘bridesman’ and be part of my side of the wedding party. I didn’t think it would be an issue at all, but Jake freaked out.”

“Jake said that he should be a groomsman for my fiancé because he doesn’t want to be seen with my bridesmaids (all 3 of whom are girls) because people will just think he was a girl.”

“He accused me of asking him to be a bridesman because I still thought of him as a girl, which isn’t true.”

“I explained to him that it didn’t make any sense for him to stand by my fiancé because they’ve only met a handful of times, and my fiancé already has the budget-approved number of groomsmen.”

“And besides, Jake is MY brother, and I want him to stand by and support me during the wedding. Plus, before Jake transitioned, I always planned to include him in my wedding. So why should his gender change anything about that?”

“I see his argument that it might make him feel dysphoric, but having bridesmen is becoming a more common tradition. Besides, he has a beard and he’d be wearing a suit, so there’s no way anyone would think he was a girl.”

“Jake and I fought back and forth for a while, and I finally snapped and told him he couldn’t be in the wedding at all if he didn’t want to stand on my side.”

“He called me an a**hole, and it made me feel awful. I guess I needed to vent about it to strangers, so AITA?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole here.

“NTA, you aren’t telling him he has to restrict how he dresses, or making him dress like a gender he isn’t – this has no element of transphobia, he can be the bridesMAN he actually is.”

“I always think it’s weird when people stand on the opposite persons side to keep genders separated. He’s a brides’ man, he’s your bro.”

“But if you’re from an area where that’s super weird I can kinda get where he’s coming from.” – whateverathrowaway00

“I went to a gay wedding once where both grooms had a male/female mix on both sides. Some naturally ended up paired male/female but there were two female/female pairs too.”

“No one cared, pics looked awesome and it’s one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. Appreciate it’s not a ‘traditional wedding’ but I’m English and of all the weddings I’ve been to only one was in a church with bride/female party and groom/male party scenario as it’s becoming less about tradition now and more about celebrating the people instead of the church.” – Throwmelikeamelon

“I was a bridesmaid in a wedding 6 years ago where the best ‘man’ was a woman. She wore a similar but slightly different dress to the bridesmaids. She did the stag do and also attended the hen do as the dd lol.”

“I also plan to ask my guy friend to be a bridesman in my future wedding, and my ex-fiancé was planning to have our mutual girl friend (how we met) be his groomswoman.”

“He can choose not to be a bridesman if he doesn’t feel comfortable, but him claiming you’re being transphobic is out of line. NTA.” – I_Have_Questions95

“I plan on having bridespeople regardless of gender whenever I get married. Perhaps even combining wedding parties, since mine and my partners’ friends overlap to such an extent that it would be weird to have to choose or make our friends choose which ‘side’ to be on.”

“Of course, me and my partner and most of the people I would want to consider for the wedding party are LGBTQ+, so the wedding culture is less gendered to begin with.”

“I can understand why OP’s brother would react negatively to being a bridesman if he would be the only person who was not the same gender as the member of the couple they were on the side of.”

“If he was cisgender, he might care less since no one would see it as challenging his gender (barring awful levels of masculinity where anything not hypermasculine means you must be less than other men), but since he’s likely spent years having his gender challenged, this is potentially a sore point for him.”

“OP is definitely NTA, and IMO the brother is only somewhat and understandably an AH. I hope he thinks about it and is able to come around to the idea, and that his response was just a bad knee jerk reaction.” – colorsofthestorm

“If this is a sore spot for OP’s brother because he thinks it’s challenging his gender by being the only guy on that side, then he might want to talk to someone about that as to why it makes him feel that way. Doesn’t even have to be a councilor or therapist, can be a close friend or family member.”

“I’m trans myself so I get the dysphoria and how much it sucks and hurts to be misgendered. At the same time though, I know not everything is gendered and when I start putting gender to things that really don’t need it, I know I need to talk to someone.”

“And weddings are one thing where, if he’s putting gender to it because the names(groomsman, bridesmaid), he needs to talk to someone as to why. While the terms groomswomen and bridesman aren’t often used(that I’ve seen), there have been female groomsmen and male bridesmaids in a ton of weddings before OP’s.” – KupoKro

“Trans guy here.”

“To a point I can understand the dysphoria it might give him, but to immediately jump to accusations of transphobia definitely was bit much. If he was bothered by the notion could’ve kindly said ‘I want to support you but I feel like that would give me dysphoria.’ And you could’ve said ‘That is not what I intended, but I understand if it would be too much for you.’”

Personally I wouldn’t be bothered by this and I would’ve been honoured to be a bridesman at my sisters wedding, since I’m not really big on the whole traditional wedding rules.”

“Plus, the idea of only girls on the brides side and only men on the grooms side is slowly becoming not the norm anymore. When I get married I’m going to have both a best man and a best women. But not everyone is like that.”

“Overall I’m gunna go with NTA but I’m hesitant to call him an asshole if he’s put up with a lack of acceptance from his family in the past because that can put someone on edge, always wondering if the acceptance is real or just to keep the peace.”

“I think your best course of action here is to explain that you didn’t mean to cause harm by putting him what is usually perceived as a traditionally feminine role, and you support him fully and simply want him there to support you. If he refuses to accept that and see it in any way other than the way he currently is, then that’s on him.” – deaddlikelatin

“As another trans guy i think this is the best response i’ve seen so far, jumping to transphobia was too far and a very defensive reaction on his part, but i also understand why it may be dysphoria inducing.”

“what all the cis people in this comment section are failing to understand is that dysphoria isn’t logical, no matter how much you know something like being a bridesman doesn’t actually invalidate your gender, your brain has already been programmed to associate that with your gender assigned at birth, and you’re hyper aware of this association because of the incongruence in your assigned gender and gender identity.”

“it’s hard to undo years worth of societal programming no matter how illogical is, especially when those associations have been the cause of so much distress. especially since it sounds like everyone on the groom’s side is male and everyone besides him on the bride’s side is female it reinforces that more in his brain, and he probably doesn’t feel comfortable being a part of things like hen’s nights that come along with being a part of the wedding party when everyone but him is a girl too.”
– trashcanofficial420

In case anyone was wondering, the OP updated the post to clarify:

“He’s still invited to the wedding as a guest, I just told him he can’t be in the wedding party if he’s not a bridesman.”

Although Redditors understood the brother’s frustration in feeling dysphoric, they hoped he would reassess and strongly reconsider accommodating his sister’s wishes on her wedding day.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo