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New Dad Balks After Wife Demands They Give Baby A Gender-Neutral Name In Case She Transitions In The Future


What’s in a name?

Some say nothing, others say everything.

Choosing a name can be an arduous task. You want it to be perfect.

But will it ever be?

Case in point…

Redditor TWbabyname wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for not giving our baby girl a gender neutral name?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Wife (27 F[emale]) and I (27 M[ale]) are expecting a baby girl by June.”

“We both agreed we wanted to know the baby’s gender just for curiosity since she is our first baby.”

“We have been together for 8 years and married for 2.”

“We have had the baby talk before and we discussed how many we plan on having, where, how far apart in age we would like them to be etc… names hadn’t been an issue until we found out the sex.”

“I love the name Juliet for a baby girl but my wife says she doesn’t want any traditional girl or boys name.”

“She wants a gender neutral name in case our kids ever decide they want to transition.”

“I agree there is some beautiful gender neutral names like Riley for example but even that name she says has become more female representing.”

“I mentioned to her that most people who transition end up changing their names to one they identify with.”

“So even if we were to give them a gender neutral name they might end up changing it.”

“I also mentioned some people change their names just because, my grandma being one of those people, and I used her as an example but she won’t budge.”

“Wife kind of threatened to not give me a choice and will tell nurses and doctors beforehand to not ask me for the baby’s information for the birth certificate.”

“I feel it is ridiculous and a name shouldn’t take away any rights or opinions on my baby girl.”

“I just need to know Reddit.”

“AITA for not choosing a gender neutral name for our baby girl?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

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

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. Take it from a trans person, you’re wife is very much over thinking this.”

“Your kid can always change her name whenever she feels like it, so picking a name to be gender neutral won’t actually matter that much.” 

“Some people might ask the parents what they would be named if they were born in the right body, but most just pick one themselves so it’s always a battle.”

“I didn’t even ask my mom, I just picked a name a friend of mine called me enough 😂.”  ~ zZombi__

“Lol I’m a girl named Tyler (consistently called Taylor).”

“But my mom almost named me Tamera however she saw me and was like ‘that’s no Tamera!’”

“But if I was a boy the name was Pierre… I go by Calypso 😂 OP your wife is waaay over thinking this. NTA.”  ~ HazeyDayze13

“A lot of people feel that choosing their own name is a trans right of passage.”

“It was for me — an important part of saying ‘yes, I’m trans,’ and legitimizing my identity to myself.”

“If you make it obvious you support her no matter what identity she adopts and she does happen to be trans, she may involve the two of you in her selection process or ask what name you might have given her if she’d been a boy.”

“Perhaps you should sit down with your wife and choose a feminine, masculine, and gender neutral name?”

“That way if she ever asks ‘what name would you have given me if x,’ you have an answer for her but she still gets the agency to choose her name for herself.”  ~ Nihil_esque

OP swung back to give a little more info…

“EDIT: The names I had in mind apart from Juliet was Orion, Violet, Scarlet and Dakota primarily traditional girl names.”

“Names she’s chosen are Hunter, Scout, Payton, Rory, Morgan and Kai.”

“I would love to those who are making and are planning on making hurtful, ignorant, and homophobic comments to stop and not comment at all.”

“My post is not about your hateful beliefs. Thank you.”

Everyone continued chatting…

“Going to add and say I’m nonbinary, and I had a gender-neutral name that my parents gave me.”

“And yet I still chose to change my name to a different gender-neutral name when I came out.”

“If you name your kid Juliet, she could decide to keep it, go by Jules, or change it to something else entirely.”

“Agreed with zZombi__ that your wife is overthinking this a bit.”

“(Although, I really like Morgan!)”

“Same. Some of the ‘gender neutral’ names OPs wife has picked out are definitely leaning one way or the other.”

“Scout for example – the only one I’ve heard of is the female lead character in To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Hunter (to me) is definitely masculine.”  ~ meowderina

“Another trans human here… you’re clearly NTA!”

“(Though this might be more of a NAH situation honestly.)”

“I’ve actually never heard the name Orion used for a girl before, and I have heard of it for a boy.”

“So if it’s commonly used for each, why isn’t your wife considering that??”

“It sounds like your wife is getting very hung up on a ‘what if,’ and while I think it’s great that she’s thinking through the possibility of your kid being trans, you’re so right that there are any number of reasons someone might want to change their name.”

“It also sounds like you both know and care a lot about the trans community.”

“And you would both support and love your kid if it turns out your child is trans.”

“Which is SO much more important than a name.”

“Maybe you can steer the conversation more toward your commonalities around that possibility?”

“And then see if you two can brainstorm names together once she sees you’re on the same page for the larger issue at hand.”  ~ Fair-Weather-Pidgeon

“Wife is an AH because she threatened to unilaterally decide herself for the birth certificate if OP won’t budge.”

“She doesn’t get to unilaterally decide and neither does OP.”

“This is something they need to continue to talk out but wife threatening to exclude OP from getting a voice makes her an AH.”  ~ otakuchips

“Naming the child is a 2 yes 1 no situation.”

“Your wife has no right to unilaterally decide on a name, just like you don’t.”

“You guys have to come to an agreement somehow or this will only fester and create resentment. NTA.”  ~ patchgrabber

“My name is feminine.”

“I go by a shortened gender-neutral but masc-sounding nickname, and have even considered shortening it further to just the first letter.”

“Changing my actual name doesn’t feel right, though.”

“Not every trans person exists on the binary of female and male, and a gender-neutral name isn’t going to change that, nor will it make your kid feel more comfortable in their gender.”  ~ Consistent_Air2485

“Correct me if I’m wrong, as this may sound terribly ignorant, but from what I’ve seen, don’t most trans people prefer to change their name anyway?”

“I’ve seen lots of people who still change their name while transitioning even if its gender neutral or has a feminine/masculine version.”

“To my understanding that was because even though the name itself may be gender neutral, the person has still grown up with it as their name as a female/male prior to their transition.”

“Picking a whole new name would theoretically mean they don’t have any of that um ‘baggage’  attatched to their name?”

“They get to choose one that works with their identity.”

“Please correct me if I’m way off base.”

“I have no personal experience, so I really don’t want to speak for anyone but that’s just what I’ve heard if that makes sense.”

“OP, you’re NTA and I think your wife is being too harsh with this.”

“She’s removed all compromise from the equation, is refusing proper discussion and has decided it’s her way on the highway.”

“I think that’s super unfair, this is both your child and you should both get a say.”  ~ Affectionate-Bit7266

“This is worrying to me.”

“Your child is not even here yet and she is already threatening to cut you out of a very important part of the baby’s life because you won’t do what she wants.”

“Also, I have never heard of anyone giving a child a gender neutral name in case they want to transition.”

“Like who is even thinking if that before a child is born.”

“I think some serious counseling should be in order because I personally would be worried about her projecting something she wants onto your child.”

“Some parents think they are being helpful by guiding a child from an early age to not identify with their gender.”

“That is no more helpful that forcing a female who prefers pants, short hair and no make up into dresses and highlights.”

“This is an actual issue that needs to be addressed before the child is born.”

“NTA by the way.”   ~ Awkward-Train1584

“NTA. A name doesn’t determine someone’s gender.”

“Your wife threatening you with that is a huge AH move though.”  ~ RichTransportation95

Well OP has a lot of support from y’all.

What an educational and thought provoking thread.

Maybe OP can persuade his wife to sit and read through all of this together for some compromise.

Good luck parents to be.