The holidays can be a tumultuous time for many families — it’s not all cozy Hallmark movie vibes and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, unfortunately. That’s especially true for this Reddit woman, who’s taken to the platform’s “Am I The A—hole” forum for advice on a painful issue: Being required by her father to detransition in order to attend Thanksgiving dinner.
The woman explains, “About a month ago I transitioned socially from male to female and my father has not been happy with the change. We live in different states and are pretty distant.” She continues, “My stepmother wants me to come to family dinner and while I don’t mind traveling and would like to go, my father wants me to come as my old self. I have offered to come in jeans and sweater, but will not change the hair and nails for Thanksgiving.”
The red flags are immediate: Her admission that her father has “not been happy” with her physical form matching her internal identity, and his desire for her to be her “old self” — a person she never really was.
The woman continues, “He has refused allowing anything feminine as it might upset his friends and neighbors. My brothers think that me not coming is going to cause more issues than simply going as a guy but I stand by my decision to not go.”
So many more red flags here — the father being more concerned about what his friends and neighbors may think than his own daughter’s self-worth and state of mind, oxybutynin hydrochloride brand names her brothers being more worried about their father’s reaction to their sister being her true self than unconditionally supporting her as she is, and her comment about “simply going as a guy” feeling like a sad minimization of the issue. There’s nothing simple about being forced to be someone you’re not by the people who are supposed to love you the most, and our hearts ache for her.
We don’t know a lot about this woman’s family, but we know they don’t deserve her — and Reddit wholeheartedly agrees. Users flooded the replies with reaffirming messages, including, “If they want you there, then they can have you as you are: a woman. You deserve to be loved and respected for yourself, not for how well you can pretend to be the person they think you should be” and “It is fine for you to stand up for yourself. This is who you are, so your folks’ neighbors should know about it. It’s nothing shameful, nothing to be hidden away. Your dad is the one with the issue here, it’s not on you to be someone you’re not to make him more comfortable.”
Other users pointed out the consequences of giving in to her father’s unacceptable ask, writing, “Invitations that carry conditions rarely make people feel comfortable. If you give in this time, it will be expected every time” and “Everyone in your family seems focused on what will make your father comfortable. You need to do what makes you comfortable. Will you be happy being with your family on their terms? Or is it better to stay home?”
Another Redditor summed it up perfectly, writing, “If he doesn’t want you there, then there’s no reason for you to go. He wants someone else to go, and that person doesn’t exist. You’re under no obligation to dress up as that person for him.”
This woman is nowhere near alone in her battle with getting her family to accept who she is. According to The Trevor Project, “Fewer than 1 in 3 transgender and nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming.” The Human Rights Campaign also found that more than half of trans and nonbinary youth said they had been mocked by their family for their identity, reporting, “When family members reject, deny or disown transgender individuals, it can have a devastating effect on their well-being and self-worth. It can also impact educational, economic and housing stability and have long-term effects on mental health.”
Like the Redditors who flooded the replies with supportive messages, we hope the woman’s family can come to accept and love her as she is. If they can’t, we hope she can instead spend the holidays with her chosen family — people who unconditionally love her with zero compromises or demands regarding her identity required, or even thought of for that matter.
Before you go, check out these unbelievable stories about Reddit’s worst dads.
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