Jesse, a 16-year-old transgender male, faces a dilemma with family obligations and past promises while trying to assert his true identity. Was he being unreasonable or just being true to himself?
Jesse’s Childhood Promise
When Jesse was just five years old, he looked at the world through a different lens. Back then, he was a little girl, and his aunt was his hero, an angel in his eyes.
One day, this very aunt made him a promise that he, like any excited and loving niece, readily accepted. She asked him if he would be a bridesmaid if she ever tied the knot.
Young Jesse, delighted by the idea, gave her a resounding ‘yes.’
Coming Out as Transgender
But as the years passed, Jesse started figuring out a fundamental truth about himself: he was a transgender guy. This was a big deal, a major step, and he bravely chose to share this with his family.
Some reactions, however, were far from supportive. Among the cold responses, the most heartbreaking was from his aunt, who had once been his guardian angel.
Heartbreak From a Former Guardian Angel
Instead of standing by Jesse, she distanced herself, even treating him differently.
The Pain of Deadnaming
She continually used his old name (a term often referred to as ‘deadnaming’) and kept calling him her ‘niece,’ using ‘she’ and ‘her’ pronouns that no longer fit Jesse’s identity.
And she kept buying him dresses, not understanding that wearing one made Jesse feel uncomfortable.
A Sudden Rejection
To make matters worse, Jesse’s aunt did something that really ticked Jesse off. His older brother, who had been one of his biggest cheerleaders since he came out, was working for their aunt and her fiancé.
He had even dropped out of the 10th grade to work full-time.
Jesse’s Brother Replaced at Work
But out of the blue, the aunt replaced Jesse’s brother with a younger family friend. Jesse saw this move as pure spite, which made him even more upset with his aunt.
Setting the Record Straight
One weekend, Jesse’s phone rang. It was his aunt. She was excitedly talking about the bridesmaid dresses for her upcoming wedding, asking Jesse if he liked the colors.
Jesse, who is colorblind, responded by suggesting she should ask the other bridesmaids. But his aunt insisted, stating she wanted the opinion of all the bridesmaids. That’s when Jesse knew he had to set things straight.
Facing Anger and Accusations
Taking a deep breath, Jesse decided it was time to speak his mind. He gently but firmly told his aunt that he wouldn’t wear a bridesmaid’s dress, nor would he be a bridesmaid.
This revelation took his aunt by surprise. She called him a “jerk” and reminded him of the promise he had made years ago.
When she asked what he was going to do instead, Jesse didn’t back down. He said he would be attending the wedding just like any other guest.
Hearing this, his aunt got mad and hung up the phone. She then rang Jesse’s dad to tell him what happened.
A Father’s Support
Jesse’s dad, unlike his aunt, was understanding of Jesse’s perspective. But he did think Jesse could have broken the news to his aunt a bit earlier.
Jesse agreed with his dad, but he also felt that his aunt could have been more considerate and asked him about his feelings before assuming he was on board with being a bridesmaid.
Respecting His Identity
After all, Jesse thought, she knew very well that wearing a dress wasn’t his style. It felt like she wanted him to hide who he truly was, which Jesse was not okay with.
He Was Just Standing Up for Himself!
So the big question is: Was Jesse out of line in this situation? Or was he simply standing up for his authentic self?
Backing Jesse’s Right to Be His Authentic Self
Redditors thought Jesse was being true to himself and didn’t need to apologize for anything. They thought that his aunt was using her wedding as a way to publicly invalidate his transition and that he should respect himself, not something he said 11 years ago.
One user said, “Your aunt is trying to hold you to a promise you made when you were FIVE. She’s delusional, in addition to other issues. Ghost her, block her, and go NC with all of the transphobic relatives. Life is too short to put up with being gaslighted like that. NTBF by any stretch.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / kuzmaphoto. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.