In a recent Reddit post, a mother shares her experience of taking in her nephew, who is a transgender teenager, after his parents failed to provide understanding and compassion.
A Mom of Five
The Original Poster (OP) is a 39-year-old with five children.
Her eldest, Jess, revealed to her that she was a Trans woman while OP was expecting her now-3-year-old.
Although it was unexpected, OP has done everything in her power to help her daughter.
A Supportive Mother
OP struggled to get her on hormones, and she and her husband have been saving for any future gender-affirming surgery their daughter might need.
Jess was welcomed by the majority of OP’s immediate family members, but they had to cut out many people because not everyone favored Jess. OP says she doesn’t feel bad about it.
OP’s cousin Jennie and her husband Dan are two examples of people OP cut out.
OP spoke with them during family get-togethers before Jess’ transition, but they were never really close.
Her Cousin Was Outspoken About Her Trans Son
Jennie sent OP a lengthy text message stating that even though she loved OP’s “son,” they couldn’t support this “phase of his.”
Then OP stopped them right away and stopped talking to them. OP hasn’t seen them since then.
Her cousin now has her own children.
The story began when her cousin’s middle child contacted OP two months ago and requested to see her.
Her Cousin’s Son Reached Out
When OP went to see her nephew, it was obvious that the 19-year-old was in pain.
As they spoke, he acknowledged that he had attempted to come out to his parents on his own, but they had rejected him and blamed OP’s daughter for planting thoughts in his head.
He continued to live as a girl in the presence of his parents, who would make transphobic comments about OP’s daughter they no longer spoke to.
As a result, OP said he is always welcome at her house.
She Took Him In
A week later, he moved in. Since then, he has been with OP’s family. He’s chosen a name, Mason, and he already exudes such joy.
He recently requested permission to use OP’s last name when he formally requested a name change, claiming he no longer felt like his parents’ child.
OP agreed to it.
He Changed His Name and Used Her Surname
Since he has been living with OP, his parents have shouted at him on the phone rather than ever asking him how he is, if he is secure, etc. They have demonized OP and her daughter in several Facebook posts that Mason himself has shown OP, alleging that she has “preyed” on their defenseless daughter. At every turn, they’ve given him a dead name.
OP says she doesn’t believe she did anything improper here.
However, OP’s friend claimed that by allowing him to adopt her last name, she was destroying any hope of reconciliation with his parents. The friend further stated that when OP should be trying to urge his parents to welcome him, it’s like she’s claiming him as her own child and pushing them away.
Shouldn’t Have Involved Herself
Others believe that OP shouldn’t have gotten involved at all, and his parents are certain that OP ought to have avoided it. Some family members advised OP to wait until his parents accept the name change.
But OP says all she wants is for Mason to feel at ease. She took to Reddit to ask if she was wrong for what she did.
Several Redditors sided with OP and shared that she was not wrong.
One Reddit user wrote, “You did a wonderful thing for this young man. It’s clear he very much appreciates you. He is 19 and this name choice is his choice, not yours. The only thing I’d suggest is letting him know changing his last name is a big deal and will be hard to change later so you just want him to be positive that it’s what he wants. You’re honored, but regardless of his last name he is still your family and that’s all that matters.”
Another Redditor commented, “You can never be a [jerk] to save someone from homophobia, especially this kind of virulent case. Jess and Mason living their best lives is both the deserved outcome and sharpest revenge.”
So what do you think? Was OP in the wrong here?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.