Woman Outs Her Transgender Sister To Her Kids — And Starts A Debate About Whether She Was In The Wrong

Photo: JessicaGirvan / Shutterstock.com 
Trans rights rally

A woman on the subreddit “AmItheA--hole” shared her story about a time where her sister’s kids were having a sleepover and she accidentally “outed” their mother.

She had no idea that her sister hadn’t told her kids that she was trans and, as she tried to explain the idea to them, her sister’s son thought it was funny and her daughter got upset.

Is she in the wrong for outing her sister to her kids?

The subreddit AITA (Am I The As****e) is a place for anyone to post their story, and receive replies and comments on whether or not their decisions are appropriate or not. 

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Initially, it seems like a simple accident that could be remedied by an apology to her sister, but the wording of the story and the way things ended implicates the original poster.

When her sister’s kids were sleeping over, they asked about a picture that was hanging up on the wall of their family when they were really young.

“My sister started transitioning in high school so I don’t really think of her as ‘trans,’” she said. “Like I know she wasn’t always a woman but old pictures of her are just pictures of her to me. And I sort of assume people know and it’s not a big dark secret.”

If the “she wasn’t always a woman” part didn’t hurt to read, it only gets worse as the story continues.

“Naturally, I responded honestly. I told them that was their mom, her daughter said she looked like a boy, and I said she was,” she said. “I tried to explain that she was a boy but now she’s not and her son thought it was funny, but it made her daughter really upset. I was surprised she kept it from them.”

Not all trans people have a consistent gender identity and we don’t really know how this person’s sister identifies on a daily basis or feels about their gender identity, but the purpose of transitioning is to finally be and feel like your authentic self.

When someone says that “this person used to be this gender,” it makes it harder for that person to feel like their authentic self because now her kids will stop seeing her as who she truly is as a woman.

“A few hours later, I have her husband on the phone asking what I said and calling me 'insane.' He said my sister is 'distraught.' He was saying I outed her and how cruel that was, but kids are pure.” 

A very core concept that she doesn’t seem to understand is how her sister feels. She keeps failing to mention that she might have hurt her sister, but continues to defend her actions.

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“Outing means nothing to them because you can teach them empathy and understanding,” she said. “There’s nothing to be afraid of, being outed to a kid.”

But it meant something to her sister, which is why everyone in the comments said that she was indeed “the a--hole.”

While the poster did say she apologized, she missed out on the very core reason of why she should have apologized in the first place — it wasn’t her story to tell, especially when she tells it wrong.

It doesn’t matter what the kids think, because it’s about her sister, and she even goes as far as to say she’s being dishonest with the kids, and that they might have lost their trust in her had she not told them and they found out.

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“I told her I did her kids a favour, which I believe, and then she said I’m never sorry about anything,” she said.

This rubbed a lot of people the wrong way because it feels like the poster has absolutely no remorse for their actions, and only cares that her sister got upset with her rightfully so.

She only really got the message after everyone in the discussion ripped her apart, and the only people who defended her were transphobes who were being rude to her sister.

“UPDATE: Okay, I'm in the wrong,” she finished her post. “The few people agreeing with me have been majority extremely rude and transphobic to my sister. I'll be apologizing to her. Please understand I did not want to make this a place where transphobes could spout rhetoric.”

Hopefully, she fully realizes the gravity of her decisions and learns from them in the future.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.