- 4 years ago
- Wedding: October 2014
We’ve been invited to FI’s baby brother’s wedding in January, and while we’re super excited for him — he’s a great guy, we’re on good terms with him and we love his fiancée — FI and I are having a hard time deciding want to do about it because of FI’s family.
Here’s the basic info: FI is a transman, as in, he was assigned female at birth and has since transitioned to male within the past two years. He’s in the process of medical proceedures and legal proceedures to make this official, so it’s been ongoing and it’s a final decision. His family is conservative Evangelical Baptists, save for FI’s two brothers, who are about as liberal as FI and myself. FBIL goes to an Evangelical church, but he’s socially liberal, and neither he nor his fiancée have any issues with the gender stuff. FI’s parents and extended family, however, are having a very hard time dealing with it, to the point that we’re not invited to holidays and we’re only on the barest speaking terms to FI’s mother. FI’s parents used to really like me, until they realised that I was FI’s girlfriend, and now my Jewishness is a problem and between the trans* stuff and my existence as FI’s fiancée, they can’t cope. They tell FI that this is all against Jesus’ plan for his life so they cannot support him in any of it, they insist on calling him by his birth (female) name rather pointedly, and are generally passive-aggressive and unpleasant while doing the whole “hate the sin but love the sinner” routine.
So we’re looking at an Evanglical Christian wedding attended by FI’s Evangelical Baptist family, most of whom (including the extended family) either refuses to acknowledge that FI is trans* or has actively not been told since his parents are hiding it and calling FI a lesbian instead. This will be the first time most of them, including his elderly grandparents, will be seeing him as a man, and most of the family doesn’t know about our engagement, since his parents disapprove and refuse to tell anyone about it since it’s embarrassing to them. The difficulty is that we really want to go to support FBIL and fiancée. But we’re also deeply afraid of FI’s family causing a scene with FI and I, and ruining the day for FBIL and fiancée (to say nothing of how awful it would be for FI!). FBIL’s fiancée wants me to do her flowers for her, which I offered to do as a wedding gift, and that’s happening regardless of whether we attend, because we want to support them both. They know we love them and we’re happy for them, that’s not an issue.
What is the polite and reasonable thing to do here, Bees? Go to the ceremony only, which has less of a chance for scene causing? Go to the whole shebang, family and potential scenes be damned? Decline the invite and just drop off the flowers in the morning? The wedding is in a month. FI is really upset about this. There’s little chance of getting people in his extended family to come on our side — they’re even more conservative than his parents are. We really don’t want to make problems for FBIL and his fiancée, but we want to support them. I know a lot of people take it personally when siblings don’t attend weddings, and FBIL and his fiancée clearly want us there. This one is hard, and I’d love advice.