Post # 1
Um so I had no idea where to put this – I thought about either “etiquette” or “emotional” but since it doesn’t really fall into either, I’m just gonna go with the good ol’ beehive on this….
So my uncle, as of a few years ago, is now my aunt. Post-op. Now, I’m very progressive/liberal blah blah blah but I honestly do have a hard time using the preferred pronoun “she” and referring to “her” as my “aunt.” As far as I know, that is the preference of the transgender community, at least post-op. But it’s just not that simple. I grew up knowing him as my father’s brother. He was my uncle. More than even me or my mom, to my Dad it’s still his brother, you know? My Dad isn’t as liberal or accepting as my mom and I are when it comes to this type of thing, though he is by no means bigoted against the LBGT community, but I think it’s very hard for him to accept that his brother is now a woman, which to me is completely understandable.
Now, most of my family and friends know this, but FI’s fam and friends have no idea. Fiance, of course, knows. My real issue is, how do I deal with this in terms of introductions at the wedding? Do I introduce as my Aunt? Like seriously, WTF? As if family introductions aren’t hard enough!
Has anyone else been in this situation? Any LBGT bees out there want to throw in their two cents here? I don’t want to commit any sort of faux pas here but I also don’t want there to be hushed whispers about my transgendered uncle/aunt during my rehearsal dinner and wedding reception! I love my family and everything but they really don’t make it easy sometimes…
Post # 3
If she is now a “she”, then she is your aunt and should be introduced as such. It’ll make everything easier and I think it’s the most respectful way, too.
Post # 4
I agree with the pp. Your aunts backstory isn’t really any of their business.
Post # 5
O brother.. or sister.. haha.. sorry bad joke. Anyway, is there a need to introduce? If it were me I would just try to avoid it all together. You’ll be mingling and stuff but on that day I wouldn’t feel the need to introduce people unless they were at the same table and didn’t know each other.
Post # 6
She wants to be introduced as your aunt, you introduce her as your aunt. The back story is nobody else’s business.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel
I agree with the PP. She is now your aunt, and no explanation to FI’s family is required!
Post # 8
it’s not a problem unless other people make it an issue. it’s a wedding and people should be on their best behavior. i doubt it will even come up. if your family member now identifies herself as a woman than you should address her as such.
Post # 9
Agreed on the backstory not being anyone’s business, and I’m sure that if I even do any introductions myself (which frankly I’m going to avoid because half of the so-called “family” on my side that my mom insisted be invited I haven’t even seen since I was a toddler and will inevitably forget or screw up names), I would obviously use Aunt. But I do worry that some of the family members on my side in the know, once they’ve had a few, may decide to start gossiping. And while that isn’t really my problem and shouldn’t be my concern on the day, right now it makes me nervous. I just want HER to be comfortable, you know? But I guess I can’t help it if that does happen. Sometimes I wish I didn’t give a s**t about anyone’s feelings. Life would be so much easier…
Post # 10
I doubt anybody will question your aunt, anyways.
By The Way, i have a calculus teacher of mine from 4 years ago who used to be in the army! Has 4 young boys, a wife, and now wears sweaters and pink clothes and dresses to work. Unfortunately the voice is a dead giveaway and I don’t know if my teacher is taking hormones or not, but she looks VERY much like a he still! There was some gossip but I think eveyone’s over it basically.
For lack of being insensitive, somebody like my prof would stand out and raise questions. But if your aunt has had all the surgeries, no way will anybody even question it. Introduce her as “she” as it is respectful, if introductions even come up at all.
I can imagine it’s a unique situation knowing someone as they once were, but she is who she is now and I’m sure she’d appreciate your…tact (?) regarding the matter? Maybe tact is the wrong wrod. Perhaps sensitivity is. As in, don’t draw attention to it if she doesn’t want it there.
Post # 11
She is definitely not OBVIOUS and I really don’t think anyone would know if they weren’t explicitly told, so here’s hoping the people who do know the backstory also know to be discrete about it. Knowing some of these people, though, that may be a stretch. Sigh.
Post # 12
I would honestly just ask your aunt how she would like to be introduced and call it a day. Just be respectful of her wishes and what makes her comfortable. She may not even want to be introduced, you know?
I can imagine this is hard on you. Having known someone for so long and then to completely do a 180 like that must be emotional tiring at points. But kudos to you for being accepting and supportive.
Post # 13
It’s not really that hard on me personally. I’m a live and let live girl. I’m more concerned with my Dad’s comfort level to be honest. I just can’t see him using the term “sister” or even the she pronoun and I’ve tried to play out scenarios in my head and how he would react to someone coming up and saying “Oh I met your sister” or whatever and, I dunno, it’s just kind of awkward. Pops IS footing the bill for this shindig and I don’t want him to be uncomfortable, but he was fine with inviting her. Also, my cousin (“aunt’s” daughter from before the operation, obvi) will be there too and I haven’t seen her since long before any of this went down. I wonder what their relationship is like now…
Thinking about stuff like this makes me kind of angry about the cuts I’ve had to make from the guest list. Like, I’m sitting here being like HMMM I wonder what my cousin looks like now and what her relationship with her transgendered father is, and then I have to go and tell friends of mine I can’t invite them? Like WTF is that? That should be a separate post, though, huh? 🙂
Post # 14
I think the more embracing everyone is of your ‘aunt’, the easier it will be for your father. It would be disrespectful and just plain odd to call your aunt your uncle (even though that’s who she was). Your father will likely always have a difficult time with it, just in the way it’s a bit strange to you (as you’ve always known him as your uncle).
I think you should just let the chips fall as they may and try your best not to worry about it. People will have their own reactions and your father is willing to accept the social challenges of being with his new sister, since he’s ok with her being there.
There’s bound to be some awkward moments between those who know – and imagine how your aunt must be feeling!!! – but anyone who doesn’t know the back story doesn’t need to be informed of such and the more ‘normal’ you try to make things (ie: introducing her as your aunt) the better the transition will be over time.
Post # 15
I think you shouldn’t worry too much about your cousin & aunts relationship. If you haven’t heard otherwise, I’d assume they’re okay and/or working it out.
Are you going to be personally introducing all your family members to his family? I think she’ll introduce herself as “Kittyachi’s Aunt” so if you were to refer to her as your uncle it would require some explaining.
Post # 16
Oh i see what you are saying. HOpefully your family just keeps their damn traps shut! It’s rude to gossip
Have you emailed her? If you are close like that–you could ask her if she’s concerned. I”m sure she’s met lots of adversion and will probably tell you not to worry. Tell your dad you’re just concerned he’ll give it away and maybe he’ll just act cool. In the long run, she is sitll his sibling and while he may not agree/approve, i doubt he’ll throw her under a bus.
There may be a few rude people, but mostly, it sounds like people will be accepting and not care. That quells gossip quickly
Plus, who’s gonna gossip when they’re there for YOUR wedding? HOpefully the topic is about you and your Fi and how pretty blah blah blh