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Trans man refuses to wear bridesmaid dress, 'I figured it wasn't malicious;' AITA?

Trans man refuses to wear bridesmaid dress, 'I figured it wasn't malicious;' AITA?

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We've heard of Bridezillas forcing their bridesmaids to get matching tattoos, dye their hair, or completely change their appearance for 'the photos,' but asking your friend to conceal their gender identity is a new one...

So, when a conflicted trans man decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about whether or not he'd be wrong to reject his friend's wedding party attire, people were ready to here the drama.

WIBTA if I don’t wear what the bride wants me to wear in her wedding?

I [24M] met my friend Elissa [26F] in college three years ago. We met in a class we hated, bonded over shared misery, and were roommates until she moved in with her boyfriend Marcus [25M].

She’s like a sister to me. I was stoked when she and Marcus got engaged, and even more stoked when she asked me to be in her wedding. Of course I said yes lol.

Now the issue: I’m trans. I came out earlier this year and have started transitioning, but I’m not really there yet (to be blunt, most days I look like a butch lesbian). At the time Elissa was very happy for me, but since then she’s occasionally been a little weird about it.

She hasn’t said anything outright unsupportive, but she’s said a few things here and there that have made me concerned. But she’s been good about using my name/pronouns etc so I figured it wasnt malicious.

Anyway a few weeks ago she added me to the wedding gc with her other attendant, the groom, his two attendants, and the officiant, and started sending examples of the sorts of things that she wants everybody to wear, with colors. For her side, she sent three dress styles to pick from.

I messaged her privately to ask her if she forgot I’m a man and don’t want to wear a dress? I figured maybe she got so caught up in wedding planning that she forgot. (I’m realizing how ridiculous this sounds as I’m writing it.)

She said that she thinks that I look enough like a woman that I should wear a dress anyway because she wants her attendants to match.

Like ok but I’m going on T and the way I look now might not be the way I look in six months. Like, I could grow a whole a*s beard between now and then (probably not but it could happen lol).

She said I could shave and wear makeup. I pointed out that my measurements might change. She said I could get the dress altered. At this point I could feel myself starting to get angry so I just said ok sure and put my phone down.

I really do not want to wear a dress, no matter how I look in it. I was ok with being called a bridesmaid, going to the bachelorette party and wearing all the stupid f*cking hashtag bridetribe LaSt PeNiS fOrEvEr!!!!! bullsh*t, even going to her bridal shower and doing a spa day, but this one…

I don’t think I have it in me. I thought, ok, well, it’s HER wedding and you only get one of those (hopefully lol) maybe I can just wear the dress for the ceremony and change right after, but the more I imagine what that would be like, the less I’m ok with it. I feel like...my body itself doesn’t want to wear a dress.

About half an hour ago I was trying to psych myself up for it and I felt like I was starting to dissociate just by thinking about it. I don’t want to step down because I love her like a sister and she only has two attendants and and the groom’s attendants are both his brothers so he can’t really ask one to step down either.

And knowing what her personality is like, if I did just show up in a suit, she’d be mad but I don’t think she’d try to stop me. So WIBTA if I do that?

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say:

ATru05 said:

NTA. Your friend is being disrespectful and dismissive in my opinion. It’s not a big deal to have you wear what you’re comfortable in while standing by her side. I would try and explain how this makes you feel and if she can’t empathize at all, maybe she’s not the friend you think she is.

Cat-Soap-Bar said:

Absolutely NTA. Why can’t you wear the same as the groom’s attendants? I would be petty AF and say you will wear a dress if all the other dudes are also wearing dresses.

hannahsflora said:

NTA. She's disrespecting you as a man, as a friend, as a person. 'You look like a woman, so wear this dress' - what the hell? No, that's not okay. It seems like she's having trouble accepting your transition, but that's 100% her problem to deal with, not yours.

That all being said, I would not just 'show up' in a suit - I would sit her down and talk to her. Tell her that wearing a dress is not something you are able to do, that it is deeply uncomfortable to you to a level that you can't just 'grin and bear it' with.

And that as a man and as her close friend, you hope she will be comfortable with you wearing a suit to her wedding and still standing up to support her in that attire. Make it clear that this is your red line and you will not be wearing a dress.

Then... go from there. My hope is that this will be the moment of clarity she so desperately needs, and she'll apologize and help you pick out a suit to coordinate with the dresses.

But if her reaction is anything less than a sincere apology and an enthusiastic consent to the switch in your attire, then I think that should serve as the information you need to end the friendship because clearly she isn't supportive of who you actually are and you don't need that in your life.

enthusicannoyance said:

NTA. I'm honestly not sure what direction your friend is trying to take you in - it's almost like she's trying to hide the fact that you are trans. You do not have to wear a dress, hell you can definitely find a suit that is the same color as the other attendant's outfits. I'm assuming you know her fiancé, is there a way to reach out to him and talk with him, get his advice or help?

enthusicannoyance said:

NTA. I'm honestly not sure what direction your friend is trying to take you in - it's almost like she's trying to hide the fact that you are trans.

You do not have to wear a dress, hell you can definitely find a suit that is the same color as the other attendant's outfits. I'm assuming you know her fiancé, is there a way to reach out to him and talk with him, get his advice or help?

knittingneedles321 said:

NTA...'Please invalidate your existence and pretend to be a woman because it's my special day. What do you mean, you're a man? ITS MY WEDDING' Is essentially what she is saying to you.

So, there you have it...

Looks like everyone agreed fully unanimously here that the bride is being laughably unreasonable to expect her friend to wear a dress. There's no reason why he can't wear a matching suit or whatever the other men are wearing that would sit be on-theme. Forcing your loved one to hide their authentic self for your bridal party Instagram aesthetic definitely isn't cool, though. Good luck, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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