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Parent refuses to get neck tattoo removed of teenager's deadname; says 'my body my choice.' AITA? UPDATED.

Parent refuses to get neck tattoo removed of teenager's deadname; says 'my body my choice.' AITA? UPDATED.


When this mom feels pressured by her teenage son to get his deadname removed from her neck, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for not a getting tattoo removal procedure to remove my child’s deadname from my body?"

Hi everyone, I’m 36f. I have 2 daughters, one of which came out as trans a year ago. Let’s call them Maria(17) and Anna (15, my trans child). I would like to start by saying that when Anna came out, I had no problems so long as her transition didn’t come in the way of school or grades.

The problem however, is I have Anna’s “deadname” tattooed on my body. I have had the tattoo since she was a toddler. It’s pretty visible as it’s on my neck, and everytime Anna sees it she gets visibly upset. “Anna” is her new name. (It’s a fake name but she has a girls name now).

She’s told me she’s looked into tattoo removal surgery and recommended that I get it removed, or covered with her new name. While I do have the money for it, I do not think it’s something I want to deal with.

After all, it is just a tattoo and I don’t think I should have to get it removed to show my love and dedication for this new identity. Anna however has accused me of not taking her seriously, and that if I truly loved or cared I’d get it removed.

OP adds this update:

I do understand getting the tattoo removed or covered would show dedication but I truly do not see it as necessary. I think she’s being absolutely ridiculous pushing the issue.

I’m an adult after all and can make decisions about my own body, just as she can. My body my choice. This issue has put a strain on our relationship and now she barely looks at me these days. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought of this.

operationiv7 writes:

Listen...not going to comment on if you're an AH or not, but is this really the hill you want to die on? That being said, DO NOT tattoo their new name on your neck. This is a stupid idea. They are 15 and I can almost guarantee they will change their name multiple times before settling on one.

If you are going to cover it up, cover it up with something else entirely. Their birth month flower, perhaps?

trilobyte7 writes:

NAH because it's your body, you can do what you want with it, but you also can't stop your daughter from seeing your choice as a sign that you don't accept her deep down.

This IS going to affect your relationship with her whether you like it or not. Her deadname upsets her, she can't see you without being confronted with it, and you're all surprise-face that she doesn't want to look at you?

Bluntly, you have a choice. What do you value more - your money/tattoo, or your relationship with your daughter? You have a right to make that choice in either direction, but you need to be able to accept the consequences for it.

jayphrax writes:

I would say YTA, bcs this is what I hear reading this post. “My tattoo makes my child visibly upset. I can do it without issue, but I just don’t feel like it. I’ll choose to let her suffer instead.”

So yeah… you can make whatever decisions about your own body you want. Your decisions also affect others, in this case on your kid. Ever think she may want to see you less for this? Or do you even truly care since her happiness isn’t even worth getting it covered/removed to you.

erinjeffereys7 writes:

You allowed your daughter to transition as long as it didn't interfere with her grades? Wow. How generous of you.

It's kind of funny for you to pull out the Bodily Autonomy card after you already made it clear that your children only have limited autonomy as far as you're concerned. Should we see how well you do on the SATs before we decide if you can keep your tattoo?? You need to keep your grades up, after all, and set a good example.

Cover your tattoo up and stop making your child see her deadname every time she looks at you...or don't complain when she goes no contact with you so she doesn't have to see her deadname anymore.

YTA, by the way, but I suspect you already knew that. There is no way you are a supportive parent in this while you're calling your daughter dismissive names ("absolutely ridiculous") for not wanting to be reminded of her deadname constantly.

Would you want a loved one wearing a tattoo of your shitty ex? Your abusive father? Your childhood bully? A deadname has trauma associated with it that you cannot comprehend. And you're unwilling to even try.

ETA: You don't seem to be getting this (and honestly I hope it's fake) but I'll try again: you saddled your child with that deadname which was then used to hurt her for 14 years (and ongoing, because I assume you haven't been able to change it legally yet).

You didn't mean to hurt your daughter, I get it, but intentions aren't a magical shield that prevents harm from happening. The least you can do is help your child change her name everywhere. Or buy cover-up makeup. Or embrace cute scarves. That is the bare minimum for support here.

sinacius writes:

NTA. You respect your child's decision. Your child, trans or not, should respect your bodily autonomy.

Having the deadname on your body is a testament to an important part of your history and memory that isn't changed just because the child decided to change their name and identify with another one and it is unfair of them to make demands of you like this.

I'm not going to pretend to understand why seeing it is so upsetting to your kid, they can think of it as a memorial to who they used to be if it bothers them, imo, but again, I'm not in your situation.

Has she offered to *pay* for the removal and/or cover-up? If this is putting an enormous strain on your relationship and means so much to your child, is this the hill you want your relationship to die on?

Maybe look into getting the both of you into counseling. A mom who supports a trans kid is already an enormous step for you and I don't think your kid realizes how much of an ask this really is...

you are never going to forget the child you raised with that name, no matter who they become as they grow and it doesn't seem fair to me that you're expected to.

papakain writes:

YTA- You don't think it's necessary to show dedication to your child?? You're showing her you care more about your memories of her than her as a living person. Put yourself in her shoes.

EVERYTHING in her life is changing, and all she needs is for you to show her you believe and respect her, and her decisions. Hell, you don't have to cover it with her name now, you could always just cover it with whatever and after however long get a new tattoo with her chosen name.

sneakyrind writes:

YTA. You don't have a random name on your skin. You got that tattoo to honor your child, but turns out it's a source of grief for your child. Her own mother is clinging to a part of her past-self she wants to get rid of because it was wrong for her, it makes her feel bad.

And you are essentially saying that her mental well-being is not important enough for you to go through that procedure. Of course she won't look at you, what did you expect? That tattoo is painful for her.

You can decide over your body, sure, but you must also accept the consequences like the adult you claim to be. So think carefully about what matters the most to you.

ETA: OP didn't lose a child. She lost the expectations and assumptions that she made about her child.

She's honoring the part of Anna that Anna wants to erase - not when OP taught her how to ride a bike, or read her stories, or when her first tooth moved, but the part of her identity that was wrongly (not on purpose but still wrongly) assigned to her and that she rejects.

If OP would rather cling to that fantasy child she never had to begin with, she'll have to accept the possibility of losing a good relationship with the person that was there all along, under a wrong name.

Jury's OUT on this one. Is OP TA here? What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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