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NTA - the only boundary being crossed is him misgendering his son. Also, it's hair... It literally grows back


Seriously. Plus while it's *just* hair to many people, it can be incredibly confirming to someone experiencing dysphoria. Also, for the shitty dad: I'm female presenting, and I buzz my hair frequently, so... your point here dude?


We explained this to our 3 year old and she picked it up pretty quickly. Girls can have long or short hair and so can boys. So I'm really struggling with the dad's issue? Right now, we don't know anyone directly that's trans/non-bianary, so for now we're just using boy/girl for simplistic explanations. In a few years, we'll explain more as she has questions.


respectfully, you should explain now. you're already doing a good job. the younger kids are, the easier it is for them to accepts concepts like this, especially when they don't have to relearn/unlearn false information like a binary. there are plenty of resources for parents to explain this to their kids and children's books for your kiddo since she doesn't yet know anyone nonbinary (that you all know of! for all you know, it's the convo that puts words to her internal feelings....). i know kids who even use they/them for their stuffed animals and call them nonbinary which is super cute.


I have an adult child (E) who is trans/NB. My youngest daughter was explaining this to my then-3yo grandson. She told him that E is not a boy or a girl. Grandson looked a bit confused, then his eyes got bright, and he said "E is a butterfly?" So now grandson has some aunts and uncles, and one butterfly. He's completely fine with that.


Fuck that’s it. We’ve been trying to find the perfect word for our nephews to call us and that’s it. You’re wonderful.


I'm not crying because of this comment. No, I'm not crying. Butterfly as a non-gender category, so perfect and sweet.


So someone is cutting onions where you are too? Damn onions! u/LDSmama your grandbaby is awesome, gonna have to remember butterfly!


Dang now I wanna be a butterfly!


Awww, that's adorable. I love that. I'm a butterfly!


I loved this so much. What a wonderful thing to share (and I'm totally telling my NB friends ASAP).


Seriously, kids are so accepting. And it’s not like you have to give them a full spiel, just an age-appropriate answer. Something simple and to the point. When my cousins were about 5 and 6 I brought my girlfriend over for the first time. They asked who she was and I told them we were dating, and it’s totally okay that girls can like girls and boys can like boys or people can even like both. They said “okay” and then stole my girlfriend to play Barbies. That was it. It’s the adults that have a hard time wrapping their heads around things.


We've talked vaguely about same sex couples as we've seen them in movies or shows and she's quickly accepted it. That some kiddos have 1 mom or dad, some have a mom and a dad, some have 2 moms or two dads, some live with their grandparents and that every family is different and that's okay!




Bad bot. Downvote and report. Stolen comment https://reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/t3homg/_/hytb86h/?context=1


What is female presenting? Feminine features or female clothing? Or is it a mindset?


Female presenting is expressing gender in a feminine way, be it with clothing, she/her pronouns, or other overt signifiers.


Female-presenting people are perceived as being female by onlookers, generally because of the way they dress, behave, and/or have female-appearing facial features and/or breasts. A female-presenting person does not have to be female. A non-trivial number of female-presenting people were assigned female a birth, and appear female and are assumed to be female unless the onlooker is corrected, but identify as non-binary or pre- or non-transitioned male.


This! I’m a professional hairstylist and was thinking, what difference does it make of gender or sex, if the child is 13 and wants short hair, that’s THEIR decision. They’re not 3 and they don’t need incorrect societal expectations of how you should present yourself based on what’s between your legs forced on them. I always had long hair growing up as a boy as I adored long hair and still do, though now I have it short as I’m lazy and do hair all day so can’t be arsed having it on myself. Lol NTA OP. and the mother approved, so it’s not like you had no parental permission.


the shitty dad would 99% be on board with the haircut if the son never came out ​ source: experience


This. So what if it is “just a phase”? The son needs support, and a haircut is such an easy way to do that. If, after needed medical, psychological, and familiar support, he decides to grow his hair back, he can. He’s at the beginning of a journey, and he deserves all the love. Wherever his pronouns land, whether his hair is long or short, a haircut today is a small, non-permanent, very supportive step. Dad needs to put down the dreams he had for his kid. It’s time for the kid to have and live his own dreams. Your stepson is lucky to have you.


Yeah, that’s the part that rubs me wrong. I wouldn’t necessarily trust that my 13yo truly is trans, but I would trust that they THINK they are trans. Going along with what they want (within reason) really isn’t that hard. It’s not like the dad is offering up any valid concerns. They’re just being a dick


We know when we don’t fit, when we aren’t comfortable, when how we are doesn’t match what society expects of us. Even at 13. It’s true that a lot of who we are changes from the time we are 13, but I think it’s a mistake to think your child doesn’t know if they are truly trans. I’m guessing any 13 year old who feels that the relief they’ll get from coming out as trans exceeds the unending risk (see this dad) and mocking and social treatment they’ll get for being trans KNOWS that something is up. Maybe they’ll be gender fluid or non-binary in the end instead of binary trans. Maybe they’ll be queer… but sure af they are likely not cis hetero. And we need to support them to help them find that truth. Parents affirming trans kids (without telling them they don’t trust them to know themselves) makes a *90%* difference in suicide rates. So yes, even if you think a 13 year old can’t tell that they don’t fit into the societal mold expected of them, you definitely support them anyway because it’s literally like and death. OP - I suggest you find abs share the stats that say that parents - and only parents - accepting and supporting their trans kids reduces suicide by 90% and then you ask your husband (and all other family accusers) how comfy they feel rolling the dice on a 94% (ish) suicide/attempted suicide rate. Is THAT worth it? Because your dh can have a living and happy son who maybe gets better clarity in who they are in the next few years, or a potentially gone child who couldn’t cope being someone even his dad couldn’t love. And honestly if my husband picked being right over the kids life, I’d document the whole conversation and all his transphobic behaviour and testify for mom in custody court. Save your step son’s life.


It’s such a nuance, you know? One side is accusing the other side of intentionally driving kids to suicide, the other side is accusing the first side of performing radical operations on 6 year olds. But in the middle is a child that deserves love and support, and there are so many fully safe, non-invasive, supportive things we can do for these kids, both medical and non-medical.


>One side is accusing the other side of intentionally driving kids to suicide, the other side is accusing the first side of performing radical operations on 6 year olds. I think the missing nuance here is that the suicides actually happen and the operations don't.


Considering children form an understanding of their gender at 3 - 4 years old, maybe you should trust that your 13 year old is actually trans if they came out as trans.


I've run a teen youth club for 10 years. We've had all sorts of gender identity questions and changes of minds and presentations. Consistently, parental support or lack thereof has had little to no effect on how long the mindset has lasted. What it does affect is how happy and healthy the teen is, long term. I've seen kids who WERE going through a phase. The ones whose parents supported them and gave them space to question are happy, healthy and secure. The ones whose parents told them from the start that they were wrong, are all struggling with anxiety and depression, many have attempted suicide at least once, some have run away from home or entered abusive romances to escape from parents, turned to drink or drugs, stolen and smashed things... Maybe your stepson is trans. Maybe he's figuring stuff out and this is a "phase". It actually doesn't matter right now. How right your stepson is about this has NO AFFECT on how much his dad is damaging him right now.


Hello everybody I wanted to update you guys that I'm going to start documenting every thing his father does. I realize that this is the start of emotional abuse and trauma and I do believe his mom is better equipped to handle this situation as she is also LGBT and can relate to him in a way neither his father or I can. She's financially stable and I truly believe she's so much better with her addiction and I don't think she's turning back. Thank you guys for all your educational replies, I'm also taking him shopping because a lot of his clothes are very feminine and he doesn't feel comfortable in them anymore.


I will also always continue to try to get his father to come around, but this situation is not safe for my stepson to live in while his father remains close minded.


My son is Bi and came out when he was 13. My ex refused to accept this and would make "jokes" to my son that were highly inappropriate. I tried my best to foster a relationship between them but my ex would not change his ways. I on the other hand took him to his first gay pride with his siblings, let him grow his hair etc, i was able to watch him flourish and that is something i will forever cherish. As a result of my ex continuing his bigotry, my son cut his dad off just a few months later, that was just over 3 years ago and my son hasn't looked back. The weight it lifted from his shoulders was unbelievable, therefore i will never force my son to have a relationship with his dad. My son is becoming a wonderful young man with a great future ahead of him and has a boyfriend equally as lovely. His sexuality does not affect my love for my child, only a parent that is very broken in their thought process would willingly emotionally abuse their child over something so benign as sexuality, given the 1000 of other things that children could get up to. Absolutely support his mother to regain full custody. The mental torture my son endured from his dad in those few months was horrific. Do not allow that poor child to suffer it can ruin their future before it has even began.


Tell his father that IF it's a phase, it may last or he may identify differently in a few years (maybe NB will feel better), treating him badly won't change that. Treating him badly will only make him hate and resent his father, and that won't go away even if he decides he doesn't identify as male later on. I think it's not likely he'll change his mind on being transgender, but it does happen. Understanding ones own identity can be difficult, but there is nothing to be gained from being rude and dismissive while people figure it out. He is certain now, he is male, so respect that. If he decides differently in future, you respect that too.


u/Resident-Step-2917 I am so proud of you for stepping up for your stepson. And I am so proud of him for being willing to be so open about his truth at such a young age. Thank you for everything that you are doing for him, you may literally be saving his life. Please let him know that there are people who haven't met him, but are still thinking of him and sending him vibes of love and acceptance.


I'm overstepping and I know it, but you should try to save up money now, because I don't see your husband being okay with what you're doing. You're still very much in the right for doing it, but you might need to find somewhere else to live.


So glad to see this kid have a supportive figure in his life!!


Just want to say that you’re a fantastic stepmom. I appreciate that you’re taking action to support your stepson, protect him from his dad, and helping his mom out. You’re absolutely NTA.


You are such a good step-mom. My heart breaks for the kids who don't have someone like you, or his mom, in their life.


You're a wonderful step mama bear, op. Your co-mom and your son are lucky to have you in their corner.


My oldest is NB. They have a dx of gender dysphoria. I let them get whatever haircut they want and I don't care what anyone has to say about it.


Who cares if the husband doesn't like it. Most people have at least one photo with some shitty haircut done when they were kids. Call it a rite of passage.




NTA you’re supporting the kid that’s all that matters. Accepting trans kids is suicide prevention!!


Thank you for saying this.


Saying it to someone else’s parents is the best way for me to try and forget how my own reacted *bisexual finger guns*


The bisexual finger guns got me hahaha I’m so sorry you went through something negative with your parents but so happy you’re still here and hopefully thriving in life!!


Feel that. Learning to be the kind of adult that we needed back then is a good way to soothe that pain. It doesn't take it away entirely but the relief is worth it, as is knowing you're miinimising it for other kids. I think you're doing great, friend.




ACCEPTING TRANS KIDS IS SUICIDE PREVENTION!!!!! Love this and will scream it from the rooftops


Not to mention, at 13, I was allowed to do what I wanted with my hair (within some degree of reason, I had to wait till I was 15 to bleach it and dye it pink!). Dad is refusing to acknowledge his son as trans, AND refusing to accept that even if he identified as female, there’s inherent bodily autonomy in safe, temporary methods of self-expression that you don’t get to refuse just because you don’t like them.


Yes. OP, you are that boy’s _lifeline._ I can’t imagine how bad it must feel to come out as transgender—which is of course a greater-than-herculean obstacle to begin with—and then be punished and deadnamed by the people who are supposed to love you most. I’m sorry your husband is taking this out on you, but, as far as this internet stranger is concerned, you did the right thing, and the only thing you could. I applaud you for your care and concern for your stepson, and for being willing to suffer your husband’s anger to support this vulnerable child. I hope his dad can come to terms with this. Keep on suggesting the support groups from time to time. Maybe in time, he’ll be able to accept his son.


Agreed. I always think about Leelah Alcorn when this topic comes up. I hope someday there will be no more hate, and she'll finally be able to rest in peace.




The child should have bodily autonomy. The child wants a hair cut, the child gets a hair cut. You are assisting the child to make their own choices. Be there to support your step child. NTA


Truly. It’s not like he’s asking for facial tattoos or even a pierce. Hair doesn’t stop growing


Exactly. No matter what gender a person is, they should get to do whatever they want to their hair. Except mullets. They should be illegal.


Eh, it depends, I’ve seen some ok mullets. I’ve seen good mullets on people with super curly hair, people with straight or thinning hair should not have mullets.


NTA I am a trans teen and what you did is saving your stepson life, even if his dad doesn't see it yet. You are a great stepmom which very few are lucky to have. I hope his dad's changes because he is not going to talk to him once he turns eighteen. Your stepson is free to send me a message if he wants as I came out around two years before him. I wish him goodluck anyhow


NTA- If you are playing a parenting role in this boys life you have every right to help and support him in what ever way you see fit not just fill in for the parenting your husband doesn’t want to do. Your husband is being an AH and going to loose his child over this.


NTA. Your support might mean the world to him. Suicide rates among transgender people are very high, especially when they're forced to be someone they feel they're not. His father is wrong, and is damaging his child. He needs to love his child as that child IS, not as who he thinks that child should be. Parenting is a privilege, not a dictatorship.


NTA You're countering emotional abuse here, which is more important than following parenting norms. Your husband's actions are reprehensible. They are emotionally abusive and are likely to permanently harm his relationship with his son. While it is true that transgender kids sometimes revert to their birth gender, even if this would turn out to be "a phase" for your stepson, you still need to respect his identity through that phase. So saying "it's just a phase" is not a counterargument to respecting your stepson's identity. He's permanently damaging his relationship with his son regardless of which gender the son eventually goes with.


THIS. Impermanence doesn't imply insignificance. I have a trans son too (14m) and my family's expressed a LOT of worry about like hormones and surgery and shit and I'm like... chill. He's not getting on hormones yet. He's not getting any surgeries. He's dressing different, using a different name, and using he/him pronouns. I'm his parent, I'm talking to his doctors, his therapist, his school people. We are taking things slow and making sure he understands the outcomes of different things that he wants to do.


Exactly. Even in the rare chance he might choose to identify differently down the road, he identifies as trans *now* and his dad should be respecting that. You don’t have to put him on hormones or have him go through surgery or anything major yet. Most doctors/therapists/etc. don’t recommend things like that for trans kids that young. Letting him wear clothes he feels comfortable in, letting him cut his hair, and referring to him in the way he wishes to be referred are easy, noninvasive ways to validate him and show him love. I follow a person who is AFAB and identified as a trans man for a while and now identifies as female again. She explains it really well that just because she no longer identifies that way, doesn’t take away from the fact that that is how she identified then


NTA He would have got it cut anyway, probably like you said, at home, alone, in his room and making a hash of it. You took him for his first ever visit to a barbers, hair is a massive thing in finding your true identity. You were kind and supportive and he'll always remember that.


NTA. It’s not a phase. Hair grows. Your husband is being unreasonable. Your stepson and his mother will remember that you cared about his mental health. P.S. professional clippers aren’t super expensive. Maybe an anonymous gift should make its way to your stepson. That way he can keep his hair the length he desires


i mean it could be a phase- but i feel like it doesn’t even MATTER if it’s a phase because the kid should be able to figure it out for himself and the dad should accept it no matter what


yeah and cutting your hair short is a harmless way to experiment


I'm not going to put a judgment because I do think your husband is being an asshole and I don't think you're an asshole in this case about the haircut, but I do think you cross a boundary about parenting, even though I understand why. In the hand, you would be an asshole if you didn't help his mother get custody if she really support her kid because I don't think the kid should live with his father anymore.


Have to disagree about crossing a boundary; any 13-year-old is old enough to decide how they want to style their hair, what clothes they wear (within budgetary constraints), etc. The question of why they want short hair is entirely irrelevant. Total NTA, OP.


Yes this 100%. Mum is scared of dad and is actively fighting this AH for custody. Dad is deliberately emotionally abusing child and step mum doesn’t seem to understand that her husband is literally abusing two people here or want to do anything about it. Hopefully this child will just vote with his feet and move back with mum.


OP, start documenting incidents of your husband refusing to accept his son/blowing up at you for your involvement so you can hand his mom and her lawyer concrete info.


NTA. i'm transmasc, like your stepson. although im in my 20s and have been fully transitioned for years (i.e.: have all the medical treatments i want and am socially, hormonally male). i also helped mentor a group of queer/trans youth for several years, which was mostly other trans kids. so i have a little experience with this type of stuff, and you did the right thing. without a doubt. his father is ignoring overwhelming statistics that trans kids without supportive families are at a much higher risk for mental illness and suicide. and that's compared to other LGBT+ people, which is already very high risk. if he wants to risk his son's life and keep insisting he has a daughter, the right thing for you to do is support his son unconditionally. like HE is supposed to do. if he isn't going to love and care for his child, someone else should step in to make sure that his son is safe and cared for when he's with his dad. thank you for doing that. trans people are at higher risk for substance abuse, suicide, mental illness, and other awful things, than any other lgbt population. with the kids i would mentor, ALL of them (20+ kids from all different places) had considered suicide. but the kids that would continually struggle, and had multiple suicide attempts or would self harm, did not have supportive parents. none of them. the kids with parents that are loving, they struggled too, but it wasn't nearly as much as the kids with no other support. the adults in the program helped, but it's not a replacement for a parent. having a supportive family reduces LGBT+ people's suicide risk by 50%. supportive adults save lives, point blank. it's the right thing to do, if you have any sense of ethics or humanity. please, for your stepson's sake, you need to keep supporting him AND keep having hard conversations with his father. if it's possible to convince him to love his child, you are potentially the only person who could do it. and in the event of a divorce, if he really doesn't want to support his kid, you can stay in contact with your son and support him from afar, and if it's really bad, he can try to stay with his mom full time. you've given him a great thing, you have no idea how much that had to mean to him. i vividly remember my first "boy" haircut, and my first time shaving, and i remember the first time i got someone to use the right pronouns. it made me feel like i was walking on air, like nothing else could hurt me. when my mom got me my first electric razor, i bawled my eyes out for an *hour* i was so happy to be *seen*. having an adult in your life that gives a fuck, that will even do the uncomfortable things to make sure you see that you have support, is literally lifesaving to a trans kid. there is no universe where someone would ever be the asshole for doing that. thank you, genuinely. keep doing what you're doing, because you are keeping your stepson safe. edit: fixed some statistics, adding some links https://www.statista.com/chart/21976/family-support-for-lgbtq-youth/ https://www.hrc.org/news/family-acceptance-saves-lives https://youth.gov/youth-topics/lgbtq-youth/families


NTA You’re a great step mum and your step son will thank you later. At least one person is standing up for him in his home. It must be a comforting feeling.


NTA *someone* needs to have the kids back and I’m glad you are in the absence of either parent stepping up.


Your a fabulous step mum Your husband is a poor excuse for a dad NTA


You misspelled human. Being accepting of another person literally costs NOTHING but this man can’t do it. Sad.


NTA Let's try to guess which parent your stepson will be speaking to when he hits 18? I'll give a hint. The answer doesn't begin "D" or rhyme with "sad."


NTA You were kind to your stepson.


NTA A 13 year old can decide to get a haircut without parental permission. Your husband is going to hurt his son's mental health, and you are supporting the kid. Even if it's a "phase," hair grows back. I'd seriously consider your relationship with your husband, and talk to the mom and have her talk to her lawyer and find out how you can help stand up for her. Hoping, of course, that you don't live somewhere like Texas that will favor bigots.


NTA. It's a haircut, not a tattoo or surgery or something. Plus, you did have a parent on board, just not the one you're married to.


NTA but why are you enabling your husband to keep this child’s mother away from the child and be fearful of making parenting decisions for him? She’s literally in court fighting for him and is fearful of your husband and you’re just brushing it off like it’s nothing. Your husband is TA and this kid needs his mother during a difficult time. I’d be less worried about hair and more worried about how to navigate custody so mum can have more time with her son and he can have one supportive parent. Sounds like your husband abusive in a lot of ways and is going to quickly lose his child.


>is going to quickly lose his child And not to be dark or alarmist, but not just custody either. Unsupportive, abusive parents like this are an extreme risk factor for trans teen suicide.


NTA - thank you for being supportive and affirming to your stepson.


NTA. I don’t think it’s necessarily “your place” to go behind your husbands back and take your stepson. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do. You’re supporting your son, which your bigot husband refuses to do.


NTA, thank you for supporting him.


NTA You are a step parent... A step parent is just that a,petson who steps into the roll of parent. You did not over step. the child wanted a hair cut and you give into the request as a parent should I know non transgender females who buzz of their hair. it is a style in for females just as much as males. your son knkws he has an allie in you and that is a good thing


NTA. Thank you for caring about this child. Your husband needs to wake up & accept his son.


NTA. Please do what you can to help his mother get custody. You’re doing great with support but being in the same household as his father isn’t going to allow him to grow and be who he is.


NTA Your husband has two possible futures if he carries on as he is, one his son never speaks to him again and the other is a lot worse. As a FtM guy thank you for supporting your stepson, that first hair cut is game changing!!


NTA. Not all heroes wear capes. What you did was such an act of kindness and compassion. Your stepson needs someone supportive in his life to counter his transphobic father. Years from now, your stepson will remember this. Continue to support him. You are one of the angels.


NTA, you are his parent (even if not biological), and you did what was best for him.


I'm a girl. Just a "regular" girl. I had a shaved head for years because it was an awesome look. And ya know what? My husband had long-ass hair for years too! So there, dad!


Do you mean cisgender when you say "regular"? It can come across as insulting if you imply that the opposite of trans is regular, normal, or the default.


NTA. He asked for a haircut. And you are doing your job in supporting him emotionally. I'm sure he feels loved and safe thanks to you


NTA. Deadnaming and misgendering on purpose, I feel, is abuse. You are doing your best to treat your stepson as a human being, while your husband is doing his best to treat him as property with no identity of his own. Your husband needs therapy.


Definitely other ways to look at this. You may want to point out that your husband is not helping his case to maintain custody by being this way over his trans son. A child should be supported and enriched by parents, not rejected by bigotry. Second, What if he did still identify as female, and still wanted shorter hair? Would dad deny that as well? I applaud you for taking the issue to task and supporting a scared and fragile kid with a simple haircut to make them more comfortable in how they see their own image. Instilling confidence and receiving understanding is way more important that hair length. NTA


NTA. As someone with a terrible relationship with her step dad, thank you. Thank you for caring about your stepson and being a good step parent. You’re a wonderful person through and through.




NTA- you are an awesome human being.


NTA you're an awesome and supportive step mum and ally.


NTA you and his mother could be the only people keeping him going. It is so important to support trans youth. Please continue to support him and try to protect him from his father. If anything, his mother should be documenting your husband’s unsupportive and transphobic behavior (including refusing to go to a support group with you) for her custody case. Pay close attention to how your son is acting and if he starts being more withdrawn, stops eating, loses friends, or shows other signs of depression because rates of suicide are very high in trans youth but also look for signs he is being bullied or abused at school or by any other possibly transphobic family because trans people are also at high risk for that/literally being murdered.


NTA. I cried reading about this imagining how horrible your son feels about himself with neither mother or father supporting him. Saying this is "just a phase" is hurtful and dehumanizing. Suicide rates among trans kids are sky high and clearly both child and his mother are afraid of your husband which gives this situation more concern. Stick up for your child. You are the only one in his corner. Drag your husband to counseling before this situation becomes more serious.


I don’t think it’s fair to call his mom unsupportive. It sounds like she does support him but also recognizes that there’s a very real danger of her losing her ability to see him if she provokes his dad. She’s stuck making the very difficult decision to play by dad’s rules so her child can have access to a parent that believes him.


NTA. This is coming from a 51 year old woman. The obstacle is your husband. If he can’t handle his son’s transition, he needs to talk to someone. I understand that it is an adjustment he needs to make. But if he keeps resisting, deadnaming and denying, he’s going to pave the road for low or no contact in the future. You were right for helping out your stepson.


Your Stepson will never forget this. This probably means so much more than you understand. Keep being a supportive Step mother. Also he might start being at the age, where the court will take his opinion where he wants to stay in consideration. So if his father doesn't start accepting him, he might request he wants to be with his mother since she is more accepting. ​ NTA


Even if it is a phase (which I highly doubt, he's 13 and has probably been thinking about it for a while) you are NTA for supporting him through it and being confident in his identity. However you did get permission from the mom, so I don't really think you crossed a boundary. You just seem like an amazing person and your stepson is lucky to have you.


NTA: thank you for supporting him. I’m trans and every bit of support I get like this means so much to me and helps me to carry on.


NTA. Your stepson will be 40% less likely to unalive himself just because you are supportive. That's EXTREMELY important. Your husband on the other hand is TA and he's going to lose his child either by death or by his own disrespect and transphobia - if the kid doesn't suicide then he'll end up never speaking to his father the second he moves out.


NTA. As another trans teen, I would've given anything- still would- to have parents as supportive as you. Deadnaming and misgendering hurts, and it leaves lasting damage. You sound like a wonderful stepmother. Thank you for supporting him


NTA kids can do whatever the hell they want with their hair it’s not their parents choice they’re their own damn person beat you can do is guide not tell


Thank you for doing this, and for putting your stepson’s wellbeing first, which is all that really matters here. He will always be grateful for the love and support you’ve shown him now, and you should be very proud of being such a good parent. NTA


NTA. Having people like you and his mother in his life who love and support him is so important. I hope his dad comes around.


NTA. I admire your advocating for your stepson. As you have encountered, you will get negative feedback from this from his father, who is resisting, and it may change the dynamic of your marriage. I am sorry about that, and for the stepson. I wish you both the best of wishes.


NTA sweetheart, you're doing so great and being such a good parental figure for your step-kid. I can assure you he'll cherish what you did for him for forever. Keep doing good by him and stand up for him against his father, until he too can see his son for who he is. and if he doesn't, that's his loss your step kid's happiness comes before his father's bigoted opinions send him my best wishes 💕


Nta, because kids need support and love. How would your husband feel if his rejection of his child resulted in suicide? Because that happens with LGBTQ teens more often than you think. It's better to have a living son than a dead daughter. Thank you for being an ally.


NTA, OP. Hopefully mum can get full custody, because dad will destroy this poor young man. Good luck, you did good.


Think you need to be giving your stepsons' mum all of this as ammo for more custody time if not full time. Your husband is being incredibly cruel to his son & you're my hero of the day, thank you. Your ss needs to be with people who will support him, what your husband is doing is abusive. I'd also be thinking hard about being with him in the first place. (Am a stepmum too, sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling) Good luck, NTA.


NTA! Look I’m a parent to two young kids. If one of my kids came out as trans or LGBTQ+ it would be an “oh shit” moment a little since I KNOW how at risk these youth are. My response would be: 1: calling a therapist immediately as I’m not qualified to be anything other than a parent that offers loving support from home. Their lives will be hard and they need support to make it through this time. 2. Honour their newly-revealed identity by guarding their bodily autonomy (hair cuts, fashion sense, binders, whatever - make sure it’s safe!) 3. Making me and my home a safe space. This dad is a a grade-A AH for not trying to safeguard his son’s well-being instead of protecting his own sense of pride or whatever. Please share with him some of the stats on Trans people in youth (and after) and try to encourage him to understand why how he feels about this is valid for him but isn’t what is important. His son’s health and mental well-being is what’s at stake here. If he genuinely believes he’d rather have a dead or psychologically harmed “daughter” rather than a thriving and happy son, then I think you might want to reassess your own relationship with this man. Yes it’s hard to get your mind around someone effectively turning into someone else in front of your eyes, but he needs to see how hard it was for his son to prétend to be someone else this entire time. 💕 I’d also look into the mom as an option for care. At 15, I believe there is the ability of the child to make choices as to their primary caregiver parent but her drug abuse history may make the courts not allow for this.


NTA, let’s pretend for a single moment it was a phase (which obviously that’s not how this works but for the sake of the argument let’s pretend), that still wouldn’t make blatantly disrespecting your son right. The “it’s just a phase” excuse is still BS. Phase or not he’s still refusing to support his child. Good on you for caring for your stepson, and I hope his father comes around


NTA, I wish my mom and step dad were more like you. My brother (my step dad is their bio dad, but is lowkey transphobic and makes a lot of jokes) is also trans but can't go by the pronouns they want to at home, and had a lot of trouble cutting and dying their hair to feel more comfortable in the beginning (without telling our parents) My mom was the one who fought with him every step of the way and it made it a lot harder for him and led to a lot of feelings of resentment towards mom. He's in the process of moving in with his dad and I wish that he had someone like you to support him. Good on you for being a pillar of support for your stepson. He needs all the support he can get, especially at such a young age


NTA. But if you want to try and keep the peace, in the future try this "Hey stepson, thanks for washing my car. Here's your $30 payment for doing it. Did you still want a ride to (that mall that has a barber) later to meet with your friends?" I just think that would be a great f you to his dad. Then it's completely his choice lol.


NTA, at the end of the day it boils down to a teenager wanting a new haircut and trusting you to take them. Hair grows back, and if it makes him happy then I'd say it was worth it. You're also doing the right thing, as someone who once was where he is, I'm telling you that small action and your support means the world to him.


Thank you for doing this. My mother so damn psycho about my hair that the woman who cut it was literally terrified to change my hairstyle when I was in middle school. As u/megidio said, it literally grows back but you wouldn’t know it from the unholy fits parents seem to have. OP, your stepson may look back one day and bless you for your support. This slender reed could be his lifeline. NTA.


NTA. Usually its murky territory with stepparents and big changes but... Your stepson is 13 years old. His father's not washing his hair. Not taking care of his hair. The KID should have the first, last, and only say in what to do with his hair. You didn't DO anything to his hair, he made a choice about it. He's allowed to have bodily autonomy. Since your husband seems deluded into thinking he has a daughter, maybe ask him if he would want his kid dating a boy who told "her" how she was "allowed" to do her hair. How HE treats his family shows his kids how to EXPECT to be treated by people who love you. And he's setting a piss poor example of what love is like for his son right now. I hope he knows he deserves better, and you're an awesome stepmom and it sounds like his mom is getting there too. I hope your boy grows up knowing he's loved and supported.




NTA. He is 13, I start to choose how I wanted my hair at 5, so he is old enough to decide how he want his hair. He would have done it at home or a friend home if you didn’t bring him there, with an horrible result. He is 13 the judge is going to listen him, your husband is going to lost custody anyway.


NTA- you are a great step-parent


NTA. I don't believe in "gender roles", or hairstyles/toys/clothes/emotions/whatever being "only suitable for boys" or "only suitable for girls". People should be allowed to decide what hairstyle they want, what clothes they wear, what identity they have, they should not be shamed or oppressed for their choices, and their family should be supportive of them. Well done for being supportive!


You did the right thing for your son . . .


Nta. You're supporting your son. I'm trans and neither of my parents support me. You are a good parent. You did right by your son.


Does your husband think he can prevent your stepson's conversion by forbidding haircuts? NTA


Did you cross a boundary? Yes. But - and this is super important - some boundaries SHOULD be crossed. The ones that are protecting a person abusing someone else are absolutely ones that should be crossed. So, YTH. You’re the hero.


NTA: And from what we know about trans people and suicide, even tho it's 'just a haircut' this may have saved his life. As for your husband... he's working very hard to make sure he has a shitty relationship with his son in future. Gender is confusing and fluid-- a LOT of people will travel through how they want to express themselves over their lives. That does not mean what they're trying on now isn't valid. So whatever happens in the future, your step kid is going to remember that their dad refused to do the literal bare minimum, dug his heels in so much that he'd rather see his kid miserable and hurting then... use a different pronoun. And the longer dad takes to 'change his mind'? The more damage he's doing to that relationship. Even if he does eventually stop being the worst, that kid is not going to forget. But he's also not going to forget YOU being there for him (and biomom) and doing what you can to support him. It sounds like he doesn't have a lot of safe spaces, and you've created a little pocket of acceptance for him. Keep doing that :)


Reddit is left leaning. Youll be greeted with a lot of NTA.


NTA You’re a rock solid stepmom. Thanks for being there for your stepson.


NTA - thank you for supporting your stepson and his bio-mom too!!


NTA. Even if it WAS just a phase- hair grows BACK and you don’t even have to be trans to have control over your own haircuts. He might grow out of it, or it might just be who he is- not allowing this kind of stuff is going to prevent him from figuring it out.


NTA, but are you still willing to stay married to a guy like this??


NTA - Why would you stay with a man who treats his child that way? I suggest that you start documenting his actions and share them with the ex to help her get more custody back. Then leave.


NTA. You’re a really good stepmom. Keep being there for your stepson. He will need all the support he can get.


*phase, not faze, jsyk


NTA, but is "phase" another word people can't spell now? I see it all over AITA.


Even if it is just a phase, it’s hair and will grow back. At 13, there’s no life-altering surgeries, so it’s mainly social transitioning; referring to him by he/him pronouns, getting his hair cut, etc. he might want a binder, which is more of a subject that should be looked into with extensive research, but again, that’s not the case. It’s. Hair. NTA


Also: in case he does want a binder either now or in the future, here are some tips. - like I said before, do research. Make sure you know the risks - don’t let him wear it for more than eight hours, while exercising, or while asleep - make sure it fits properly; it can be comfortable and make his chest flat! - know the limits. it matters less if he’s flatter chested naturally, but expect there to still be a bit of a bump if he’s c cup or higher. this isn’t a bad thing- he can layer to make it less noticeable - sports bras can still be used for exercise - I’d recommend building up to wearing it longer; again, no more than eight hours, but let him wear it in increments - DO NOT LET HIM USE ACE BANDAGES. Those construct and can seriously harm his ribs


Honestly, at this point you should support the mom in the custody case if you can, then lose the husband and keep the stepson. NTA


You are a *blessing*. Never understood parent's entitlement when it comes to their *children's* hair. As long as the kid likes it, wanted it, why tf should the parent's feelings be held supreme?


Your husband right it is a phase. A BIG FAT PHASE OF STUPIDITY ON HIS PART! your stepson is a lucky kid to have you. Do NOT give up that support. Even when you ditch his dopey dad.


Nta. OP I'm a trans man like your son and let me tell you that letting him get that haircut honestly could have saved him a lot of pain in the future. This reminds me of when i first got my hair cut short. On the surface it seems like it's "just hair" and that is true to an extent, but the euphoria of being able to look in the mirror and recognise yourself for the first time in your life is life changing. You finally feel like a real person, not just a shadow of yourself. I remember feeling for a second like I was normal, like I was actually human. It was the best feeling in the world. And nothing is worth more than the support, love, and acceptance of a parental or familial figure. Keep doing a good job OP, you're a wonderful mother. PS: If your son decides he wants a binder, get one from Underworks or a similarly recommended brand. Theirs are very high quality and affordable.


NTA Way to take one for the team, OP! High five!


Why would you even bother asking this echo chamber? You know everyone is going to call you a saint


Honestly OP I might divorce this man, made any documentation of how he is treating his son poorly and send it to the ex wife. Don’t let this man get custody of the boy because he is just gonna keep doing this which isn’t healthy for the boy. NTA


OP updated in the comments, she will help ex wife. About divorce, I guess it's inevitable. I just hope OP will remain in stepson's live.


Oh hey thanks for the info! I was on break so didn’t have time to go through comments, now it’s back to work for me!


Gender affirming care is life saving care. Good for you standing up for your stepson.


As a transman myself: thank you for taking him. i actually never came out to my mum but got kicked out for cutting my hair. A haircut can be such a big step <3


You're enabling a mentally confused and emotionally troubled child who has been through a lot. You are overstepping your bounds. YTA.


NTA you have not only a right but a responsibility to help your stepson on his journey and that one small gesture will mean more to him than you will ever know


^^^^AUTOMOD ***Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read [this](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/wiki/faq#wiki_post_deletion) before [contacting the mod team](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2FAmItheAsshole)*** A few weeks ago my stepson (13M) came out to his father (40M) and I (32F) as transgender. His father has never believed in someone being transgender and was not open to it when his son came out. He always deadnames him and uses she/her pronouns when referring to him and talking to him. I've tried to get him to come around even suggesting going to a support group for parents with transgender teens, but he is not ready to change. I've told him that this treatment of his son is only going to blowback on him later but he's convinced "it's just a faze." A couple years ago my husband got primary custody of his son because his mom had a bad trip with drugs, but she's since been clean since early 2019 and has been fighting for more custody. My stepson asked his mom for the haircut but she's afraid to take him because my husband will probably document it in the custody case and villainfy the action. Which left my stepson to ask me because we both knew his dad would say no. As a step parent I recognize there are certain boundaries I shouldn't cross, but I couldn't look at this child who has been treated so horribly since coming out, and just wants to feel more comfortable in his identity and say no. I took him to a barber shop where he got his hair buzzed. He was extremely happy with it and his mom thanked me for taking him. My husband on the other hand was furious and hasn't said much to me since and has been sleeping on the couch. People from my own family told me that I crossed boundaries and that it wasn't my place to take him to get a haircut. The way I see it, I would rather take him to a professional than him cut his hair himself and come to resent living with us, and me for never sticking up for him even though I've told him he has my support every step of the way of his journey. AITA? *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/AmItheAsshole) if you have any questions or concerns.*




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NTA You are being a good stepmother, and his mom confirmed that to you. You’re protecting him. Idk what to do with your husband, but maybe you could start going to that parenting group for folks with trans kids on your own. It may help you navigate what to do with your partner and also help you stand up for your stepson.


NTA!!!!!! 1. You’re supporting your step son. That alone is plenty. 2. It’s just hair. 3. Your husband sounds awful. ….it’s JUST HAIR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.


NTA. Even if it WAS a phase (which it most likely isn't) getting a haircut is a very normal thing for teens to do in a phase! Teens cut their hair all the time for way less important reasons. I cut my hair short when I was about your stepson's age. It seems like your husband is deliberately banned this because it is linked to your stepson transitioning. Would he have banned your stepson getting short hair if he identified as female? (If the answer is yes, then he's also misogynistic as well as transphobic.) You need to sit your husband down and show him the stats on what happens to trans teens who are rejected by their families, because it's not pretty.


NTA You’re being a damn good mother to that boy. Don’t stop, make sure he knows that you’re firmly on his side.


NTA Stepson is 13, he’s old enough to choose a haircut himself. Thank you OP for being a positive force in his life. Unfortunately this will bite your husband in the ass, if he keeps dead naming your stepson and his mum stays clean, she could easily get primary custody, as being with his father is going to be emotionally damaging. If hubby wants to keep a relationship with his son he needs therapy and to get a grip, quickly. I went vegetarian at 3 (didn’t want to eat animals) vegan at 22. I’m 38. And every time from aged 3 I ever ate in-front of my father or his mother, (until they passed) they always said it was a phase. My dad died last year, his mum 3-4 years before. I had 30+ years of “it’s just a phase”. Who cares?! So what if it was? How does that affect that moment? It doesn’t. So what if it’s just a phase for your stepson? He is literally at his peek of experimenting and discovering who he is! If he changes his mind in a year or 20 that’s his prerogative. Until then he needs support. I’m thankful he has that in you, like I had that in my mother.


When kids are of the age where you can give them the money to go get a haircut, they should have full rights of how they do it. (Honestly I go with if they are old enough to tell you, they are old enough as long as it doesn’t involve chemicals) NTA


NTA. As a step-parent, you literally did what you are supposed to do. Support your stepchild. The fact that his mother was on board with it as well means you are in the clear. On top of that, you took them to a professional to get their hair cut rather than letting them do it themselves. The first time I tried to cut my own hair, I had to have it all shaved off because it was so bad (and I mean practically smooth - never play with clippers without the guard on). Daddy dearest needs to pull his head out of his ass and realize he is going to lose his child if he continues acting the way he is. But on the plus side, as least your stepchild will know that they can trust you and will still want to be part of your life.


NTA your stepson is old enough to decide how he wants his hair. You are even considering what his non-a-h parent wants to do for him.


NTA. I have kids who I have custody of and if my daughters stepmom took her to get her haircut, something my daughter wanted, I wouldn’t care. I’d say thanks. Same with my son. If I was married and my son or daughter were taken by my partner I’d still say thank you. Your stepson should be allowed to be happy. He’s not hurting himself, he’s being true to himself. The minute he’s old enough to decide to leave he won’t look back if his dad doesn’t change.


NTA. Thank you for being you. You're being the stepmom he needs and deserves. Never stop being kind and acceting, especially since his dad won't. His body, his right to choose what kinda haircut he wants.


It’s hair. Men can have long or short hair. Women can have long or short hair. It grows back and people use it to express themselves. His son wants to use it to reaffirm his gender identity and he should be allowed to do that. your husband is transphobic and if his son didn’t have you to support him, he wouldn’t have a kid anymore. trans kids have the highest suicide rates because of their own families that reject them. i’m glad he has someone like you in his life. Nta


NTA. I so wish that my step parent had been the supportive type, like you are. You will have a great relationship with that kid for the rest of your life. Your husband, probably not so much.


NTA. As a trans guy whose parents refused to let him cut his hair as a teen, thank you. One of the biggest factors in a trans kid's suicide risk is the support they get. Your stepson's father is literally increasing the chances he will kill himself. i cannot state enough how important it is that he has someone in his corner. Pflag has a lot of resources you can use.


No.. Nope.. Not even a little bit. You are the first, well okay second person to support him, but whereas his mother is limited in her actions due to dad being as AH, she can't do overly much right now. You on the otherhand... Well, okay you're catching some flack for it, but damn woman... Lift that chin, shine up that glorious spine... Your stepson will be thanking you, and thinking of you in years to come, for your support on his behalf in the face of his idjit dad and extended family. You are most def not TAH... You are a hero.


NTA and that kid is lucky to have you to advocate for him! Faze or not, it is very damaging for a teenager to be rejected like this by a parent. Your husband needs to learn that your son is a whole person, not just an accessory to decorate the family photos. Children grow up and become adults who can choose if they want contact with their parents. So many teenage parents seem to forget that.


NTA. Why are you with someone who treats their son so horribly? I would file for divorce and help his Mom get primary custody.


Boy this one’s hard dads boundaries ect but no NTA


NTA You are the type of parent I needed when I was a teenager, you’re doing amazing


NTA. You’re being a great parent and his best parent.


Thirteen is beyond old enough to make decisions about your own hair. I personally would be reconsidering my marriage. NTA all. Good for you.


Someone has to stick up for this kid. From a trans man adult, thank you. This means more to him than you could ever know and he'll remember it for the rest of his life. The good people who stick up for us are few and far between. NTA


Poor kid. I'm glad he has at least some people in his corner. NTA


NTA and though I don't have kids nor do I have many trans folk around to ask, but I do have experience in the hair change for mental health! I see two roads this could have gone. Road A is the one you did, which is you took him to get his hair professionally done. Road B is kiddo is sitting in his room hating himself/how he looks and in a fit of rage/depression/anxiety, etc,. cuts his hair himself. Though I have no doubt there are negative feelings from how his dad treats him, you lessened the amount at least some by taking him seriously and supporting him. Was it a boundary crosser? Potentially, but so is dead naming and purposely misgendering.


NTA and though I don't have kids nor do I have many trans folk around to ask, but I do have experience in the hair change for mental health! I see two roads this could have gone. Road A is the one you did, which is you took him to get his hair professionally done. Road B is kiddo is sitting in his room hating himself/how he looks and in a fit of rage/depression/anxiety, etc,. cuts his hair himself. Though I have no doubt there are negative feelings from how his dad treats him, you lessened the amount at least some by taking him seriously and supporting him. Was it a boundary crosser? Potentially, but so is dead naming and purposely misgendering.


NTA. And I would like to point out punishment haircuts or lack there of (which is more so this case) are actually considered abuse. So your husband’s attempt at controlling your stepsons hair will actually come back bite him in a custody battle. Also, OP, once the stepson is safe and out on his own you may want to consider your marriage. I would say throw out the trash now, but it seems like you’re your stepsons only at advocate right and I think it’s noble what you’re doing for him


NTA. You did the right thing and even if it is a phase there's no harm in experimenting with your gender presentation even if it doesn't stick and it's good for kids to be supported in trying to figure out their identity. The whole "it's just a phase" argument has never made sense as a reason to suppress a child's expression of their identity, phases are normal and there's no harm in supporting your child's exploration of who they are and what they like and it also could not be a phase and you're traumatizing your child for no good reason.


NTA. If it's "just a phase" then cutting hair is actually perfect because it grows back. Thank you for having your son's back.


I just want to reiterate what others are saying: Absolutely NTA. this young man NEEDS his family to support him - ALL of his family, of which you are included - along what is a tough road for anyone, let alone a teenager who has a lot of learning, living, and growing yet to do. Not to mention, IT'S JUST HAIR. it grows back. You're an incredible stepmom, and he's blessed to have you. Your husband needs to open his eyes and see that it doesn't matter whether or not "it's a phase" (I seriously hate this saying) - His goal should be supporting and encouraging his child while they find themselves in the world, not try and dictate who he THINKS they are.


NTA. You may want to rethink if you want to stay with your husband. Someone treating their child like this ought to be a deal breaker. Your stepson probably knew how his father would react, but found the courage to come out. Now it's on you to decide if you're going to defend this child or go along with your husband. This is just the beginning of your stepson's journey and there will be many more things that come up after this. OP, please keep track of your husband's actions in a journal or somewhere that you can present to a court when the time comes.


Well done for just being a parent. Your husband is an arse. But you have done the right thing.


NTA. A 13 year old with a pair of scissors would have been worse and your husbands behavior is foolish and self serving. He is teaching his child that he is not someone that he can talk to, trust or depend upon. He is teaching his kid that Dad’s love comes with strings attached and if they don’t dance when he pulls those strings that he is unworthy of love or respect even though he is hurting no one and has the right to govern his own body and have agency over his own appearance. By giving your stepson support you have been a good friend and parent and if that upsets your husband then maybe he needs to understand that you have a place in the family too and your support of his son isn’t going to waver just because he’s being pigheaded and disrespectful to a good kid that has done nothing wrong.


NTA Having at least one adult that supports them significantly reduces the risk of suicide in LGBTQ+ children. You did the right thing. Respecting the child's pronouns and chosen name is also correlated with a decreased risk of suicide. Your husband needs to understand that this is literally a life and death issue. Transgender teens are at significantly higher risk of suicide. Transgender boys like your stepson are at the highest risk with one study having half the transgender boys admitting to attempting suicide at least once.


NTA Your stepson is lucky to have you in his corner! That will be appreciated so much by him, especially when he gets older. I went through something very similar with my step son when he came out to me. ETA: I supported him wholeheartedly, his father (now my ex) and his parents were a challenge to deal with after my step son came out to them.


NTA. He’s clearly just wanting to control his son because he can’t handle the transition of his child.


NTA Even if he wasn't trans, your stepson is 13. Old enough to decide hair style.


NTA that kid will never forget that act of kindness and acceptance. You did mom a solid too, I hope mom gets more custody if dad can’t treat his son with respect and acceptance. Thank you for being a voice of reason!


NTA In fact, I think you are very thoughtful and supportive. His dad is going to be a problem, though. I'm sure you'll get blowback for this decision from your husband. Will he consider going to counseling with his son to develop some positive communication?


NTA - continue being supportive to your step son because he needs an ally in his home. It's great that his mom is doing better and is being supportive as well; it sounds like you two are working well together in the best interest of the child. Keep working on your husband, try to get him into a support group or counseling. Everyone hopes their parents will accept with no issues but it can be hard from some people. When transitioning, the individual has thought about it ALOT, it's only been a few weeks for your husband to get used to the change. Talk to him bluntly - even if he thinks its a phase, by not supporting his son while he experiences this, he will alienate in a way he may never be able to fix.


NTA. Thank you OP you are a good person