I'm not exaggerating when I say the "Am I the A-hole" community on reddit has taught me more about not judging a book by its cover than any media I've consumed in the past five years. Nearly every day, I see a post on there with a title that evokes a snap judgment on my part, only to read the post in full and find myself taking a complete 180. This is one such story.
Just reading the subject line, "AITA for uninviting my transgender sibling from my wedding?" I'm fully ready to issue a YTA verdict, until I hear out the dubiously named "notatransphobe" who is getting married in four months and recently learned his sibling identifies as a woman.
This is clearly new information for the groom, and his post definitely illustrates he has a lot to learn about gender identity in general and more specifically about his sister's, who wishes to be called Stella now. However, OP's struggle to come to terms with this news doesn't seem to be the issue. The issue is that Stella wants to use the wedding to come out to their family.
Stella's first suggestion was that she would arrive dressed in gender-affirming attire to the ceremony. OP pushed back on this, saying it would undoubtedly pull focus from the bride, and Stella then suggested, as OP phrases it, "she said she could come as Dave and at the reception change and reveal Stella."
OK, yikes. Stella has a flair for drama, because that is definitely not an improvement to the original suggestion. To his credit, the groom suggested Stella come out after or even before the wedding but not at the wedding or reception.
"I've tried negotiating but she's adamant that the family never gets together anymore, and this is possibly her only opportunity for a big reveal. When I asked why she needs such a big reveal, she got angry and asked if I was transphobic."
Oh, Stella. This is not it. This is not the day. The only big news on a wedding day belongs to the couple getting married. Somebody else's wedding is not the time to reveal your big promotion, your pregnancy, your terminal diagnosis, your own engagement, or your newly affirmed gender identity. And it seems most of the AITA community agrees OP is not wrong for his reservations about Stella's plans.
"Eventually, I told her she can't come to the wedding, because I won't have the day turn into something completely about her," writes the distressed groom, who is now worried this tough decision has put a strain on their sibling relationship.
Coming out to your family is difficult for a significant number of people in the LGBTQ community. It's scary to tell people you love something you fear may change their love for you. Sadly, though an increasing number of queer and trans people are having positive and affirming experiences coming out to their families, for some the fear of rejection or backlash is real and in some cases warranted.
So I get the impulse to want to soften the blow, create a buffer for oneself by coming out at a big family event where everyone will feel pressure to be on their best behavior. I say all that to say I understand the logic behind Stella's thinking, even if I don't endorse it as praxis.
"She says the 'big party atmosphere' will lighten up the mood and protect her from backlash," the groom adds in the comments of his post "Now I feel I'm going to responsible if [the news is] not accepted well." Thankfully, another user had important insight to offer.
If Stella is worried about a backlash, her logic that coming out at her brother's wedding will soften the blow may not be sound. Revealing the news to family before the wedding, as the commenter above suggests, will give them time to adjust and process rather than reacting in the moment. And, as they point out, alcohol is a frequent factor at weddings, and we all know booze rarely improves tense situations!
Reddit readers who are trans themselves also weighed in on the situation, "I’m a trans woman. I came out to my family privately one by one," writes sarahlizzy. "Trying to hijack your wedding is wholly inappropriate. Your sister is going to be ironing out some wrinkles as she learns to interact in public as a woman, but going full bridezilla is NOT the right way to learn."
Still, it would be a shame is Stella wasn't present at her brother's wedding because of this disagreement. Here's hoping she finds a way to have her big day without overshadowing her brother's.