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Dad’s refusal to remove tattoo of trans daughter’s deadname sparks furious debate

Lily Wakefield October 2, 2019
deadname tattoo

A dad with a tattoo of his daughter's deadname is refusing to remove it. (Envato)

A man who is refusing to remove a tattoo of his trans daughters deadname has sparked debate on whether he is in the wrong.

The dad posted the story on the sub-Reddit ‘Am I the A**hole?’ which describes itself as “a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you.”

He said that he got the names of all three of his children on his arm after the youngest was born, however his oldest child came out as trans and has chosen the name Athena.

He wrote: “My wife immediately supported her and made sure that I would too without any argument or else she would divorce me.

“It was a huge family issue for a while but eventually it was solved and everything has been good for the last little while. I’m slowly learning more and trying to accept my daughter and her new pronouns and her name change to Athena.”

But for Athena, seeing her deadname on her father’s arm is painful and the poster’s wife asked him to have it removed and changed.

Misgendering or using the previous name of someone who is trans can cause increased dysphoria and mental health problems. 

It has been proven that consistently using the correct name and pronouns for trans people can reduce their rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts to almost the same levels as their cisgender counterparts.

The dad finished his post by writing: “I personally don’t see the reason to change the tattoo and this feels like a bigger problem than it should be.”

The post currently has more than 2,500 comments, furiously debating whether or not the poster is at fault for keeping the tattoo of his daughter’s deadname.

One wrote: “My brother is trans and our family also went through a difficult acceptance process for my parents, so I know firsthand how painful that was for him and how rejected he felt for quite some time.

“Deadnames are in fact a HUGE deal for trans people… Your family is telling you in no uncertain terms that your response to this is hurtful, so I think you need to stop being so stubborn and take the time to listen to your daughter.”

Another said: “The hypocrisy that you have to accept her unconditionally yet she gets to dictate to you what you need to do to your body is unbelievable.”

However many of the comments point out that the dad might be leaving out part of the story.

One response read: “Reading between the lines, it sounds like ‘I was so resistant to accepting my child was trans that my wife had to threaten to divorce me before I grudgingly accepted it.'”

More: Children, deadname, father, Parenting, pronouns, tattoo, trans kid

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