OP (21f) has a habit of forgetting people’s names for a few seconds and spacing out trying to remember them. This is a habit that everyone who knows her is used to. OP’s cousin Lisa (22f) is a trans woman, and they are from an African background. Recently, OP went to Lisa’s house to help prepare for a party for Lisa’s older sister, who just became a doctor. While at Lisa’s house, OP was asked by Lisa’s mother to pass on instructions to Lisa, and she went looking for her.
After finding Lisa and relaying the message, Lisa suddenly snapped at OP and accused her of always forgetting her name because OP wanted to deadname her. Lisa suggested that if OP wants to deadname her, she should be openly transphobic instead of hiding behind her forgetfulness.
This accusation was particularly hurtful to OP because she was one of the first people Lisa came out to as trans. OP helped her with various things, such as shopping for feminine clothes, learning how to do makeup, and even helping her pick up out her new name. Despite this, OP responded by telling Lisa to “eff off” and went to another room to scroll through her phone.
The party for Lisa’s sister is coming up, and Lisa has yet to contact OP to explain herself. OP has decided that if Lisa doesn’t talk to her, she will ignore her at the party and wait until Lisa is ready to talk. OP’s other cousins are urging her to text Lisa first, and they believe that OP is the AH for refusing to do so.
Maybe She Is Processing
There are some sympathetic participants in the comment thread:
“NTA. It just wasn’t that. Maybe she’s feeling nervous or singled out in a crowd, but calling her the wrong name was clearly never your intention in the first place, and she shouldn’t take it out on you.”
It is a fairly reasonable response from this Redditor. They understand that Lisa might feel a little uneasy, particularly in a part situation. With extra people around, they may feel particularly insecure about being transgender and extra sensitive to abuse.
However, considering OP’s past relationship with Lisa, it seems like a very unreasonable reaction to OP’s forgetfulness. Many people have issues remembering people’s names. Therefore, the reaction comes across as unreasonable and unsubstantiated. Perhaps this is a deflection of Lisa’a feelings, causing her to lash out at OP irrationally.
Maybe OP is In The Wrong
There is a substantial group in the thread that disagree with OP’s actions:
“YTA. You probably didn’t forget the name on purpose, but why would you snap your fingers at someone and blurt out such a stupid question? When you don’t remember a name, look at the person and speak. You don’t actually have to know their name at all, let alone announce that you don’t.”
Although this Redditor agrees that forgetting Lisa’s name is understandable, how they tried to get their attention is disrespectful. They are suggesting that saying that they couldn’t remember the name, along with clicking fingers, was a very rude and offensive gesture.
They indicate that drawing attention to the idea of trying to remember Lisa’s name was, in a way, offensive. They are highlighting that they may have changed it or subtly undermining the fact they want to be referred to as something different.
OP Was Gaslighting
There is some particularly harsh criticism of OP in the thread:
“Trans person here – YTA. It doesn’t matter if you genuinely just forgot – she doesn’t know that, and the way you handled the situation comes off as dismissive and transphobic. Then you portray her as crazy and unreasonable when she expresses why she’s upset with you?”
Essentially, they say their response was effectively transphobic and abusive. OP’s forgetfulness and attention-grabbing actions are a form of subtle abuse of Lisa. Then explaining that Lisa was being unreasonable makes it appear that OP was the victim instead. It is difficult to confirm this theory, but it is supported by several people within the thread.