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Verbally abused by transgender relative

Community Member

Hi everyone,

Just posting on here to gain some help with understanding a situation I have never encountered.

At the beginning of this year, my transgender Uncle (born as a woman, now identifies as a male) separated with his partner of 5 months. Since that time we have not heard anything from him or had an opportunity to catch up with him.

2 weeks ago, my partner and I sent out our wedding invitations. As we are paying per head, we simply cannot afford to give all of our guests a "plus one".

Last week, my Uncle contacted me to mention that he had received our wedding invitation and wanted to know if the invite included his partner (which we thought they had broken up).

As the invites had already been sent and numbers already determined, I mentioned to my Uncle that we will need to wait for others to respond and if people decline then we are more than happy to invite his partner.

My uncle didn't like my response and went on to verbally abuse me by insinuating that I am a homophobic and that I was "de-legitimizing" his relationship. After copping a backlash of horrible text messages, I said to my uncle it would be better to resolve this over the phone rather than texting.

Geez, I wish I hadn't bothered. After giving my Uncle the respect to voice his concerns by actively listening until he had finished, he couldn't give me the same respect to hear me out. After copping the abusive text messages the day previous, I was also feeling hurt by the comments he had made towards me. I also wanted the opportunity to voice that I didn't like the way he spoke to me, however he kept interrupting me with defensive comments and not admitting to his own mistakes. It does take two to tango after all.

The conversation was not going well and it felt extremely one-sided. My uncle was acting entitled to bring his partner to our wedding, however as we are paying per head the decision is up to myself and my partner. Not him. Which he doesn't seem to understand or have any concern about.

After expressing to my Uncle that at the time the invitations were sent out, we had no idea that he had gotten back together with his partner, he also shut that down and called me a liar!!! My uncle then went on to call me a B****, hung up the phone on me and blocked me on all social media.

This reaction has come as a complete shock to my partner and I, we really don't understand it. Is there anyone who can shed some light on this situation for us?

Thanks in advanced!

3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi LoveFlowers

First, congratulations on your upcoming wedding, an incredibly exciting time in life.

I'm going back about 17 or so years when I speak of a relative I had issues with, regarding an invite to my own wedding. It was a low key wedding and reception with just adults invited (besides one child who was coming with family from interstate). All other kids were invited along with everyone else to an evening party, following the reception. My husband's uncle phoned me saying that he wanted to bring his young daughter to the wedding. I explained that not even my sister's children were coming, 2 kids I was very close with. By the way, my sister was my maid of honour and her partner (father of my nieces) was the best man. They happily organised a babysitter. My husband's uncle, on the other hand, became argumentative, insisting his daughter come. Well, to cut a long story short, he and his wife didn't come to the wedding (their choice).

At the end of the day, I believe your uncle should feel honored to have received an invitation to such a significant day in your life (just as my sister and her partner felt honored). Ultimately, it is a day about celebrating you and your partner, something most people would recognise. Whilst some accept an invitation unconditionally, others may not. For whatever reasons, they will not flex. They will make it about them. I believe you to be reasonable regarding your openness to conversation and your flexibility (based on the number of acceptances).

I know it may sound a bit harsh but I personally wouldn't include someone who has been so abusive and offensive, unless they deeply apologised.

Take care and enjoy your special day!

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear LoveFlowers

Hello and welcome to the forum. Congratulations to you and your partner on your forthcoming marriage.

It's a sad fact that people do get upset when they feel slighted in some way. It used to be assumed that all family members were invited to a wedding even when the invitation was addressed to parents. These days the cost of a wedding and the reception is very high. Traditionally the various events such as buying clothes, flowers, cost of the meal etc were borne by family members. E.g. flowers were paid for by the groom, father of the bride paid for the wedding breakfast, the bride bought her own dress and any dresses for bridesmaids. The couple then had an easier time financially.

This meant the wedding could be celebrated by more people. It's very different now but older people may remember everyone was invited but not realise why this could be so. These days couples pay the whole cost of the wedding and that represents a big cost. I can see why the list of wedding guests needs to be monitored. One extra meal may not sound much but it can cause other problems such as, " You allowed your uncle to bring his partner but will not allow my children to come". I know that's not the case here, just an example.

I am so sorry you had this upsetting incident. It's not a good thought to take into the wedding day. I hope you can put it to one side and enjoy your wedding day.

Like therising I think your uncle was unreasonable. The exclusion was not deliberate and no doubt his partner would have been included had you known. I wonder if your uncle had been supposed to let his family know he had reconciled with his partner but failed to do so. His outburst may have stemmed from feeling guilty. I can imagine a partner asking why you did not know he was half of a couple.

Families can be easily upset on these occasions because you 'ought' to have known. A reasonable approach would have served your uncle better and probably result in an invitation to the wedding when someone declined their invitation. Someone will decline for all sorts of reasons. You cannot pick a day that is OK for everyone.

Well you did your best and treated your uncle with respect. In the end that's all you can do. Take away the knowledge you intended no hurt. Then get on with your life and especially your wedding. Your uncle will perhaps find the grace to apologise, or he will remain aloof and not contact the family again. Either way it's his decision. Hope that helps.


Thank you for your kind words. Your response has been really helpful 🙂