When a friend makes the decision to act on their gender identity and transition, it feels non-negotiable that support is offered.
But one Redditor's story gets complicated.
Many transgender people choose a new name during their transition.
What if they chose your exact, unique name? When is it fair to challenge their choice?
Redditor toughblood3 shared their story in the subReddit "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) to receive judgment over their handling of that scenario.
They began by explaining that her given name holds deep connections to her ancestral origins, giving the name meaning and uniqueness.
"So I (20/cisgender female) am a lesbian woman living in the US. My family is originally from India and most of my family live there. I go back every 2 years. I'm pretty connected to my Indian roots even though I was born and raised in the states."
"My name is Indian and out of the people I've met with my name, I've only met one person who was (half) white."
Name explanation behind her, the narrator moves on to describe her first impasse with the person who wants her name.
She cites an event from the time before they transitioned.
"Anyway, I met John (not a real name) last year and he was a friend of a friend who joined our group of friends. He asked me out twice—the first time I said no and the second time I rejected him again by saying I'm a lesbian."
Awhile later, the acquaintance began their transition process.
And those feelings didn't change at all as time passed.
"Cut to nine-ish months ago. John came out as non-binary and changed their name to "Sky" (fake again) and was able to start hormones. Admittedly they looked a lot more feminine over this time and grew out their hair and started to present more feminine."
"During this time, they asked me out again, to which I said no. They got a little annoyed but I said I was a lesbian and I'm only attracted to women. I got attacked a little for that but like I'm not attracted to the parts a biological male has, I'm literally only attracted to cis-women."
The narrator has now turned this person down three times.
That would be enough for an awkward relationship without a name-change fiasco, but that was coming.
"Around a month or so ago, Sky came out again but as a trans woman and changed their name to mine but a different spelling (think Riya vs. Rhea). It really threw me for a loop as they're both pretty Indian names and John is white."
"I expressed that I was kind of uneasy and asked why she picked that name, to which she had no response. I asked if she could change her name to something else and she was absolutely furious."
The narrator now finds herself ostracized, but does feel she had a leg to stand on here.
"The backlash was kind of crazy, the majority of my friends thought I was some trans-phobic a**hole but I just felt like she was crossing my boundaries."
Unsure of how guilty to feel, the narrator turned to Reddit for its always professional, level-headed advice.
The narrator found plenty of support.
"This woman sounds like an absolute creep. How in the world is it transphobic to find it strange that a person who repeatedly didn't take no for an answer changed their name to yours?? The cultural appropriation angle as well..." -- Takingf*cks
"Girl is obsessed to the unhealthiest degree. There can be a whole thing about her choosing a name that is common in another culture, but I'm guessing another piece to this too is she picked a name where you are probably the only connection with that name."
"I mean you really can't stop her from using that name but if you decide to end your friendship over this you would be justified." -- porterlisw
Some went a step further and mapped out the obsessive behavior, even giving tips about how to proceed.
"This is honestly creepy as hell, and while this may get me some backlash, this whole thing SOUNDS like some crazy misguided attempt to date/be you."
"Again, I may be in the wrong here, but asking to date first as a male, then becoming non binary and asking again, to becoming trans and literally picking basically your name gives off in my opinion a TON of red flags." -- DrPepperDemon
"This person sounds incredibly toxic, and is altering themselves based on a warped fantasy of being with you. The name change is a huge warning sign to drop them from your life, and your friends that are supporting this behavior." -- Kokaburr
"I would start building a case for a restraining order. It's f*cking creepy what she did. It's better to have a bunch of evidence and not use it then needing an order of protection and not able to get one." -- F*ckTimPeel
Others commented directly on the delicacy of the situation and recognized the internal tension at play here.
On one hand, the narrator feels driven to be supportive.
On the other hand, it is fair to feel encroached upon.
"I'm saying this as a trans person, you're not in the wrong. It's not exactly common to actively change your name to something so similar to someone else's in your circle, and not gonna lie, it kinda feels gross and stalker-y."
"Regardless of how she actually identifies, it is just weird." -- CuteCryptid
"I'm trans but I've honestly noticed a pattern of so called trans women transitioning right after being rejected by a lesbian and then pressuring the lesbian to date them using transphobia as leverage." -- outlawedmoon
"Your friends are the worst kind of 'woke.'"
"They don't see the need to empathize with a (i) lesbian who has been repeatedly hit on by a person of a gender to which she's not attracted (ii) a woman being doggedly pursued for a romantic relationship or (iii) a POC whose name has been appropriated." -- Stunning-General
"Let her name herself what she wants, but it is very odd she chose that name that is so similar to yours. But the most disturbing thing is that she keeps pushing you to go out with her."
"Just because she presents as female now, doesn't mean you have to be attracted to her. I'd keep my distance from this person, they don't seem mentally stable." -- RollingKatamari
While Reddit judged the woman "Not The A**hole", it is unclear where the names and friendships of this story currently stand.