Trans Teen Blasted for Demanding Mom Remove Tattoo With 'Dead Name' in It

A transgender teen who is demanding his mom remove a tattoo featuring his "dead name" has been met with strong opposition online.

According to data published by Statista in 2021, an estimated 12 percent of Americans who got a tattoo said they regretted having it done. However, in the case of one mom who is the subject of a post shared to Reddit by her 17-year-old transgender son, it's a slightly different story.

According to the post, which was uploaded by someone claiming to be the teenager writing under the handle throwaway-whoopwhoop, they only recently came out as trans to their family.

But while they admitted their mom has been "supportive" on the whole, the pair have been at loggerheads over one of her tattoos.

"My mom got a tattoo with my sister's name and my dead name after I was born," her son explained. "It's a huge tattoo with a unique design that incorporates her and my dead name. It covers most of her arm, and she is really proud of it because my older sister designed it and gifted it to her for her birthday."

Deadnaming is when someone refers to someone else using a name first person no longer wish to be referred to by. In the case of a transgender person, it may be their birth name or legal name. In most cases, someone transitioning will choose a new name to better align with their choice of identity.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Jason Lambrese explained that while deadnaming can sometimes be accidental, it can be distressing for the individual on the receiving end.

"It can remind them of that period in their lives before they could take steps to affirm who they are," he told the Cleveland Clinic. "Deadnaming might bring them back into those more negative times in their lives. And often, that gender dysphoria (distress that comes from one's sex assigned at birth not lining up with their true gender identity) can be associated with depression and anxiety."

Writing in the viral Reddit post, the trans teen said: "constantly seeing my dead name is kind of triggering to me." However, when he asked her mom to have it removed, she was shocked at the suggestion and told him she was "too old for longer tattoo sessions."

"Now she is often trying to cover it up with clothes, but I feel like it's not enough," he said. "Just the knowledge that that... name is still there, it haunts me. But she refuses to change it."

The teen said he and his mom have had "a lot of fights" because of the inking, though his mom has stressed she is "really trying to hide it" and only wants to keep it because "it's part of her body that she is in love with."

His old sister, meanwhile, is also opposed to the tattoo being removed as she thinks it would "look really awful" as they would likely have to black out the offending name.

Things escalated further at a recent family gathering too, where the teen told his cousin about his mom's refusal to remove the tattoo, sparking a furious argument in which the cousin accused his mom of "being transphobic."

That prompted his mom, who has been battling depression, to have a panic attack and, ultimately, to go and stay with the teen's grandparents. His dad and sister, meanwhile, have been left "angry" at how things have escalated—and they are not alone in that respect.

Of the many thousands commenting on the post, which was upvoted over 13,000 times, the vast majority on social media felt the mom was within her rights to keep the tattoo.

"She isn't challenging your identity or deadnaming you in your daily life. She supports who you are," FoolMe1nceShameOnU said. "The issue here is that you do not get to require another person to get what amounts to a painful semi-medical procedure on THEIR BODY in order to satisfy YOUR personal concerns or issues."

Sjohnson7645 commented: "I feel really bad for your mom. She supports you and your transition but you come across as demanding more than is reasonable. If she is accepting of your transition then why is her tattoo being held against her?"

"She got this tattoo for her birthday from her daughter representing the kids she loves," Original_Attitude808 added. "For you to be okay with her having a blacked out arm, for the rest of her life is screwed up."

Titariia wrote: "Aside from the physical pain and the fact that her entire arm would be ugly, I think that asking to change the tattoo is like asking to get rid of all photos before transitioning" while Musicgirlbr said: "part of accepting your identity is understanding you can't rewrite history."

Newsweek has contacted throwaway-whoopwhoop but wasn't able to verify the details of the case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via mailto:life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

A woman's tattoo with a name.
Stock image of a woman's back tattoo. A mom has won backing online for refusing to remove a tattoo featuring her trans son's deadname. justtscott/Getty