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“My 15-Year-Old Daughter Won’t Speak to Me Until I Have a Tattoo of Her Deadname Removed”

One mum has asked for advice regarding a tattoo that she has on her neck that has become a bone of contention between her and her 15-year-old teen. The tattoo in question features her transitioning teen’s deadname and according to the teen it is triggering for her to have to see everyday, and makes her feel as though her mum isn’t taking her transition seriously. The mum, however, thinks this is ridiculous, and should be able to make her own choices about what is on her body. What do you think?

Hi everyone, I’m 36f. I have 2 daughters, one of which came out as trans a year ago. Let’s call them Maria(17) and Anna (15, my trans child). I would like to start by saying that when Anna came out, I had no problems so long as her transition didn’t come in the way of school or grades. The problem however, is I have Anna’s “deadname” tattooed on my body. I have had the tattoo since she was a toddler. It’s pretty visible as it’s on my neck, and everytime Anna sees it she gets visibly upset. She’s told me she’s looked into tattoo removal surgery and recommended that I get it removed, or covered with her new name. While I do have the money for it, I do not think it’s something I want to deal with. After all, it is just a tattoo and I don’t think I should have to get it removed to show my love and dedication for this new identity. Anna however has accused me of not taking her seriously, and that if I truly loved or cared I’d get it removed.

I do understand getting the tattoo removed or covered would show dedication but I truly do not see it as necessary. I think she’s being absolutely ridiculous pushing the issue. I’m an adult after all and can make decisions about my own body, just as she can. This issue has put a strain on our relationship and now she barely looks at me these days.


Whilst people agreed that it was her body and her choice, they also questioned whether she was willing to accept that her choice would come with consequences, and whether it was really the hill she wanted to die on.

NAH because it’s your body, you can do what you want with it, but you also can’t stop your daughter from seeing your choice as a sign that you don’t accept her deep down. This IS going to affect your relationship with her whether you like it or not. Her deadname upsets her, she can’t see you without being confronted with it, and you’re all surprise-face that she doesn’t want to look at you?

Bluntly, you have a choice. What do you value more – your money/tattoo, or your relationship with your daughter?

You have a right to make that choice in either direction, but you need to be able to accept the consequences for it. (Trilobyte141)


Many commenters suggested that covering the tattoo rather than trying to remove it would possibly be a better solution.

It seems like the majority in this comment section don’t realise that tattoo removal is usually way more painful than the actual tattoo, needs to be done more than once and can leave an ugly mark/scar. Just cause OP has the funds doesn’t make this an easy solution.

I think covering the tattoo (not necessarily permanently, with make up or temporary tattoo for example) would be a good idea to show your daughter you do respect her transition and are on her side. (Bettersoon27)

Yeah, they should cover it up with something that represents their daughter. Since covering it up with something new is already pretty symbolic of transition and celebration, I think something that represents “the new her” or something symbolic of change and transformation (like a phoenix, a butterfly…) with some attributes that clearly tie it to Anna would be an amazing idea.

It shows that you’re starting a new chapter, by covering it with something new just like she is becoming someone new. It symbolizes leaving the past behind. You got that tattoo for Anna the person, Anna your child— not just the idea of her, or who she was at that one point in time. It’s a physical and permanent symbol of your love for her, right? You’ll always be there for your child and support, love and be proud of them as they grow and change. If that’s true, I honestly think altering the tattoo is a logical representation of that.

I agree NOT to get a specific name tattooed— that might change! But something symbolic, or something that represents her beyond a name or even gender presentation is truer to the tattoo’s real intention, and I don’t think you’ll have to worry about it aging poorly wrt how her choices may or may not change, especially if it’s something that represents continual growth and transformation. (castfire)


I had my child’s deadname on my wrist. I honoured their transition by having it covered with something that meant a lot to both of us.

Re-edited to change judgement: for me this is YTA because I just reread and saw that you view the request as ridiculous.

It can be traumatizing to someone to have to see their deadname constantly. And yours is in such a visible place your own kid can’t look at you. As a mother that would make my mind up for me right then and there.

My son didn’t even ASK us to cover our tattoos. We just did it to show that we honour who he is now. (Peanut0901)

However, a few people also counselled the mum not to replace the deadname with another name, as this could also become problematic in the future.

Listen…not going to comment on if you’re an AH or not, but is this really the hill you want to die on?

That being said, DO NOT tattoo their new name on your neck. This is a stupid idea. They are 15 and I can almost guarantee they will change their name multiple times before settling on one.

If you are going to cover it up, cover it up with something else entirely. Their birth month flower, perhaps? (N70perativelvy)

Can confirm – mine came out as nonbinary and decided to change their name. I’ve their “deadname” tattooed on my forearm. Kiddo was on me to change it or cover it up.

Three years later kid is still nonbinary but is going back to their birth name by choice. (lurksgirl)

What do you think? Is the mum right that it is her body, her choice, or should she take steps to cover the tattoo with makeup or a cover-up tattoo, or have it removed to support her transitioning teen?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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