Outing someone without their consent and before they are ready is awful. Normally it’s absolutely something you would apologize for.
But what do you do when a person outs themselves after getting busted doing something wrong? Are you still the one who owes the apology?
And are you the bad guy if you don’t apologize?
One Reddit user, going by ThrowRABex, turned to the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit to get some answers after a disagreement with her sister.
“AITA accidentally outing my niece by assuming my nephew was spying on me when it was actually her?”
Before we get into her story, let’s talk about how this subReddit works. The original poster (OP) tells their tale as a post.
Other users post comments casting their votes and explaining their thoughts. The voting rubric is pretty simple.
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Let’s go ahead and get straight into her story.
“I (F35) recently lost my job and had to move in with my sister and her kids. I get on well with them and there are generally no issues.”
“However, about a week ago I started getting the feeling that I was being watched whenever I was in the bathroom or my bedroom. Yesterday I knew for sure that someone was peeping as I could see their shadow.”
“I decided enough was enough and went to open the door. This caused them to bolt.”
“The footsteps went in the general direction of my nephew’s room. I confronted him about it. I was polite but firm with him.”
“He denied it of course. Things then became a bit heated. My sister and niece came to see what was happening.”
“I told her that her son was looking at me while I was getting changed. She asked him if this was true. He again denied it and she said she believed him as he doesn’t lie.”
“I told her that I saw his shadow under the door and heard him rushing away. This is when she took offence and accused me of calling her son a liar and a pervert.”
“This is when things really kicked off. Eventually my niece blurted out that it was her.”
“All three of us were taken aback by this. Before anyone could ask her what she meant by this, she sped off.”
“My sister later called me and her son into the kitchen where my niece came out to us all. She apologized for spying on me and promised she would never do it again. She was clearly very embarrassed.”
“I thanked my niece and told her I forgave her. My sister asked if I had anything I wanted to apologize for.”
“I turned to my nephew and apologized for accusing him of creeping on me. I thought that would be that but my sister wasn’t finished.”
“My sister told me that I owed my niece an apology as well. I asked, what for. She told me that I needed to apologise for putting her daughter in a distressing position where she was forced to come out before she was ready.”
“I told her that was ridiculous. I had no idea she was gay. She put herself in that position by peeping on me.”
“I acknowledged that my niece did the right thing by coming forward rather than letting her brother take the blame but I told her that I wasn’t going to apologize for it either.”
“My niece is still upset and won’t make eye contact with anyone.”
“What do you think? AITA here?”
Reddit users, as usual, didn’t hold back.
“Definitely NTA.. I’m confused why she HAD to come out? She could have admitted to peeping on you just out of young curiosity and apologized.”
“I’m not sure how old your niece is but being gay is not an excuse to spy on people changing in a private room. If her reason for peeping was sexual in nature (otherwise idk what being gay has to do with it) then she probably needs a serious talk about consent and what’s appropriate behavior with guests in the house or anywhere for that matter.” – d0ubl3l0v3
“Yeah I think OP’s sister is really focusing on the wrong issues here. OP had no idea that making it public that someone was spying on her would lead to this.”
“Does the mom know this was more than a one time thing as well I wonder?”
“If so she needs to be talking to her daughter about boundaries and consent. And getting her to realise being sexually attracted to your bio aunt isn’t normal or okay.”
“It’s sensitive ground to tread because you don’t want the kid thinking you are saying being a lesbian is wrong, but they need to address the incest factor. Which is a totally separate issue to the nieces sexuality.”
“It’d need talking about just as much if it were her uncle she was spying on.”
“I’m curious about nieces age as well, because below a certain age the situation is more understandable and forgivable. But past a certain point it’s no longer childlike curiosity.” – LJnosywriter
“Yeah like, I never creeped on my family members and I’m attracted to women. Even thinking about it makes me feel sick.”
“This is never ok behavior. She should feel ashamed and embarrassed because what she did was wrong.”
“Her mom is over correcting in the wrong direction and is enabling very troubling behavior here.” – starlitsylveon
“NTA. You didn’t out her? And nothing about peeping inherently makes her gay or even questioning, she could just be nosy?”
“I’d move out, this was a rollercoaster.” – ur-humble-overlord
“The niece’s sexuality in terms of her gender preference is irrelevant. The issue here is that she is sexually fixating on a family member, and repeatedly violating their privacy.”
“Focusing on whether she’s gay really isn’t the point (and maybe she isn’t), but it’s clearly the only aspect of this scenario her family feel comfortable discussing.”
“Trying to turn it around on the OP is disturbing and bizarre. I think the parents should be discussing with their doctor whether they should be getting their child therapy not demanding an apology.”
“I have no idea how old the niece is, but if this behaviour continues, at some point it’s going to be considered a crime, if it isn’t already.”
“I’m sorry the OP is stuck in this situation. Absolutely NTA.” – Melaleuca10
“NTA. In the slightest.”
“Firstly, I’m queer, I know how terrifying coming out can be, but YOU DIDN’T OUT YOUR NIECE, SHE OUTED HERSELF.”
“Secondly, unless she’s much younger than I assume (as in under 10) I’m amazed you forgave her so easily, what she was doing is disgusting and perverted and a gross invasion of your privacy and her sexuality (or struggles with it) does not excuse that in the slightest.”
“Since you didn’t include ages, I’m not sure how old your niece is, but given the circumstances I’m assuming she’s at least in her preteens or early teens, in which case she should know exactly how wrong what she was doing was.”
“Porn is abundant and easily accessible on the internet, she doesn’t need to be a Peeping Tom in order to discover her sexuality, she spied on you knowing it was wrong and there’s no justification for that.”
“Being gay is not a clean slate for her awful and criminal behaviour, you have literally nothing to apologise for and nothing to feel guilty about, (other than the false accusations against your nephew).”
“Quite frankly, it sounds like your family is going easy on her because she came out. I knew a few other queer kids like that growing up, and they’ve since graduated from spying and other creepiness to straight up sexual assault, and I don’t know if people being firmer with their behaviour while they were growing up would have prevented that, but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.”
“Make sure yours and your family’s sympathy and support for your niece coming out doesn’t overshadow how incredibly serious and disgraceful her actions were or she could end up on a register that means she can’t live near schools sometime in the near future.” – RobotsVsLions
Obviously Redditors has some serious concerns. But the OP can rest assured that they are not the a**hole in this scenario.