Coming out to family is often one of the hardest things someone in the LGBTQ+ community can go through.
But coming out to a conservative family that you are certain will reject you can be exponentially scarier.
Some opt not to come out to their family at all, only to then either reach their breaking point or be outed by someone else.
Recently, closeted Redditor Bruh_Station_2222 clashed with her queer cousin by not coming out along with her to their conservative family, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she was wrong for doing so.
“AITA for not coming out with my cousin when she came out to our family and denying being LGBT+ when pressed by our grandparents?”
The original poster (OP) explained the fallout after her cousin came out.
“Keeping this short. Names have been changed for privacy.”
“My (f[emale]25) cousin Jessica (f[emale]29) came out to our conservative family a bit ago (despite me telling her it was a bad idea) and like I said she was immediately disowned by our family for ‘choosing that lifestyle’.”
“I don’t agree with them, I’m bi but I can’t support myself on my own right now. I live in one of my parents’ rental properties and work for my grandparents.”
“We live in an area with a high cost of living. I’d be homeless within a month if I lost my job.”
When the OP refused to come out in solidarity, things took a turn.
“After she was disowned she was cut from our grandparents’ wills too. She looked to me for support cuz her parents cut her off (they paid part of her rent) and I said I’d help her with it but she wanted me to come out too in a show of solidarity.”
“She said they couldn’t cut us both off or they’d never get grandkids (we’re the only two ‘kids’ in the family so without us no grandkids). I told her no cuz I have no doubt they WOULD disown me too and I’d be homeless/jobless.”
“She called me an ahole and said I was abandoning her and turning my back on the lgbt community by lying about being straight just to stay on our homophobic family’s good side. She even said I was probably after the full inheritance.”
“I said that wasn’t true, I don’t care about that but I can’t afford to come out or I’d be in an even worse place than her. She hung up and ignored me.”
The OP’s cousin then proceeded to out her during a fight with her parents, which escalated things even further.
“Days later I got a bunch of calls from my parents/our grandparents demanding to know if I was ‘one of the queers’ like Jessica. I was confused (and terrified) but played dumb.”
“I asked what they were talking about and turns out Jessica got into a fight with her parents and said they’d never ever see her future kids but they said they didn’t care cuz they’d dote on my kids instead.”
“That’s when she blew up and outed me to them, saying they would never get any grandkids. That led them telling my parents who told our grandparents.”
The OP felt she had no choice but to deny being gay.
“They all jumped down my throat and I was close to a panic attack so I just lied. Said I wasn’t gay and Jessica was just lying to try and make me look bad.”
“It took me an hour of lying and crying to get them to back off. They don’t think I’m gay anymore but now Jessica’s relationship with our family is worse.”
“I’m the only one who will talk to her and I know it’s breaking her heart because she feels so isolated.”
“She says this whole thing is my fault and that I abandoned her for money and she’d have never done this to me if I’d come out. I feel terrible because I feel like she’s right?”
She admitted she’s not ready to come out, and might never be.
“Maybe coming out will force our family to accept her back. But I’m scared. I’m not ready to come out.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever be while our family is alive. I cannot see them being okay with it and I don’t want to be homeless.”
“AITA? I think I might be because I could be the reason Jessica is getting thrown aside like this. My friend says I’m not but I don’t know.”
The OP later edited her post to add a few more details.
“Some people were assuming Jessica was a lesbian but she’s not. She’s polysexual.”
“I thought I included that in the post but I didn’t. Sorry for the confusion!”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They agreed that the OP’s cousin was wrong for trying to out her.
“NTA. You get to control when you come out. Not her.”
“That was an extremely sh*tty move by her in outing you to your family.”
“Also, your family are terrible homophobes. Get away from them ASAP.”—SonuvaGunderson
“Nobody gets to force you to come out. You get to do that on your own timeline, especially if coming out will put you in a dangerous situation of being homeless.”
“Jessica knew that and decided to take matters into her own hands to even the score knowing the end result.”
“You’re much stronger than me. I’d have cut all ties with her for the sheer fact of her stupid stunt.”
“If she’s touting on about the LBGTQ community she should know the unspoken rule you don’t out another member.”—italy2986
“She was sooo not well-meaning, she knew what she was doing and was an extremely selfish skidmark.”
“Source? A pan woman who got outed before they were ready.”—Glasshammer_18
“NTA. Only you can decide when to come out, and her outing you after you explicitly told her you weren’t ready was a really sh*tty thing to do.”
“Her situation sucks, but putting yourself at risk for zero chance of making it any better would be a terrible idea. You coming out would just mean you’re both disowned and homeless, it wouldn’t magically make everyone accept her.”—revmat
Some warned the OP not to give her cousin any tangible evidence that she’s bisexual, just in case she tries to use it against her.
“PLEASE make sure you don’t give her any ‘proof’ of being LGBT. Don’t text her about it, don’t post about it, block her on social media, etc. as she could easily take a screenshot or record you and send it to your family.”
“Don’t ever acknowledge your sexuality with her again unless you’re ready to come out because she’s already shown you how spiteful she is. It would be naïve of you to assume she wouldn’t try to prove she was right at your expense now, especially since she’s probably only more pissed now.”
“In fact, I would delete this post on the off chance she sees it and recognizes its you since it’s a pretty unique situation. Good luck and stay safe!”—valkyriae
“Really solid advice. OP should be on guard. Cousin is not a co-conspirator, but a potential spy.”
“Outing OP is no risk, all reward. Who will OP turn to when outed and isolated from the rest of the family? To the commiserating cousin.”—competetowin
Many also suggested that the OP do what she needs to do to be able to live her life to the fullest—even if that means distancing herself from her family.
“NTA. Jessica doesn’t get to decide when you come out because she thinks it will make her life easier.”
“And she doesn’t think they’ll take her back in if you come out too, she just doesn’t want to be thrown out alone, misery loves company.”
“Your family are massive AH and I feel sorry for her that they’ve reacted this way, she doesn’t deserve that. But it’s not your fault.”
“And she doesn’t get to decide to out you to deflect their terrible behavior onto you. You are the only one who should make decisions on who knows about your sexuality.”
“Though I do hope when you feel you are in a better position in your life, you don’t feel you need to be a part of that family and hide yourself anymore. They don’t sound like the kind of people that deserve a relationship with Jessica OR you.”—lnwint
“NTA, nobody can be forced to come out.”
“However, I think that the best and honestly the right thing you can do right now is find a way to support yourself, gain your independence and come out to your family, who are the only AH in this story.”—Fergus74
“NTA. Outing someone else is an act of violence.”
“First do what you need to in order to be safe. If that is staying in the closet for now, that is fine.”
“It does sound like your family is pretty toxic. If they feel this strongly about homosexuality, it’s likely that they are engaging in other harmful behaviors toward you whether you know it or not.”
“Long term, you should work to figure out a way to ensure you are not financially or emotionally dependent on them.”—thedingeratemybaby
It sounds like Reddit agrees that the OP is just doing what she needs to survive at the moment.
We wish her all the best as she navigates the journey to self-acceptance so she can hopefully one day be free to live her life in the way she see’s fit.