Funerals are a time to remember the impact people have had on us. It is a beautiful thing to honor their memory through stories.
Even if some people don’t want to hear them.
Redditor funeralthrowaway7 encountered this very issue with his family. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for coming out as gay at a funeral?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Two weeks ago, I (25 M) went to the funeral of my uncle (he was 54 M). He and I were really close, and his passing has been hard on me.”
“When I realized I was gay, my uncle was the first person I told. I knew he was one of the only people who would still love me even if I wasn’t going to end up married to a girl.”
“He helped me get over my first crush on a straight boy. He talked with me about ways to help my family understand my sexuality.”
“And one time (about a month before he died suddenly), I was feeling inadequate and said that everybody would hate me after I came out (my family is a bit homophobic). He sat me down and said ‘you’ll always be the same person you were before you came out. You’ll still be smart and compassionate and easygoing. But you’ll be more free. You won’t be hiding yourself. And you know what? People will appreciate that. Your family loves you, and they’ll want you to be free in any way you can.'”
“What he said shook me to my core. It completely changed my view on coming out. The day he said that to me, I called my parents and said that I was gay.”
“It went over pretty smoothly. And I did feel free. My uncle encouraged me to come out to our large extended family, and I was planning on doing so.”
“But then he passed away.”
OP was having a tough time during the funeral.
“During the funeral, we had a bit of time where people could stand up and share memories about my uncle. A lot of stories centered on how he changed their lives for the better.”
“I hadn’t planned to tell the story of my uncle’s support for my sexuality, but at the funeral, I became emotional about how important his support was.”
“During my turn to talk about him, I told the story about his support over the years and the speech that I mentioned above. And just like that, I had come out to my entire extended family.”
“People were shocked to hear that I was gay. Nobody was homophobic to me (at least outwardly), but at the reception, a lot of people came up to me and accused me of making my uncle’s funeral ‘all about me.’”
“My cousin compared what I did to proposing at somebody’s wedding. My mom also told me that it was inappropriate and I should have waited for a better occasion.”
“I believe that I was telling that story/coming out as a way to honor my uncle, but I’ve been dwelling on it, and I think I may have been an AH by coming out during his funeral. Am I?”
Redditors gave their opinions 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
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“I was all set to say Y-T-A but actually, no. This is beautiful and you are absolutely NTA!!”
“The people who accused you of ‘making it about you’ were looking for an excuse to punish you without seeming homophobic. But the truth is that you didn’t make it about you at all!”
“You told a beautiful story about what your uncle meant to you, the same way others did, about what an incredibly kind, loving, supportive person he was with regards to something that was incredibly difficult for you. It just happens that in the course of that story, you also outed yourself to those in the audience who didn’t already know.”
“That’s not ‘making it about you.'”
“I think your uncle would be incredibly proud of you. I don’t even know you, and I think you paid tribute to him in a really lovely way. And you certainly are NTA.” ~ Dangerous_Beans74
Many argued it was the best way to honor his uncle.
“Seconded! Also, funerals are for the living, the dead are well…. no longer with us.”
“The proposal at a wedding comparison doesn’t make much sense. I think it was a beautiful tribute to your uncle – if anything you are honoring the advice he gave you before he died.” ~ Poeppigii
“He honored his uncle by being his true self and using his passing as a springboard towards an wholehearted life. I bet Uncle would be SO proud.” ~ carrieberry
“If I helped somebody accept themselves that profoundly, I’d consider it part of my legacy. People work their whole lives to make that kind of an impact. It would be an honor.” ~ Neurotic_Bakeder
“Not only would the uncle be proud, I bet he would be pleased given the love, help and support he offered. I’m sure if he was still about he would’ve been by OP’s side to support them when coming out to the extended family and in a way, he was there. It shows what a wonderful man he was.”
“Re the other family members. It’s an a motive time and I don’t think they are AH either (necessarily!) grief is difficult and you can see why uncles relatives were upset. When time passes perhaps OP can write to them so they can read and absorb what the uncle did and what their plan was/why he chose to honour uncle at the funeral like that.” ~ RepresentativeWin935
“Straight people cannot call out others for coming out because they didn’t feel it was convenient for them. It’s not about how you feel Steve.”
“OP was incredibly brave and his critics can do one.” ~ Vallhalla_Rising
“Imagine if someone shared a story about how uncle helped them reconcile with their opposite sex partner and …… upon sharing, got accused for ‘coming out as heterosexual and making it all about u.’” ~ hyperfocuspocus
“Or ANY of the stories that we shared about how he affected their lives…..helped me get through college and now I’m a doctor…..why you make it all about yourself? Because you’re a neurosurgeon?” ~ Hot-Swim1819
Sharing a heart-felt story is the best way to honor someone.