A young man recently shared a brutal story of how he came out to his father. His moment of honestly happened when he was blindsided by the sudden need to disclose his sexuality in a very public social situation.
Handling something so sensitive in such an unintentional way was, of course, excruciating. But one emotion in particular brought nobigdealguy to the internet to ask for advice: guilt.
He wondered, on a moral level, just how much he botched the situation, so he turned to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP) began with some backstory. He explained how far he had gone over the years to keep his sexual orientation from his dad.
“So this happened on Sat night this week. I’m a 25 year old male.”
“I realized I was gay when I was about 13-14, and my dad was your stereotypical Christian man so he was always against gays growing up. I never told him, and even told him the guy who I actively sneaked out to see was actually a girl.”
“My best friend of all time pretended to be my girlfriend in front of my dad to please him and so he would never ask me about what girls I was seeing, who I was interested in, etc.”
But after his boyfriend let his guard down for just a second, the jig was up.
“I never told him about my bf Chris, who I’ve loved now for nearly 6 years until Saturday night.”
“Chris and I were entertaining my father and some of his friends. I started this to keep in touch with him and because most of his friends are basically uncles to me.”
“Well, Chris is always around me. That night he called me babe and love without realizing it, and tbh I didn’t notice either until my dad said ‘excuse me?'”
It didn’t take long for him to divulge the whole truth. The reveal left his dad spinning for a couple reasons.
“At this point I thought I was f***ed because my dad got up from the couch and came over to where I was. He confronted me and I told him straight out that I was gay and Chris had been my lover for 6 years.”
“He left shortly after that with his friends, and later called me saying he didn’t want to talk for a while. He told me he was disappointed in me, but was the most disappointed that I had lied with my female friend saying I was with her all that time.”
He ended his post by posing a question to fellow Redditors.
“I feel bad for not telling him sooner, but Chris tells me its not my fault I was scared to come out. Am i the a** here?”
He asked the community to offer an assessment of his behavior using the following scale:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most comments came from people who felt he ought to forgive himself.
“NTA trust me any closeted person would agree that the only reason we lie is bc we don’t feel safe with others bc of some behavior that they expressed in the past” — bingbongsuperdong
“Nta. You did what you did to have a normal childhood free of judgement. Youre an adult and hes an adult. He will get over your justified deception. Or he will use it to mask his homophobia.” — sirdkuyp
“NTA. You said he was ‘always against gays’ so you must have heard this behavior in front of him, and it shows his true colors. I would in no way blame you for your fathers bigotry, especially when he sought you toot like them.”
“You may also have felt physically intimidated to come out as gay, so I wouldn’t blame you for not coming out either.” — DragoniteSquad
“NTA, if he was openly against gays or any of the LGTBQ community then you had every right to be careful.”
They acknowledged that his decision likely came from a place of genuine fear of his father’s response.
“You couldn’t have figured out how he would react, and I’m assuming if it was as a teenager he may have been more vocally against it to maybe try and change you.” — Higher_Initiative
“NTA. When I kid is afraid to tell their parent about their sexuality because they already KNOW they will react portly, then that person has FAILED as a parent.”
And they assured him that putting off the moment was natural, and that how it transpired was largely out of his control.
“No child should EXPECT to get reject by a parent.” — Jrockyroad
“‘How dare you not risk your physical and mental safety by revealing your marginalized identity to a religious person, Shroedinger’s bigot, who you have to share a living space with and who has power over your physical and financial situation!'”
“Yeah, NTA. Nobody is ever TA for being closeted. If people want to be told, they need to be demonstrating that it’s safe to tell them LONG before there’s anything to tell.” — StarryMotley
After some feedback, the OP shared that he had re-established communication with his dad following the incident.
“Update: so I just called my dad. I has the most awkward ‘hello’ and ‘hey’ exchange with my father.”
“After asking him about work I just came straight out and explained everything to him. From when I started fake dating my friend to when I kissed a boy for the first time, and he was very silent through the whole thing.”
He hoped his decision to call and explain everything created some pivotal transparency in the relationship.
“When I was done he told me he was willing to give it a chance, to see this side of me he didn’t know. He confirmed that he had left because of how shocking it was in that moment.”
“He did admit to me that me being gay makes him a little uncomfortable but he said he could work at getting over it since its what I want. He told me he loves me and that he’s glad I told him, but he needs a little time to process.”
“I invited him to come to Chris’s barbecue this Sunday and he said he might attend so, I am feeling so much better.”
Redditors who read that update found the news very encouraging.
“Judging by the update, it sounded like your dad was less upset about you being gay and more upset about you lying, but again I think your lie was justified. I’m glad he’s being openminded for your sake.” — BoredForever1
“I’m here after the update, your fear was valid, it’s good it wasn’t validated, and I’m glad your dad is trying so hard. Even without the update I was going to say NTA. I hope he shows up at the barbecue and has a great time with you and Chris.” — WombatInferno
“NTA but I love the update. It seems as if he’s willing to have a change of heart because his heart is more attached to you than his outdated (possibly former) opinion” — Redhotjazzinyourface
“NTA and I’m glad he’s making an attempt to understand ! Wish you and your partner luck and I hope it works out with your dad 🙂 sometimes things just need time.” — objecttime
“What a beautiful update. I know it could be shocking to him after being lied to in regards to your ‘girlfriend’ and his religious upbringing. I doubt he’s upset over your ‘uncles’ being there either. It seems he’ll be supportive given time :)” — Satsumaimo7
Though the circumstances around the truth-telling were far from optimal, we hope the OP’s honesty will lead to a more fulfilling relationship with his father.