We all have things that we enjoy, whether it’s a particular book or favorite TV show, and it’s disheartening when others criticize us for our interests.
But it’s dehumanizing when a person uses hate speech against it, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor didsaytoomuch was shocked at how he was treated by his own father about his favorite show.
When his father was furious for him calling him out in front of a friend, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he should have kept quiet.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for embarrassing my dad in front of his friend about the comments he made to me?”
The OP was frequently criticized by his dad for his TV show preferences.
“For months, literally daily, my dad makes fun of me (16 [Male]) because of this Spanish novella I like to watch.”
“He comes into my room when it’s on, starts laughing, and tells me he can’t believe I watch +this stupid f**got show.'”
“He always, always laughs at me every day when I say I gotta go because it’s about to start.”
“I don’t know why it’s such a big deal to him that it’s a show I’m into. Just because I’m a guy he thinks I shouldn’t like a show that’s romance/drama, but whatever, I try not to let it bother me.”
The OP’s father recently made a new friend.
“But then my dad made a new friend with one of the neighbors. It’s some guy that just moved in with his wife.”
“Everyone else in our neighborhood are elderly people or don’t like to interact so my dad was happy someone his age was living close by. And they get along.”
“My dad doesn’t have any friends except my godfather so for him, it’s a big deal having someone to hang out w sometimes.”
“His friend came over for dinner once and then I went to the family room to watch my novella.”
“His friend came in and he got excited. He asked me if I watch it too.”
“Then my dad comes in to hear what we’re talking about like he’s trying to be part of the convo and he says, ‘Yeah, the show looks good.'”
“It p**sed me off how he’s not making fun of it just because his friend happen to like it too. But when it’s his own kid who likes the show, he didn’t have a problem making fun of me.”
The OP decided to call his dad out.
“And I asked my dad, ‘Really? Didn’t you tell me it’s a f**got show?'”
“And he got red.”
“His friend asked him if he really said that to me.”
“My dad said yeah but he didn’t mean it, because we supposedly ‘like to joke around like that.'”
“But I don’t his friend believed him he looked serious after.”
“My dad gets mad at me that night and again now because he says his friend is barely talking to him, unlike before.”
“He said he was only joking with me when he would tease about me liking that show and I didn’t need to get hurt about it.”
“Like I said, it’s a big deal for my dad to have a friend and now this new one doesn’t wanna talk much. I feel like he deserves it but maybe I’m just mad.”
“So I don’t know if I was an a**hole for exposing that.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said it was obvious why the dad didn’t have more friends.
“I definitely would not be friends with a man who bullied his kid or who used homophobic slurs. I actually can’t even imagine being civil to someone like that.” – Longjumping-Study-97
“100%, I don’t think it’s a coincidence dad doesn’t have many friends. Sounds like an insecure man a lot of people might not like to be around.” – BangingABigTheory
“OP, it is not your responsibility to lie so your dad can fake being someone people want to associate with. His true nature is not your job to help hide.”
“He wasn’t just joking, he knew it hurt you, and was trying to hurt you enough that you would give up watching it.”
“NTA” – JuliaX1984
“OP and Dad seem to think this is actually just about the show, but it’s much more likely that the friend has had a bit of a paradigm shift in how he perceives the Dad.”
“I’d lose a lot of respect and interest in a continued/deeper acquaintance if I found out the person casually and non-ironically used such terms at all, let alone him using it to deride his own kid.”
“This sort of s**t is why such ignorant and stigma-ridden attitudes just won’t seem to f**king die already, and Dad is both old and young enough to know better.” – Self-Aware
Others urged the OP to understand that he had seen his father’s true colors.
“In my opinion, it probably wasn’t even about the show but the homophobic language that was used that made the other guy reconsider the friendship. Like FFS (for f**k’s sake), we’re in the 2020s right now, should really be past this.” – just_a_ricey_mess
“Eventually people get comfortable enough to show their true colors – your dad would’ve gotten relaxed and happy with his friend and started dropping little comments here and there to test the waters with the friend before either stepping up the level of your-dad-ness to more at home levels or would’ve gotten drunk/tired and slipped up.”
“You saved your neighbor a lot of time and disappointment by cutting to the chase before he got overly invested in a bigoted jerk of a ‘friend.'” – sammotico
“OP just made it unsafe because now he has to worry OP will repeat what he said and embarrass him. Well done OP.” – ziniabutterfly
“That’s a huge red flag. Just means he doesn’t show anyone who he really is unless they’re unable to leave him. You don’t owe him anything, OP.” – geesefearme
While the OP was concerned that he shouldn’t have spoken up in front of his dad’s very few friends, the subReddit felt he did the right thing. Most people are intolerant of hate speech, and they would quickly end a friendship if they found out their friend was speaking in that way.