There aren’t many comparable scenarios to coming out.
Even though absolutely nothing about you has changed, revealing your sexual orientation to your friends and family could still result in them seeing you in a different light.
Indeed, it is the reaction of those you love that makes coming out all the more stressful and anxiety-inducing, as you have absolutely no idea what they’re going to say.
When the daughter of Redditor Ok_Translator1301 came out to him and his wife, his wife had a happy but very emotional response to this news and meeting their daughter’s girlfriend.
The original poster (OP)’s reaction to this news, however, was not the least bit appreciated by his wife, who even went so far as to call him “homophobic” for the way he reacted.
Wondering if this was, indeed, the case, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not having much of a reaction to my daughter coming out and introducing us to her partner?”
The OP explained why his wife was furious at his wildly different reaction to their daughter’s coming out.
“My daughter is 23, and she requested dinner with us because she had some important to tell us–being my wife and I.”
“She introduced us and came out.”
“My wife was emotional, gave her a big hug, and told her how proud she was.”
“I, on the other hand, did not react to her coming out.”
“I honestly did not care about that part.”
“I was honest. Her partner was cool, and she was very interesting.”
“My wife told me I was rude for ignoring our daughter’s announcement.”
“I told my wife that I did not care who she was attracted to. All I cared about was if she was happy.”
“I tried to explain I did not care about that stuff, people like who they like. I don’t need labels for that.”
“Love is love.”
“She said my view is slightly homophobic because it shows I am not acknowledging a different view.”
“I do not see it that way.”
“I did not treat her situation as any different from her brothers.”
“I took the time to get to know the person they were with.”
“My wife feels I should have treated it differently because they are different situations. Ignoring that fact does not help.”
“Am I the a**hole should I apologize to my daughter and her partner?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community all but unanimously agreed that the OP was not at all the a**hole for not having much of a reaction to his daughter’s coming out.
Everyone agreed that his reaction as if nothing had changed was not remotely homophobic but instead commendable, as it showed that his love for his daughter was no different.
“I’m a lesbian.”
“When I came out to my parents, they basically reacted with ‘that’s nice, dear’.”
“My sexuality didn’t change my relationship with them.”
“IMO that’s how it should be.”- perfectpomelo3
“Your reaction is the right one because homosexuality shouldn’t be a big deal, it’s one way of life, and it’s just as fine as being straight or whatever.”
“Just talk to your daughter and make sure she doesn’t wrongfully get the impression that you don’t care.”
“Explain to her that it’s just that it’s quite undramatic to you and that you accept her 100% and thought her partner seemed cool.”
“She’ll be happy.”- ScooptiWoop5
“I will never understand what is ‘homophobic’ about people treating gay children exactly the same as they treat straight children.”
“Isn’t that the ideal that we are striving for?”- Due_Laugh_3852
“You responded normally.”
“This is what we’re trying to move towards.”
“When I came out to my mom, she didn’t have much of a reaction.”
“Just spoke to me about how I was feeling like it was the easiest thing to talk about.”
“I was a teenager, and it made me feel good; I had been incredibly nervous about her reaction and was very happy with how mild it was.”
“If your daughter herself asked for a little more validation from you, I’d say, of course, give it to her.”
“But I don’t think big displays of emotion should be expected.”
“Sexuality is natural. It isn’t a choice.”
“It shouldn’t be more or less celebrated than someone saying they’re straight.”- sushitrain_
There were a few, however, who at least understood where the OP’s wife was coming from, as his lack of emotion might have seemed cold, but ultimately pointed out that the only opinion that mattered was their daughters.
“I do think it might come across weird if one parent gives the child a hug and the other just sits there saying nothing really to acknowledge what was said.”
“People don’t have to do a big todo, but I do think maybe matching the energy and giving her a hug, too, would have been better?”
“Depends on if you regularly give hugs, though, I suppose.”
“I’m doing NAH because we don’t know the daughter’s opinion.”
“I had a bad coming out to my father, but I do like to imagine best case scenario would have been him saying, ‘I’m glad you felt comfortable enough telling me that’ and maybe a hug to acknowledge how difficult it was and show that he still loves me?”
“That would have been nice.”- I-hear-the-coast
“As a lesbian, NAH- your wife wasn’t wrong for showing effusive support, and you weren’t wrong for being supportive in your own way.”
“However I don’t see anything wrong at all with showing that enthusiasm, especially if your daughter took until the age of 23 to come out.”
“Before I came out at 20, I felt like I was running so far behind my peers, living a lie, etc. etc.”
“It’s hard. If your kid is middle or early high school age when they come out.”
“I agree ‘normalizing’ is probably the way to go.”
“But at 23, that is an appropriate age to show a little extra support.”
“The fact is that if you are 21+ right now, you did not grow up in a world that was very supportive or accepting of gay people.”
“That merits a little extra enthusiasm, love, and joy.”
“Internalized shame is a lifelong battle.”- MulberryLivid6938
The OP later returned to share how his daughter felt about his lack of reaction.
“Did not have much time with my daughter; she had a prior engagement, but we had some coffee.”
“We spoke about the evening, as I suspected she did not have an issue with it, and she also felt it was self-explanatory when she introduced her girlfriend–she corrected me since I said partner they view each other as girlfriend and girlfriend.”
“The coming out was more so her girlfriend’s idea, and my daughter said she was going to reach out because while she had no issues with my reactions, her girlfriend thought it was weird how I kind of brushed off the response and treated this situation as if they were a straight couple.”
“My daughter did try to explain that is just the person I am.”
“Explained how she preferred my nonreaction verse, making it a big deal.”
“She told the story of how she came to me first when she had her first period because she knew my wife would make a huge fuss over simple biology.”
“I told her I made an AITA post, and we laughed over some of the comments.”
“We are going to arrange another date, and this time, we will have a more special event for the sake of her girlfriend.”
“Since she did feel slightly offended by being treated as if they were a straight couple.”
“My daughter had no issues overall, but I will correct course.”
“She was slightly disappointed I did not make a dad joke about her coming out.”
“I did express that my love for her would never change, and I told her I hoped she did not wait so long because she thought I would think differently.”
“She just told me I never told you because it was not important to her.”
“She knew I would not care either way.”
“I do appreciate all the varied viewpoints, and please understand it was not my intention to marginalize the hardships LGBTQA+ face in this world. I know it may be a selfish and self-centered view, but I simply treat others how I wish and want to be treated.”
“I do hope everyone has a wonderful week.”
Sometimes no reaction at all can be more upsetting than a bad reaction.
If only because you have absolutely no idea what they are thinking.
While the OP might not wear his emotions on his sleeve, it’s clear that his love for his daughter is huge and unending.
And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.