We all need a little support from time to time.
Whether it’s being told that we’re good at a particular thing we enjoy, or being reminded that we made someone feel a little better.
What happens though when supporting someone you love means standing up to someone else that you also love?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) sandhot7937 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for telling my brother I wouldn’t go to his wedding if he only invited some of my kids?”
OP began with the setting.
“I (40 male) have 6 kids (15 f 14m, 13m, 12f, 8m and 3f) with my wife (40f).”
“My brother (30m) lives close and my kids see him a lot and love him.”
“He is getting married to his fiancé (30f) in 3 months. This wasn’t an issue until recently.”
Then he explained the origin of the issue at hand.
“This year in school, our 13 y/o son’s friend group became friends with a feminine gay boy, the boys bonded over their love of sports, while my son and his friends play hockey, the boy ice skates.”
“There is an ice sports place in our area that our son plays hockey at and often sees his skating friend there.”
“This year, the boy was being bullied for his sexuality and wearing makeup, my son and his friends were upset about this and defended him.”
“My son and his friends always complimented him on his makeup and nails, once he did the school colors as a look, the boys had an upcoming tournament and he wanted to support them.”
“The boys thought this was cool and asked if he could do a look for them, he did and they loved it.”
“As a result of that, my son and his friends have been experimenting more with how they look, when we went to buy wedding clothes shopping my son found a vintage suit online, he also said he wanted to wear makeup, his friend did a look for him and he loved it.”
“I texted my brother a pic of my son to see what he thought, he and his fiancé wanted to see the outfits of the guests before the wedding when I sent him a pic of my son, he told me that he didn’t want kids wearing makeup at his wedding.”
“But this didn’t make any sense as my 12 y/o daughter was wearing makeup and he had already seen her look.”
“I called him out on it and then he admitted he didn’t want my son wearing makeup because he was a boy and our family, as well as the family of the bride, are Evangelical and traditional.”
“He said he didn’t want anyone ‘looking gay’ because that could start something, he said he didn’t mind my son wore makeup but didn’t want it at the wedding.”
“I called him to try to sort things out but it only got worse. He then started to talk about how my son is a bit edgy and has said stuff that offended our religious family.”
“And said my son wasn’t invited because he was too afraid that my son would do something to upset our family.”
“After the call, I spoke with my wife and we agreed that if our son couldn’t go, none of us would, we were upset at my brother and felt he was rude, especially for saying our son ‘looked gay,’ our son has only liked girls, we would be ok if he was gay though.”
“I called him after and he told me to speak to my son and tell him to drop the makeup and not make any edgy remarks.”
This all led to OP issuing an ultimatum.
“When I told my son he got upset and asked if his uncle cared about him, I didn’t want to make my son upset more so I called my brother and told him we either were all coming, including my son in makeup, or none of us at all.”
“He said I was being a jerk. AITA?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses were very direct.
“NTA at all.”
“Your brother sounds homophobic.”
“You made the right decision and your son is going to be so thankful you stood up for him.”
“Can’t believe an adult is uninviting a kid just because of makeup, seriously so dumb.” ~ pianoteach96
“NTA – Your brother is happier appeasing bigots over being decent to your kid.”
“You are looking after the welfare of your kid and supporting him in how he chooses to express himself creatively and also how he has chosen to express his support of his friend.”
“Your son sounds like the BEST friend you could hope to have.” ~ Sloppypoopypoppy
Others shared personal stories.
“Yeah, my dad is like that.”
“He used to have a handful of gay friends when I was younger, women and men, and he was chill with me identifying as bi (back before I transitioned ftm).”
“But my younger brother was always interested in feminine fashion and makeup, and has had crushes on other boys growing up (he even admitted to me after a close friend of his passed away that he was in love with him and they were planning their lives together after graduation).”
“But he kept it on a short leash around our Aggressively Macho Dad.”
“He still keeps a tight lid on his feelings with our dad, because my dad used to chew ME out when I would let him borrow my clothes or jewelry (not that I had much lmao– I was a ‘tomboy’ before I figured out I wanted to drop the ‘tom’ part).”
“He sent me a picture a little while ago of him in a dress and I almost cried I was so happy he felt safe and comfortable enough with me to share that.”
“TL;DR plenty of people are fine with queer people existing, so long as they Exist Somewhere Else.” ~ rougarousmooch
“I grew up in the ’80s with kind understanding parents.”
“At one point one of my brothers took longer with his hair and makeup than I, the only daughter in the house, did.”
“Now he’s slightly overweight and bald. He was an athlete, jazz band, honor roll, and valedictorian.”
“Pretty sure the makeup and hairspray (my god the hairspray) didn’t hurt him or his family or his potential earning power.”
“As my dad said, it’ll all wash off it’s not like he’s painting the barn.” ~ cassidy11111111
Some were just shocked at the request for pre-wedding pictures to begin with.
“NTA full stop.”
“And what kind of broken door knob of a couple asks to pre-approve a relative guest kid’s wedding outfit?”
“Just do a casting call and hire your perfect guests & call it a day, you superficial dehydrated tadpoles.” ~ twoofheartsandspades
“Am I the only one that thinks the groom wanted to have approval on their outfits solely because he was trying to make sure his brother’s kid didn’t wear makeup?”
“OP mentioned in a comment that he has been experimenting with it and worn it multiple times, so the brother probably knew he would want to and wanted the ability to control what he was wearing.”
“NTA but beware, this is the tip of the iceberg with your older son’s attitude towards his brother.”
“The fact that he is marrying into a devout evangelical family and is siding with their opinions is also very telling. They are also his own opinions.” ~ opinionswelcomehere
“I’m glad someone pointed this out!”
“I know people can go bat sh*t crazy over their weddings, but this is really ridiculous.”
“Would never have sent a picture.”
“Don’t want to encourage the craziness. And I hope to have an occasion where I can refer to someone as a superficial dehydrated tadpole!” ~ Muted-Appeal-823
“NTA in any way.”
“Minor plot point…they wanted to see the outfits before the wedding???”
“What is that about? No way I would ever comply with that request. I would keep sending photos of me in various costumes, but I can be petty like that. 😊”
“As for the bigger issue, your brother is showing who he really is. That’s very sad. He only loves your kids if they adhere to his standards.”
“All of the males in your family should show up in full make-up and kilts. Oops, I’m being petty again.” ~ sawta2112
While most were on OP’s side, there was a dissenting opinion.
“I think this one’s hard to judge because it depends on what wearing the makeup truly means to your son.”
“You and your son know it will create drama at your brother’s wedding.”
“Just because the other family members are wrong, doesn’t mean you’re then free to knowingly cause drama at someone else’s wedding. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“I think the question is how big a burden is it for your son to not wear makeup, to prevent the circumstances you and he knows will occur otherwise.”
“If it’s truly part of his identity, then I think it is reasonable to reject not wearing it.”
“If it’s simply a sign of support, like wearing a button or t-shirt or whatever, then I think you’re being unreasonable.”
“In either case, I don’t think your brother can be blamed for wanting to avoid drama at his wedding.”
“It’s not even about just his side of the family – his wife’s side is Evangelicals, too. Expecting him to turn his wedding into a debate about personal freedoms is not reasonable.”
“And in either case, if your son is not invited, then you all not going is of course also reasonable and laudable.”
“So without knowledge about what it truly means to the son, I’m going with NAH.” ~ witcher_rat
We all need support sometimes.
We need to know that the people we surround ourselves with love and cherish us for who we are.