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Dad Sparks Family Drama After Awkward Reaction To His Gay Son Accidentally Outing Himself

Man looking at his phone with his hand covering his mouth.
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Even in our supposedly progressive modern age, far too many LGBTQ+ individuals are still afraid to come out to their friends and family.

More often than not, how their friends and family might react to this news is one of the main issues that scares them from coming out.

Not even how it will affect their relationships in the long term, but exactly how they will react in the moment.

The teenage son of Redditor Strange_Junket5418 hadn’t come out to him yet.

Unfortunately for the poor boy, he instead let the news slip to the original poster (OP) on a recent car trip.

Sadly, the news being out in the open made the OP’s son feel anything but relieved, as the OP’s reaction instead prompted his son to head right back into the closet.

Reflecting on how he reacted to his son’s news, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for how I reacted to my son’s accidental coming out?”

The OP explained why his reaction to his son’s coming out did not sit well at all with his son or daughter.

“My son and I are very close, and he trusts me and tells me everything.”

“I’ve heard in detail about how soft his ex-gfs hair was, he tells me about drinking/smoking weed, and all his friends.”

“He is the most loyal son I could ask for.”

“His mother passed away 4 years ago, and he is very protective of me.”

“My daughter (14) and my son (16) are on a road trip.”

“When my son would take a picture with us, he’d always put on his leather jacket.”

“I pointed that out, and he got embarrassed.”

“Our daughter whispered to him, ‘that is because Jared said he likes it’, but he shushed her.”

“I didn’t think much of it, but later we were in the car, and my son kept asking to see my phone.”

“His had recently broke.”

“I kept joking. I wasn’t going to give it to him, but he kept saying ‘please’ and giving me a sad face.”

“I handed it over, and he absently said thanks, ‘I need to text my boyfriend’.”

“I said ‘your bf?'”

“And he goes ‘oh, no no, sorry, freudian slip, not bf, best friend, god’ but I could tell from his reaction that he was freaking out.”

“His sister in the backseat immediately goes, ‘welp, guess that is out.'”

“To say I was shocked would be an understatement.”

“My son just doesn’t seem gay at all. He’s a masculine guy.”

“I’m not a bigot. I was just surprised is all.”

“I said, ‘Are you gay? What is going on?'”

“My daughter in the back said, ‘Bi people exist, dad. I’m one too’.”

“Now I’m even more surprised. She’s a child.”

“My son says, ‘Well, maybe she’s right, unless you find me to be a disgusting freak, then no.'”

“I didn’t even know what to say.”

“I said he didn’t seem gay at all.”

“My daughter yells in the back and says people don’t seem gay.”

“I said, ‘sure, I guess. I’m just surprised’.”

“He said ‘I’m sorry for hiding this from you. I was just scared to say it’.”

“I should have reassured him but instead I said I was disappointed. I thought he told me everything.”

“He said I didn’t want you to hate me. I’m sorry. I said, ‘Well, who is this guy? Is he straight?'”

“He said dad I wouldn’t crush on a straight guy, but he showed me a picture.”

“The guy looks masculine too.”

“He looks straight.”

“It just struck me as an odd couple.”

“I made a little fun of how long his hair was to relieve the tension.”

“My daughter got onto me again, and I said look, I’m just not sure he’s good enough for you.”

“She said you are being so rude. You are old and mean.”

“I started arguing that I wasn’t being mean, but my son cut me off.”

“He said seriously, both of you stop.”

“Then he said, ‘we got you dad, sorry, it was a prank. None of it was real’.”

“I said no, it’s okay, but he cut me off again and said really, it’s fine, just forget it all happened.”

“It was very uncomfortable after that.”

“I tried again, but he told me to drop it.”

“I told him he could have my phone to text Jared if he wants it.”

“He was beaming when I gave him my phone, and I wanted him to be happy again.”

“But he said no, it’s fine. I looked at my phone to see his text to Jared that said ‘I miss you so much’ and I felt bad.”

“I could have been more supportive, but I was surprised.”

“AITA? Did I mess up?”

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, indeed, the a**hole for the way he reacted to his son’s accidental coming out.

While most people agreed that the OP clearly wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt his son, everyone still found his reaction beyond insensitive. And he needed to apologize to his son immediately.

“Parent who made similar mistakes here.”

“Handled ‘the I am bisexual coming out fine’ but did not see I am nonbinary coming.”

“Made stupid comments, tried to deflect with jokes.”

“In my head, my intentions were not bad.”

“I just panicked.”

“But here is the thing my (and your) intentions DO NOT MATTER.”

“Your kids’ perceptions and feelings do.”

“Your kids gave you clear signals and full-on statements that you were going too far and being insulting and hurtful… and you kept going.”

“That is where YTA.”

“So now you can work to make it better.”

“Apologize but also let your actions speak for you.”

“Do not rely on your kids to educate you, but if they try- -shut up and listen.”

“Read books.”

“Challenge your outdated mindset.”


“If you are lucky, they will forgive you, and you can still have a good relationship.”-ResolutionVisible743

“I think it’s weird that you think a 14-year-old is a ‘child’ implying that they wouldn’t have romantic or sexual feelings at that age.”

“Don’t you remember being 14.”

“She’s allowed to say she is Bi.”

“Your only job in this realm is to protect them and be supportive.”

“Make sure there are condoms in the house.”

“Talk about STDs and how to get help if they need it.”

“You can make this better.”- One-Pause3171


“Even though your words seem ignorant rather than malicious, being an a**hole out of ignorance is still being an a**hole.”

“In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-Three, it should really not be surprising that a 14-year-old is capable of having an orientation, or that a boy could be ‘masculine’ or ‘not look gay’ (whatever that means) and still be gay or bi.”

“Incidentally… did you know that the entire heavy metal aesthetic, which is generally considered a fairly ‘masculine’ aesthetic, was copied directly from gay club culture because Rob Halford of Judas Priest is very gay?”

“Just goes to show that concepts of ‘masculinity’ are contradictory at best.”

“Obviously part of the responsibility for ignorance lies in the person who fails to seek out education and doesn’t allow themselves to learn, but of course, part of the blame lies with the people and society who should have been teaching you these things too, because they failed you and they definitely failed your children.”

“The fact that you have somehow managed to be so isolated from information about orientations when having children at that age is a huge failing of every structure that allows that situation to exist.”

“But you have a chance to turn this around.”

“You can learn about LGBTQI+ issues and make it up to your kids by actively seeking education on the matters that are critically important to them.”

“Because that information will not passively arrive to you, as you’ve now learned.”-AccountMitosis

“You smacked yourself in the face with every verbal rake in the yard with this one.”

“Your kids seem super chill and like great communicators.”

“You’re not in that loop because you’re letting your son be protective towards you, which isn’t a cool dynamic to encourage with your kid.”

“It means information is being kept from you for your own good, and this was clearly information they were both keeping from you.”

“You need some family recalibration.”

“I’m sure a large element of this is accepting that they’re growing up, but every one of your responses seems to be along the lines of ‘but you’re not bi bi, right?’.”

“Instead of trying to hash out any issues he had around his sexuality or use this as an opportunity to open up to you about it, he elected to drop it.”

“Not because he doesn’t seem to have a decent handle on the issue himself, but because he didn’t want the bother of dealing with upsetting you.”

“So that makes YTA.”

“I think you could stand to take a beat and check in with how you really feel about this before you talk to yours kids about it again.”

“Opening up a dialogue if it’s just gonna be more of the same is gonna make things worse.”

“Honestly, you could probably drop it and pretend the conversation never happened.”

“Sounds like both of your children will accommodate you if you go this route, although you will continue to be left out of the loop until you’re the one who’s ready.”- Such_Detective_6709


“I can see being initially surprised but, man, you took those scissors and kept running with ’em, didn’t ya.”

“Where exactly is this line, in your spectrum of masculinity, that determines a person’s sexual preference?”

“You’ve obviously made homophobic remarks around your children in the past for both of them to be afraid to be open with you.”

“You should really do some self-reflection!”

If there is any good news to be taken from these circumstances, it’s that the OP doesn’t seem to have an issue with his son being gay or bi-sexual.

Even so, the OP has shockingly outdated views of gender and sexuality, which are bound to result in more tense and uncomfortable conversations.

Hopefully, some civil discussions with his children might open his eyes, and broaden his horizons, and he will happily accept Jared into their family.

LGBTQ+ Youth can get help through:

  • TrevorLifeline — phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386
  • TrevorText — Text “START” to 678678. Available 24/7/365.

Trevor Support Center — LGBTQ youth & allies can find answers to FAQs and explore resources at

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.