Redditor jess_kemp is a teenage girl with an older teen brother who was struggling with finding the right time to tell their parents he was gay.
She showed her support by keeping his secret even though she knew their parents would be fine with his sexual identity.
But when she had an epiphany of her own and was transparent about it, he became furious.
Now that he refuses to speak to her, she visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for ‘ruining’ my brother’s coming out moment?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“It happened like a month ago and brother still won’t talk to me. I’m 17 f[emale] and my brother Isaac is 18. 2 yrs ago Isaac came out to me and told me he was gay.”
“Isaac said he didn’t want our parents to know. Just to throw it out there: my parents aren’t homophobic or religious. They’re actually very chill but ya know u hear the stories all the time where parents do a 180 when it’s their kids that turn out to be gay.”
“And that’s what Isaac was worried [about].”
“Personally I knew my parents would be fine with it but whatever he could tell them whenever he was ready.”
“Isaac graduated last year and moved out when he started college. Since then he’s been telling me that he’s going to come out to my parents when he comes over but then doesn’t do it.”
“He gave up on wanting to tell them and decided he’s just not gonna do it for a while.”
“Now me, for over a year I started having my own questions abt my sexuality when I found myself having my first girl crush. Wondering if I was a lesbian or maybe just curious.”
“But I was still attracted to a few guys at school so I came to realize that I’m bi. Never told Isaac. Just my group of friends.”
“Well the girl I was crushing on ended up liking me too and we decided to go out. We’ve been together 4 months and I couldn’t be happier.”
“Obviously my parents could tell I’m seeing someone because I’m always txting my gf or leaving the house to spend time with her. They said they’d really like to meet whoever I’m dating and I decided now was a good time as any. The following Saturday I invited my gf over.”
“My parents told me Isaac was on his way over to join us for breakfast right before my gf showed up. When she did I introduced her to them as my girlfriend.”
“My parents were a bit surprised at first but they shook it off and welcomed her.”
“I told them I was bi and they accepted me like I knew the would. Isaac got there 10 mins later and when he found out, he wasn’t happy. The whole time we were all sitting together he didn’t say anything and was really serious.”
“He left early and then later on I got a txt from him calling me a ‘fcking btch.’ He said this was gonna be the day he came out to my parents and I ruined it by making it all about me. I called him right away and when he answered he was crying.”
“He said he finally worked up the courage to tell them and had his own speech planned out. But now I ruined that and he’ll never forgive me. He called me an attention seeker and a selfish b*tch and hung up on me.”
“This has really torn me up. He said before that he wasn’t going to tell them so I didn’t know abt any of this. Now Isaac won’t talk to me and I can’t tell my parents we’re fighting without revealing his secret.”
“I don’t know if what I did was wrong.”
“Did I really ruin this moment for him? AITA?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors firstly congratulated the OP and declared NTA. They also speculated what caused her brother to react so strongly in the situation.
“I believe there might be some hurt ego issues as well. I think about it this way: coming out of the closet is usually associated with being ‘brave.'”
“He only confided enough in his younger sister for doing that. But said younger sister didn’t came out to him first. She didn’t ‘need’ him for advice or validation or even comfort; she did her thing and came out, making it seem like it was easy (although I’m sure it wasn’t and I’m not trying to discredit op’s experience here) to get the approval that he was so afraid to reach for.”
“I think he might be both, hurt for not being told first, and disappointed at himself for how he made things bigger than they (apparently) are. I hope he comes around soon. In the meantime, congratulations on your relationship op! I hope everything works out well in the end.” – HopefulEuphemia
“I think…that he’s jealous that his sister was able to process these emotions and come out to her parents while he was paralyzed with fear.”
“Almost as if she hasn’t ‘earned’ her sexuality. Which also stems from the idea the person he’s really angry at and lashing out at is himself.”
“Its possible he dwelled and fixated on this himself, always trying to work up the courage and then bailing at the last min. She would be a convenient s scapegoat.” – a_tyrannosaurus_rex
“He put a lot of effort into making a mountain out of a molehill and when OP exposed her own molehill, his mountain crumbled.” – Anianna
“NTA – I may be insensitive, but your brother was going to use the breakfast that your parents setup to meet your SO to finally come out?”
“Like, even if you introduced a guy, wasn’t his intention to make your and your parents big moment about him?” – FlyingPotionsFactory
The OP clarified:
“Idk if he knew I was bringing someone honestly. My parents might’ve mentioned we were gonna have breakfast or he just decided to come over.”
Redditors continued to assure the OP that she didn’t do anything wrong.
“NTA you shouldn’t have to hide parts of yourself to make room for someone else. Your brother had time to come out to your parents time and time again, and like you said, he said he wasn’t going to do it right now.”
“It seems like he has a few things he needs to work out with himself and he’s projecting those feelings onto you. He honestly might be jealous of how easy it was for you because he’s spent the last few years avoiding coming out to your parents.”
“Give him time to cool off and if he refuses, that’s on him. Anyway, happy coming out! I’m proud of you.” – affectionate_joint
“You should write him a letter explaining how this is making you feel. Remind him how much you care about him and would never have taken the spotlight on his special day if you had known.”
“Stress that you had been having realizations about your own sexuality for years now and that you had no possible way of knowing he was going to say anything that day.”
“Don’t accuse but also stand your ground and don’t apologize. Just concentrate on how much you mean to each other and that you hate the rift that has happened.” – farewelltokings2
And even though the OP didn’t mean to intentionally cause emotional harm, this Redditor suggested that showing compassion would go a long way.
“The tone of your post and comments seem like you care about him and care about how he feels, and that’s honestly the most important step in fixing this with your brother.”
“I think your brother’s issues might also include the fact that he confided in you about his sexuality, but you didn’t confide in him, and he feels left out or betrayed about that.”
“I would say NAH in this situation even though he yelled at you, but apologizing is a social skill and I think it would make him feel better if you apologized for not telling him in advance.”
“It’s not really about who is right or wrong or who apologizes first or anything. Dignity isn’t lost from apologizing, but relationships can be lost from not apologizing. Even though you didn’t intend to hurt him, he probably is genuinely hurt you didn’t confide in him like he did you. I think I would feel hurt if that happened to me. People often react in anger so avoid showing sadness.”
“He also probably does feel some jealousy because it has been such a struggle for him and it seems easier for you so I think it can also be really helpful to say something reflective like ‘I see it’s been a struggle for you and I would like to help make it easier’ or something like that expressing you know how hard it’s been for him and offering to help with coming out to your parents and/or anything else he might be struggling with.”
“Offer to give him time if he doesn’t want to talk right now, let him know you will help him whenever he is ready, and consider talking to him about other personal things in the future to rebuild the trust and bond.”
“I was very close with my brother growing up and then we had a period of time where things got very bad for a few years.”
“It was neither of our fault, but I eventually reached out with an apology, and it worked as a non-combative way to start a conversation again. I didn’t know if it would work after years of our fighting, but it did.”
“It basically went back to normal very quickly after that.”
“I hope things can work out with you and your brother and that your brother can be more comfortable with himself and his sexuality. Congrats to you for coming out and having a great gf!” – bulbasauuuur
It is clear the OP still cares for her brother and is deeply affected by his silence.
Hopefully, he can still work up the courage to come out to their parents, resolve his feelings with his sister, and eventually be able to mutually celebrate their arrival in the LGBTQ community.