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Gay Man Refuses To Move Back To Conservative Hometown To Take Care Of His Elderly Parents

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For LGBTQ people who come from more conservative and unwelcoming places, returning home can be fraught with anxiety and pain from past trauma–and it can easily stir up conflict with their families.

A gay man on Reddit found himself embroiled in this sort of drama when he told his ailing parents he has no intention of moving back to his conservative Christian hometown to care for them.

He wasn’t sure about his response, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by sudo-kill-dash-nine on the site, asked:

“AITA: Refusing to move back home to care for elderly parents.”

He explained:

“Me: 1st born gay son, reasonably successful professional who moved away from small town to a hyper-liberal west coast city. I know own a home with my BF of 10 years.”

“My parents health has taken a turn for the worse and the family is starting to make less and less subtle hints that they expect me to return to home. I am on very good relations with my mom and dad- I visit them every year and support them financially. They’ve always dropped hints about me moving back but now the situation has gotten more dire.”

“The problem is: I hate my hometown. It’s tiny little place in the middle of nowhere. I have lots of bad memories of growing up in that place, (did I mention I’m a gay man?) and even when I visit, it’s just like I remember. Nobody wears a mask, the most important talking subject is always college football and, of course, absolutely zero goods jobs.”

“Worst of all, your literally surrounded and out-numbered by Republicans/Conservatives/Christians. I hate hate hate it.”

“So I told my parents that they can move to my city whenever they wish, but when the time comes and I am given Power of Attorney, I plan on selling their home and moving them across the country to live in my ADU. There is absolutely zero chance I’m moving back home- if anyone moves, it will be my parents who get moved.”

“Now, EVERYONE in my extended family is angry at me. I’m getting tons of angry texts from my aunt and my mom won’t stop crying.”

Redditors were then asked to judge who is in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And though this is a difficult topic, most Redditors agreed that OP shouldn’t have to make this sacrifice.

“NTA”

“There is a very simple solution to this. “This is where my job is. I can’t afford to move to backwater town as there are no equal job opportunities.” That is the end of the discussion.”

“You didn’t choose to be born, you absolutely do not have to give up your job your life and your BF (cause moving back home with him in tow to homophobia land is not exactly a realistic safe or mentally healthy option. And if they push that is also a big bit of truth to pile on.”

“The other question that you should be asking is why all these relatives who actually live in your home town can not help out your parents. Your parents can make provision for their old age that doesn’t include you.” –Whitestaunton

“NTA. Don’t give up your life for your parents. You seem to already be supporting them more than enough. If they want to be close to you, they can move. I understand that it makes them sad, but they need to realize that you don’t live for them. And if they don’t want to move, it sounds like they have plenty of relatives around who can take care of them. Maybe try to visit them more often but that’s all I’d do.” –Nee_le

“NTA. Ask the one who who text if you they would like to step up and take care of your parents? They would say no? Then I would give their texts and them absolutely zero attention.”

“You mom and dad have to know how hard it was for you to grow up in a town like that? Do they really expect you to abandon the life you have made to go back there? What about your boyfriend? Do they expect him to come along, too? What if he doesn’t want to? I don’t think you should have to give up your life.”

“Perhaps there is an assisted living facility in their town or something similar so they can stay where they are and be taken care of that does not involve you giving up your life and moving back to Homophobiaville” –SnazzySusieQ

“Don’t be too sure they did know how hard it was for him. Parents often ignore trauma of their gay children, right under their nose. Even if they did know, they may not have cared. As much as many people like to think they are not homophobic, the proof is in the pudding, when their child tells them they are gay. Then you see the intolerance seeping out of their pores.” –KarenMaca

“You wrote “1st born”….where are your other siblings?”

“Secondly – you probably won’t be able to support them financially if you move back. What’s more difficult to replace, your presence or your financial support? Probably your financial support and you can also manage their finances better than most if you achieved a pretty good life. But – someone else will need to step up and be that physical presence.” –valley-cpa

“NTA at all”

“Being gay in a small Christian town is literally torture”

“And FYI even if you weren’t gay, it’s still an unreasonable request. If you moved back I doubt you would be able to afford to take care of them. Plus it’s generally unreasonable to expect children to move back across the country for aging parents.”

“If your aunts are this much in on it, ask why they don’t take in your parents themselves” –RedLeatherWhip

“NTA.”

“Wanted to add that it is torture being straight and liberal and visiting bigoted places much less living there. Not to mention the loss of services that we in maligned west coast liberal cities take for granted and enjoy.”

“OP stay put without guilt. Your parents will enjoy your ADU, Senior Citizen Centers, libraries, beaches, and mountains.” –Dingolini

“NTA. You’re not wrong for not wanting to move back to your hometown. They aren’t wrong for wanting to stay in their home, either. They *are* wrong for expecting you to move back, however.”

“But you need to have a conversation with them about this. There are other options besides your moving back to your hometown and moving them across the country. Maybe another relative can assume responsibility for their care or you can hire someone. At the very least, listen them so they feel heard.” –Arbor_Arabicae

“Went through this with my parents. They were VERY resistant to independent/assisted living. I think they assumed it was a nursing home and like a hospital vs. a home. I finally talked my Mom into touring a nearby place and she loved it. Once she saw they would still have their own place – her own kitchen (but could get meal delivery through their restaurant), no yard work to worry about, W/D in her unit rather than dealing with the stairs to the basement, etc….she couldn’t move in fast enough.”

“There is a whole industry devoted to senior living to make things easier on them and allow them to live full lives in a safe environment.” –blanchekitty

“OP – NO ONE has the right to bully you into this situation. If they don’t like it, they are welcome to step up and help your parents.”

“The better situation would be for you to get some local caregivers (paid) and have them look after your parents. Your parents love where they are just as much as you hate it. You are already taking financial responsibility for them (love you for this!!) – adjust whatever you need to cover the cost of care.”

“I will guess it is a LOT less in their area than in yours. You might even be able to find a suitable live-in “housekeeper” to cook, clean, drive, and provide basic assistance to them. I wish you the very best of luck.” –AlbanyBarbiedoll

“NTA – they’re asking you to give up your life and move back to a town that you have horrific memories of? That’s pretty ballsy of them. If there are people looking for a huge favor, then to me, the onus is on them to bend and change things more than the other person. Meaning – your parents should move to where you are to get the help they need.”

“You’re not obligated to give up your life and turn into a slave for them because they’re needing help. That’s not how any of this works.” –Lurkingentropy

Hopefully OP and his family can come to a solution that works for everyone.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.