Many people unfortunately go through a terrible transition with their families when they come out about their sexual orientation.
But even some who think everything is okay will discover judgments lurk beneath the surface, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Holigaythrowagay realized at this year’s family Christmas party how his aunt really felt about his homosexuality when he shared the truth with his young cousin, her daughter.
When he was pressured to take this information back, the Original Poster (OP) began to question how his family really felt.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my seven-year-old cousin that I’m gay at the Christmas party?”
The OP had very few problems in his family regarding his sexual orientation.
“I’m (19 Male) super gay. I’ve been out publicly for four years now but to be honest, it wasn’t hard for anyone to tell before that.”
“My family has all been chill about it and I never had any issues dealing with homophobia.”
“Well, almost no issues. My mom’s brother and his wife give me the ‘that’s nice’ while trying so, so hard to force a smile whenever it’s brought up.”
“It’s not so much my uncle as it is my aunt. She’s super Catholic. And super Irish. That’s about all the details I’ll give here.”
An issue arose at the family Christmas party this year.
“We have Christmas with my mom’s side the weekend before each year, and this year I was sitting next to my brother and sister-in-law’s seven-year-old daughter.”
“My other cousin was there with his girlfriend. He’s my age.”
“My little cousin says in her adorable seven-year-old voice to me, ‘Why don’t you have a ‘gillfwend’ like my brother?'”
“Honestly without really thinking anything of it, I said, ‘I won’t ever have a girlfriend. I like boys. I’m gay.'”
“Cue the hardcore stare from my aunt while my uncle tried to tell a story to distract her.”
The OP was later called out by his family.
“It didn’t start a big fight then and there, but today, I heard all about how my aunt called my mom and really gave it to her.”
“She said I had zero right to tell their daughter what gay was. They’re the parents and they will decide when she can know about it. Etc.”
“After my mom told me all this, I questioned why they need to be secretive about it. I asked if they think it’s shameful.”
“Mom assured me no, but they claim that ‘as parents, it’s up to us to teach our child about that.'”
The situation continued to escalate.
“My uncle has since called me, basically begging ‘for his sake’ to call my aunt and apologize, and to, GET THIS, try to walk back the comment next time I see my cousin!”
“He’s giving me the, ‘You know how she is, just apologize so she can stop annoying me about it.'”
“So Reddit, am I the a**hole for doing this?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were all for the OP being honest about his orientation.
“NTA. You just said I like boys and not girls. Nothing complicated or inappropriate about that.”
“I’m calling homophobia on the aunt.” – clutteredshovel
“You’ve got a healthy mentality and have nothing to worry about but the bigots like your aunt. Be the guncle (my niece’s term for her other uncle who is gay and a bro to all) your niece deserves, and apparently needs to balance out the bigotry she gets.” – GenitalFurbies
“NTA. It isn’t bad for the child to know you as your authentic self. If your aunt can’t handle you being authentic, she is the AH.”
“Both of my girls are gay, and they wore suits and ties to a family wedding because pretty much everyone in that family is like your aunt. I was proud of them for having that strength.”
“I hope your mom doesn’t try to get you to backpedal or apologize.” – deaprofessor
“I’m sorry she’s like that with you.”
“My Gramma was Irish Catholic and born in 1910. Her best friend was a lesbian and she had no trouble explaining to me when I was maybe 4 (1985) that Aunt Alice didn’t have a husband because she liked ladies. It wasn’t confusing for me at all and I learned very early that love is love.”
“You are NTA and deserve all the love and support.” – menabella
“Hi, fellow queer and many other letters under the rainbow. My cousin asked me a similar question a few years ago when he was about ten. Can’t remember the exact conversation but here’s the gist:”
“Me: I’m not interested in boys. I like girls.”
“Him: looks confused.”
“Me: Could you imagine yourself kissing a boy?”
“Him: Ew, no!”
“Me: Me neither.”
“Him: Oh OK! That makes sense.”
“That’s literally all it is to it. Kids are surprisingly receptive and understanding to this, and you definitely explained it in an easy way to understand.”
“NTA, OP. Your aunt is a homophobe and is the one who should apologize. Keep being you!” – cheddarnatasha
“My daughter at eight years old told me she’s not going to marry, she is going to live with her female best friend and breed cats when she’s older.”
“I was like, ‘But… You’re allergic to cats?!'”
“She answered, ‘They’ll have breeds I’m not allergic to by then!'”
“Maybe she wants a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend. Or both. Or neither. Or both and neither at the same time, ain’t my place to tell her.”
“I’m queer myself. She has like three men she calls stepdad. And one of them on her biological father’s side.”
“I think the Aunt would get a heart attack by all the gay energy in our household.” – Gold-Carpenter7616
Others agreed and were actively side-eyeing the OP’s aunt.
“As an Irish person, I just want to say f**k your aunt, she doesn’t speak for all Irish people, we’re not all homophobes. She’s well behind the times anyway, Irish people voted to allow gay marriage some years back so she can’t hide her bigotry behind that.” – bibliophile14
“Ah, I see, her faith dictates judging others, holding onto petty grudges and anger, disrespecting family behind their backs, creating discord because someone was honest to a child about a non-issue with age-appropriate language, and lying to children when you don’t want to talk about a subject.”
“She’s doing a great job representing Catholicism and Christ-like love. NTA.” – driedoldbones
“Hey, Irish here. My mom is super faithful (reads at mass on a weekly basis and has done so for 30+ years, etc.). She also has zero percent problem with anyone’s sexual orientation and has stepped in on multiple occasions to go to bat for kids where she teaches getting bullied for this and gender identity reasons.”
“Your aunt is full of it. NTA.” – Atlanteanson
“It’s so stupid of the aunt as well because you can’t hide your child from facts. You can try as hard as you like in your own house but it doesn’t matter because the world still exists. There could be kids at school with same-sex parents.” – BritishHobo
“NTA. It’s homophobic to think that gayness is an inherently mature or adult topic. If the kid knows boys sometimes have girlfriends, it’s very reasonable for them to know that some boys have boyfriends instead.”
“‘I like boys’ is a very age-appropriate way of saying you’re gay.”
“If the kid had followed up with, ‘How does that work,’ and you’d gone into sex details, it would have been as inappropriate as giving her the birds and the bees about straight sex, but you didn’t. I’m sorry that she can’t understand.” – EliannaRys
“Funnily enough, your niece probably would have been like ‘okay,’ and changed the subject anyway because kids don’t dwell on things for very long. Like she’s curious. Kids ask questions and ‘I like boys’ is a totally normal, fair response.”
“The problem is that your aunt thinks ‘I’m gay’ is exactly the same as telling her seven-year-old your wildest sex fantasies in graphic detail.”
“She doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of non-straight relationships so it’s a ‘kink’ or ‘perversion’ to her. She can get f**ked, and your uncle’s the one who married her. He can deal with her homophobia.” – sukinsyn
“It is perfectly age-appropriate for any child to know about orientation. Aunt is a bigot, and there’s no other way around it. You don’t have to navigate that. If she wants to sulk, she can sulk.”
“Tell uncle his wife is a bigot, you don’t have to deal with that, and he should get his wife under control at family functions or not bring her.”
“You’re not being inappropriate by being out and gay. Being gay is not disgusting to children, and she is horrible for suggesting that.” – Agreeable-Celery811
The subReddit was supportive of how the OP had handled the situation and how he simply explained his preferences to his niece, who would have likely found out about the LGBTQ+ community soon anyway, though likely not because of her mother.
They were upset, however, that the family was not as accepting of the OP as he had once believed. With his aunt behaving in such a problematic way, her husband wanting to appease her, and their daughter being raised by them, there were at least a few less-than-welcoming members of the OP’s family tree.