Being LGBTQIA+ in the world today is beyond challenging, and everyone needs a safe harbor to rest in the storm.
When that safe harbor turns out to be just another bad place, it can have a lasting effect on those involved.
When Redditor and Original Poster (OP) TerribleSundown came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit, he wondered if he’d been right to let those lasting effects control current decisions.
“AITA for telling my mother’s surrogate son to f**k off and leave me alone otherwise he won’t get to have a real funeral for her?”
The OP laid out a bit of background.
“My mother kicked me out when I was 16 because I was gay.”
“She was deeply homophobic, religious, and didn’t want a disgusting son like me.”
“I never saw her again.”
Everything was fine until…
“A man reached out to me a few days ago and told me my mother was like a mom to him, and she was in her final stages of life.”
“He wanted me to come back and say goodbye and arrange her funeral.”
“I was shocked because he eventually admitted to hiring someone to get info on me so he could reach out.”
“I told him I was not interested and to leave me alone.”
“He has not.”
“He has continued to try and get me involved, has told me how she changed and accepted him and loved him despite him being gay.”
“I asked him if he really thought it would make me feel better that she could come around for a stranger but not her son.”
“Yesterday she died, and he called to tell me and told me she had deserved better, and I should put the past behind me and do right by her.”
OP lashed out.
“I told him to f*ck off and leave me alone; otherwise I will go back and claim my mother’s body, and I will make sure she gets the cheapest send-off imaginable and that he will not be anywhere near it.”
“He told me it wasn’t his fault she failed me, and it was my fault she never got to make it right, and I was unfair on him.”
He was left to wonder,
Having explained the issue, 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
Commenters were very clear in their stance.
“‘come around for a stranger but not her son.'”
“This was probably the biggest part for me.”
“People do have the ability to change.”
“(Though that does not mean they are entitled to forgiveness)”
“But even if OP’s mom did a complete 180 in the type of person she was, she still made no effort whatsoever to make things right with the son she cast out.”
“Instead, she poured all her love into someone else in an attempt to give herself peace for her misdeeds.”
“Likely because she didn’t want to deal with the shame speaking to OP directly would have made her feel.”
“F*ck her, and f*ck this guy. You made the right call, OP.” ~ TogarSucks
“The argument that she ‘changed’ is also such unbelievable b*llshit that I can smell it over the internet secondhand.”
‘”Change’ doesn’t mean a godd*mn thing without actual action that isn’t complaining about the obvious and justified consequences of the f*ck up.”
“OP could be found, but she never seemed to have bothered to reach out.”
“Even if she tried but couldn’t, the guy did but never seemed to have offered to do so for both of their sakes until he wanted something.”
“Which is the only reason he reached out. He doesn’t want to pay for the funeral he wants for her.” ~ letstrythisagain30
Some folks wanted to talk about consequences.
“She experienced the consequences of her own actions.”
“If she was really that repentant, she would have reached out long before he did.”
“Unless you changed your name or have an extremely common name, it’s not hard to track people down.”
“Her surrogate son should be responsible for the funeral/burial.” ~ C_Majuscula
Some suggested that there were ulterior motives at play.
“I’m betting he just wants OP to pay for the funeral.” ~ Auroraburst
“I was thinking maybe the mom had some sort of life insurance or something that listed OP as beneficiary, and surrogate son is reaching out to get OP to use that money to pay for a funeral” ~ mlmarte
“Same thought, ‘surrogate son’ is trying to set up a scenario where he can attempt to argue that the mother verbally promised him the estate.”
“OP, if there’s anything to inherit besides debt, pay for a cremation, and that’s it, but at least show you are taking possession of her remains.”
“Cut off all contact with the ‘surrogate.'”
“Don’t let him manipulate you into saying anything further.”
“He could be trying to get you to say you don’t want her money, or she told you that you were disowned.”
“Your mother only formed this relationship with this man to hurt you, and he’s actually been playing along.”
“He’s not a good person. It’s sad. You’re right to be angry at him, but don’t get in fights with him.”
“Ignore him. Stay far away.” ~ SnowhiteMidnight
“An inheritance is likely the main reason.”
“To add to your post, does OP even know that this person really is ‘gay?'”
“Suppose the guy is just saying it to get OP to soften and get involved and pay for the funeral?”
“OR that SS really was that close?”
“It sounds as though that started AFTER OP left home.”
“This could be someone who found out about the inheritance and is trying to get his hands on it even though he’s really a stranger.”
“OP needs to block the stranger, claim the body, and have the cheapest burial possible – most likely cremation.”
“Then, check into inheritance. Maybe there’s nothing but bills, and if so, don’t take responsibility for them.”
“Maybe there’s quite a bit. OP needs to check it out.” ~ KoolJozeeKatt
Commenters pointed out that there may be more genuine reasons.
“Her surrogate son is struggling with the fact that the person he views as a mom was an extremely hateful person in the past.”
“He wanted OP to make nice so that he doesn’t have the constant reminder that she was the way she was” ~ Chuckieshere
“He finds it difficult to reconcile the two halves of this person he wants to see as a saint, and figures that getting OP to forgive her will let him forgive her.” ~ The_Flurr
One response seemed to sum it up nicely.
“I am so sorry this happened to you as a teen.”
“You owe her nothing.”
“You owe him nothing.”
“The fact that he escalated to guilting you and casting the blame your way tells you there was not some sort of genuine realization.”
“At best, your mother had some sort of victim narrative about it all.”
“As others have said, I would also suspect this has more to do with funeral expenses than anything (and perhaps the estate and your mother’s reputation with others).”
“Kicking kids out for being LGBTQ is incredibly common, as is making life so intolerable they run away.”
“One-third to more than one-half of unhoused youth became homeless this way.”
“Unsurprisingly, it leads to a host of additional negative outcomes (assault and abuse, drug use, suicide, never graduation HS, etc.).”
“OP, you SURVIVED.”
“And now she is gone for good. Document this guy’s actions.”
“Inform her appointed/selected attorney of your contact information.”
“And consider a gathering with your family of choice to put her to rest from your life in the way that helps you (a fire pit can help with this).”
“I was one of the queer women who cared for men with AIDS in the 90s. Most had been kicked out or estranged from their families.”
“I can’t think of a single case where there was a genuine understanding of the harm and remorse coming due to death nearing. When that regret came, it came long before.”
“What I did see was parents taking money my clients had saved to pay for their own funeral and stealing it before having their son buried as a pauper.”
“What I did see was parents kicking the long-time partners of my clients out of their homes and taking anything they could of value from the couple who had been to get her for 10, 20 years.” ~
This led to the sharing of similar experiences.
“I recently found out that my grandparents’ wealth mostly came from my great uncle’s passing in close proximity to my last great-grandparent.”
“My grandparents fought in court against my great uncle’s life partner receiving his inheritance when he died in a vehicular accident so they could have it instead… Slimy and disgusting.”
“I haven’t talked to my grandparents in years, and I don’t feel bad about it.” ~ Codeofconduct
“My father-in-law hasn’t been dead a week yet, as I write this (in his house that he died in).”
“As his bigoted, mean a*s lay dying, he asked, ‘Do you think I’m being punished for being nasty to so many people?'”
“He was 80, no longer ambulatory, and less mentally stable, so he believed he had been kidnapped.”
“He did say something about wanting his sons to visit, but he had been so sh*tty we were all LC or NC with him.”
“He died with his aide and a stepdaughter by his side (she was there to set up hospice!).”
“But I find the timing suspect.” ~ SunflowerSpeaks
The Reddit community rallied around the OP’s decision to cut his bigoted mother out of his life and supported his choice to keep this stranger at a distance for the sake of his emotional well-being.
We hope that the OP has a chance to grieve if he so chooses with his new chosen family that has supported him since he was kicked out of his house, a family that does not include his estranged mother’s surrogate son.
For any readers that have faced similar issues, there are resources available to you.
LGBTQ+ Youth can get help through:
- TrevorChat — 24/7/365 at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/#services
- TrevorLifeline — phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386
- TrevorText — Text “START” to 678678. Available 24/7/365.
- TrevorSpace — online international peer-to-peer community for LGBTQ young people and their friends at https://www.trevorspace.org/
- Trevor Support Center — LGBTQ youth & allies can find answers to FAQs and explore resources at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/trevor-support-center/#sm.0000121hx9lvicotqs52mb1saenel
If the article focuses on transgender people:
Transgender people can get help through the Trans Lifeline at https://www.translifeline.org/ or call US: 877-565-8860 Canada: 877-330-6366