When he glimpsed the seating chart for his sister’s upcoming wedding, one man saw a grim future on the horizon. In fact, he saw himself assigned to dine just a few feet away from an old friend-turned-bully that abused him years ago.
Feeling on the outs from everyone, Redditor neonapples2000 turned to the internet for some third party feedback. The ‘Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit was the place for him. There, he shared all the details of the situation and asked if he deserved his family’s reaction.
His post began with the story of his decision to come out and the physical abuse he faced at the hands of someone he least expected.
“Ten years ago, I (30, M) came out as gay to my childhood best friend (call him A, 30M) who outed me to our friends, including the uni rugby team I played on (in Australia).”
“Half of my friends distanced themselves (even in 2010) but the others were supportive. Shortly after the season ended some teammates who had a real problem with me being gay put me in the hospital.
“I figured f**k it and came out to my family who were accepting.”
He had to tell somebody about what happened.
He chose to confide in his sister.
At the time, she was a figure of unconditional support.
“I was close with my younger sister (YS, 27 F) before this, so told her the detailed version: A outed me, I lost a lot of friends, A was one of the people involved in my injuries.”
“I also asked her not to say anything for reasons that I won’t go into here.
He hoped the ordeal would all end there.
But a few years after the gay bashing, a marriage re-established ties to that same ex-best friend.
It was six degrees of separation when he wanted it least.
“5 or so years ago, A married a woman called L. L is good friends with YS, who went to their wedding (after asking me if I had a problem with it).”
When it was time for his sister to plan her wedding, that connection reared its head once again.
“4 weeks ago, YS and her fiancee (FBIL) asked me to look at revised wedding contracts (I am a lawyer, their wedding is delayed due to [the virus]). Amongst the info was a seating chart; I shouldn’t have looked but hey, contributory negligence.”
‘I had been told beforehand that A and L would be invited, but not that they were directly across the (long) table from me and my husband.”
“I asked if it would be possible to move either me and my husband, or A and L.”
That request didn’t get him far.
“This was not well received.”
“YS accused me of looking at things I should not have (true); I had already demanded to be seated near friends and ‘changing my mind’ could not be accommodated; I was asked if A and L could be invited so could have objected (I was told but moot point, it’s their wedding); and that I ‘just need to get over it.’ “
That initial back and forth left things at a clear impasse.
“YS and FBIL later communicated no changes were to be accommodated and if I don’t like it, don’t come.”
“I told them I want to celebrate their marriage, but I cannot sit across from someone who has caused me much pain and grief. If that cannot be changed (12 months out, mind you) then I will not attend.”
Word of the exchange made its way to the rest of his family and he found himself severely outnumbered.
“YS has since spun this to our parents, who are demanding I apologise to YS and FBIL for causing undue stress. Our older sister and her husband have told me I ‘don’t know the stress of planning a wedding’ (I do, organising my own while working in corporate law but whatever).”
“My husband is supportive and wants me to explain why it’s an issue – but YS knows already!”
He did gain support from folks on Reddit, though.
They called him “NTA,” for “Not the A**hole,” and shared all sorts of reasons why.
Many felt the issue began and ended with the act of physical abuse.
“I’m sorry, you’re supposed to just ‘get over’ being violently assaulted in a hate crime to the point that you were HOSPITALIZED?”
“I mean, I’d question anyone who’d be even remotely friends with someone who’d done that to someone I supposedly cared about and all you’re asking is to just be seated not right across from the dude.”
“NTA at all and if your family know the situation and are still supporting your YS in this, they can join her in the a-hole queue.” — ladyblack7
“NTA. He physically assaulted you. You shouldn’t even have to be in the same room as that person.”
“YS may ‘know’ what happened but not realize the damage this person psychologically has done. You don’t have to explain anything but having a conversation with family about what happened and why you are asking to be moved away from him might help the situation.”
“But let me be clear she’s [the a**hole]. You have a good relationship with her so she should have your back when you try to communicate a concern.” — vtheatretech
“NTA. My god. A not only outed you but physically assaulted you and committed a hate crime against you. Asking to change seats is nothing. Frankly it would be reasonable to ask her to cut ties with him and his family entirely—regardless of her friendship with his wife.”
“If someone hurt my brother the way A hurt you, I wouldn’t want any connection with them. Your sister’s attitude is bizarre. I’m sorry she’s acting like you’re over-stepping. You’re not.” — sisuheart
“NTA. If your family members can’t understand that you don’t want to look someone who beat the sh** out of you in the face for a whole wedding, they’re not much family at all.”
“I think this might be a BYOF situation. Build your own family of people who love and respect you and f*** everyone else.” — drunkonmartinis
Others simply weighed the two factors.
These responses felt the logistics of rearrangement were absolutely simple enough to accommodate his more serious needs.
“NTA. How callous can your YS be, to not understand why you don’t want to sit across from someone who helped put you in the hospital?”
“You’re being so accommodating already, I really don’t understand why A and L or you and your husband can’t be moved just a few seats down.” — PadawanPoopyPoop
“NTA – In what world would changing seating be a bigger deal than looking out for your brother? A shouldn’t even be allowed at the wedding. I can’t even stand the thought of someone hurting my brother.”
“What the actual F is wrong with YS’s priorities?” — Poplett
“NTA at all. This person outed you and physically assaulted you. That’s a hate crime. Asking just to change seats is an incredibly small reaction to that person being in the same room as you for an event.”
“Considering that she already knew, it’s almost beyond belief that she sat you like that in the first place.” — diorswan
Some people gave advice.
They urged him to boycott the wedding entirely.
“NTA what you’re asking is more than reasonable. My advice yo you is tell your younger sister you wont be attending her wedding. And tell your parents the reason why before she gets to them and spins the story to make you look bad again.”
“There will be a fallout no doubt but it won’t be of your making.” — henchwench89
“NTA!! Your sister should be ashamed of herself that she is willing to break bread with someone who had a part in her brothers violent assault that resulted in hospitalization.”
“IMO, don’t go. Tigers don’t change their stripes and your sister is BIG wrong for still associating with this person.” — dietaw521
“NTA. If I were you, I’d simply not go. Why put yourself through all this for a wedding of someone who obviously doesn’t care enough about you?” — asmeeks1
And of course, there were the more creative approaches.
“NTA. Why don’t you put together a little slideshow to show what A put you through, play it over a big screen on the night? If she’s happy enough to sit you next to A then she should be happy enough for everyone to know what A is really like.”
“Yeah I know this would be an arsehole move but its just a revenge thought I had pop into my head.” — legofduck
It’s impossible to know exactly how it all panned out for him. But we can say with certainty that his sister’s wedding has already taught him some indispensable information about some of his family members.