Retaliation is not often the first emotion we associate with the act of coming out as gay. At least, it’s not the one we hope for.
Ideally, a person comes out feeling proud and safe, supported by those they’re informing, be it family or friends.
But for one man on Reddit, it was indeed retaliation, plain and simple, which drove both the time and manner he told his mom about his sexuality. After he took some flack for his terse delivery of the news, he reached out to the internet for a few helpful opinions.
He turned to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit, where he—and his mom—received a hefty dose of support.
secretly-paul, as he’s known on Reddit, began the post by illustrating the prescriptive brand of motherhood he was up against.
“Usually when people come out to their parents, it’s because they want to become closer to them or some sh** like that, but not me. I came out because I was annoyed.”
“My mom had made comments about me growing up and marrying a beautiful Black woman and having kids in my mind 30’s (no sooner).”
“This annoyed me because she’s basically saying that I’m not allowed to marry anyone who isn’t Black, and that I have to have kids. I’ve told her time and again that I don’t want kids, but since I once said that I wanted kids when I was 12, then I must still want kids.”
Now revved up and ticked off, he spilled the news as unceremoniously as he could.
“In my annoyed state, I told her that I’m gay. Let’s just say she didn’t take it very well.”
“I repeated myself a few times, but it was as if she weren’t capable of putting the words together in her head.”
“I got annoyed again and said (quite loudly), ‘ATTRACTIVE MEN MAKE MY PENIS HARD!’ That got her to shut up.”
But he went on to second-guess his part in the exchange after some people in his life wagged the finger.
“I’ve since been told that I was being insensitive to her at such a delicate moment. So people of Reddit, AITA for coming out to my mom like that?”
Plenty of Redditors threw their full, nonjudgmental support behind him, dubbing him “NTA,” for “Not the A**hole.”
These responses even celebrated the bluntness.
“NTA this is hilarious. You can come out in any way you see fit, and you saw it was best to do that out of annoyance.” — annoyedpotatolady
“You legend” — geronimoSkeletor
“NTA and I’m now planning to put ‘ATTRACTIVE MEN MAKE MY PENIS HARD’ on a shirt and wear it to our next family reunion. :-)” — heartless-cupid
Others looked at the nuances at play.
They assured him that his mother set up the conditions that pushed things in a negative direction.
“NTA. Coming out to parents is very rarely easy. She shouldn’t have been pushing you like she was, and the fact that it took you raising your voice to actually get her to listen to what you were saying, it’s possible that going about it in a gentler way wouldn’t have made a difference.” — WolfGoddess77
“NTA, but that was understandably rough. Sounds like the frustration has been building up for quite a while. Hope everything works out for you.” — Lifear
“NTA If your mother was approachable and not trying to dictate your life, perhaps a more sentimental conversation could have taken place.” — [deleted]
“NTA she refused to listen.” — drunkenmonkey28
“NTA your mother is weird. You said once you wanted kids, but you were a kid, and kids are stupid. And your explanation of being gay was more clear than she deserved” — JureGdoceu875
A few Redditors, though indeed supportive, did leave room for the possibility that he could have been more tactful.
“NAH,” for “No A**hole Here” was a common prefix to these comments.
“NAH. You probably didn’t need to explain what gay means, but I don’t fault you.” — cricket73646
“NAH, if your mom was pressing you and making you fed up, then it’s understandable. You COULD’VE said it nicer but given the circumstances i completely understand how you would feel.” — zmahmud1208
“Nta. you have the right to choose how you come out. However I hope you don’t come to regret the somewhat vindictive approach you took.” — WeatherIsFun227
“For those of you saying that I lashed out unnecessarily, here are a few more details.”
“After I told her, she said the word ‘what’ about 30 times. Then I repeated myself.”
“She said that I was lying.”
“She said that I was being influenced by sin and Satan. She said that I just needed to find the right woman.”
“Then she said that gay people don’t exist, and that the concept is laughable. This is what drove me to say what I did.”
“I would do it again. Her reaction was annoying and mean.”
“Though my reaction might have been inappropriate, I don’t regret it one bit.”
Those additional details sealed the deal for some.
They totally took his side after learning the specifics.
“NTA. With all that info you put in your edit, I feel like very few people could’ve stayed calm under that kind of interrogation about the person they are” — ChidiAriana
“NTA. Anyone who equates ‘sin and Satan’ with homosexuality (or being LGBTQ+) is, in my opinion, an ignorant, dim, cowardly, unconscionable bigot.”
“Yell it from the rooftops, you didn’t do anything wrong here.” — reclaimation
“‘That I was being influenced by sin and Satan.’ That’s all the info I needed to know right there. She’s the a**hole.” — jenskal
We hope he can find comfort and support in his family life. But if the internet gives an accurate picture of the way others feel, he can be confident that he’ll find support from plenty of other people around him if he can’t get it from mom.