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