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Gay Man Scolded By Mom For Kissing His Boyfriend At Birthday Party In Front Of Young Cousins

two men cuddle on a couch
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Public displays of affection aren’t for everyone.

Some people are fine with heavy petting and making out in front of an audience. Others are uncomfortable with holding hands.

But what if your family’s rules about PDA only apply to one person for homophobic reasons?

A young man dealing with his family’s hypocrisy turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Throwaway_967845 asked:

“AITA for (purposefully) acting ‘inappropriate’ with my boyfriend in front of children?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“We’re both men. I’m 22 and my boyfriend is turning 21 in 2 months.”

“My family was not happy when I came out, but they’ve mostly stopped voicing their opinions openly. I know they still talk about it in private, but at least they don’t say anything to our faces.”

“It took some time for them to warm up to my boyfriend, but now they actively include him in conversations.”

“My 87-year-old grandma called him a ‘very lovely young man’ while pinching his cheek which is a very high form of approval from her. My grandmother doesn’t approve of our relationship either.”

“She likes my boyfriend as a person, but refuses to acknowledge our relationship. To her he is ‘such a good friend and it’s so great that we even live together’. But she also has early dementia, so it’s possible she just forgot.”

“The one thing they still don’t like us to do in front of them is when we act like a couple. They actually try to keep us separate most of the time to not give us the chance to do something as scandalous as hold hands or kiss.”

“No one bats an eye if my siblings or cousins openly show their affection for their partners. Most of the time they get a comment like ‘you make such a great pair’ or something like that.”

“This afternoon we were invited to one of my cousin’s birthday. At some point my boyfriend and I were alone in the kitchen and I, thinking he looked very cute and kissable in that very moment, committed the ultimate sin.”

“I called him something along the lines of ‘my pretty doll’ and gave him a quick kiss.”

“Of course one of my cousins had to enter the kitchen at that exact moment and—because she is a 5-year-old who probably didn’t know that we’re a couple and has never seen us be affectionate—ran off to excitedly tell the other kids what she saw, which was met with the typical childish reactions of disgust mixed with curiosity.”

“My favorite was actually my nephew asking me if that means that my boyfriend is my wife now.”

“The adults didn’t find that as funny though and I had to listen to my mother berate me for almost 30 minutes.”

“When she finally let me go, my boyfriend asked if we could leave. I told him we’d stay for dinner and leave immediately after. Now comes the part where I might be (and probably am) the a**hole.”

“I made a point of holding my boyfriend’s hand while we walked back to the table and asked one of my nieces if she’d switch seats so my boyfriend and I could sit next to each other. During dinner I kept asking my boyfriend to hand me things on the table while addressing him by nicknames and giving him a peck on the cheek here and there.”

“To say the mood was awkward would be an understatement.”

“The adults just mostly ignored us and just glared at us every few seconds while the younger kids kept giggling every time I called my boyfriend ‘darling’ or ‘sweetheart’. My boyfriend was uncomfortable and barely looked up from his plate.”

“We left immediately after dinner was finished.”

“My boyfriend was very quiet on our way home and when we got home he broke down crying. I comforted him as best as I could, but I know it’s my fault that he’s upset as well.”

“We’ve been together for almost 3 years, he knows what I’m like.”

“Later this evening, my mother also sent me a long message telling me that ‘our behavior’ was immature and inappropriate. That, until we’d stop forcing our choices on everyone, we wouldn’t be welcome at another family gathering.”

The OP summed up their situation. 

“I purposefully called my boyfriend by nicknames and repeatedly kissed him in front of my family even though they disapprove of us being affectionate when there’s children present.”

“It made my boyfriend uncomfortable.”

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 were split in their responses with some even giving more than one judgment.

“NTA for how you handled your family. You were just there living your life and initially still being discreet, even though you shouldn’t need to be.”

“Family is the one safe space you should be able to be yourself. Besides, you gave your boyfriend a little smooch, it’s hardly ‘forcing your choices’ on anyone.”

“You didn’t ask them to participate in some kind of gay orgy or stick your tongue down his neck over the dining table, you just expected them to respect your right to behave like a human being with their partner.”

“The kids didn’t even sound like they cared about what they saw, they’re way more accepting than adults.”

“However, YTA for how you treat your boyfriend. You should really apologise to him.”

“Your family don’t deserve you guys to stay there and prioritise them over him when they’re the ones in the wrong, and making a point to them shouldn’t be more important than his comfort either.”

“The moment he asked to leave you should have agreed, rather than making him stay in a hostile environment so that you could use him as a pawn to make your point.”

“You could have excused yourselves and taken the high ground and just sent your family a message afterwards telling them how disappointed you were with their behaviour.” ~ Altruistic-Front4929

“ESH, you were totally fine in the start and I was ready to complain about those homophobic a**holes and say NTA. However, exposing your boyfriend at the table when he was visibly uncomfortable makes you a little bit of an a**hole, sorry.”

“Hopefully you can apologize and you two can talk it out. Communication is key going forward, especially around how he wants to be treated around your family, if he’s even ok with seeing them again.” ~ AdoteUmGatoPreto22

“Huge YTA. If the boyfriend was in on the plan/played along happily, it would be a NTA from me, no question. Your family sounds like a bunch of bigots. No harm for the kids to see that same-sex couples exist and can be happy and affectionate together.”

“But your boyfriend was unhappy and uncomfortable, and instead of genuinely caring for him, you turned him into some tool/prop for making a point to your family, and that’s just a huge dick move.”

“In this situation, you could have made a point just as easily by leaving ASAP, like he wanted, and then telling your parents that if they’re uncomfortable with your sexuality, well, you’re uncomfortable with their homophobia and if they want to keep having you in their lives, the rules of your interactions have to change.” ~ Ravelte

“NTA for doing that to your family. I’m sure the hetero folks are affectionate without a single thought. YTA for doing that to your boyfriend, tho.”

“He didn’t want to stay and you made him stay while putting on a show for the family—that’s super uncool. If in the same situation, I would have checked in with my partner first—how uncomfortable for him.” ~ RenaH80

“NTA for doing it in front of your family but you ARE the a**hole for making your BF so uncomfortable and pulling him into that situation.”

“That is so terrible. You should have left! Not stayed for dinner!” ~ adriennesmith-artist

“When it comes to family not the asshole (NTA). When it comes to your boyfriend very much the asshole (YTA).”

“It was immature, you need to apologise and make the effort to not put him in that situation again. You need to let him express how you hurt him and not throw it onto your family and their behavior. They chose their behavior, but you chose yours.” ~ Marsh-Mallow-13

“I was NTA until the dinner. You pushed it too far. I am struggeling a bit, but I will stick to NTA just because your family are awful—not the kids.”

“Apologize to your bf though. You put him in the line of fire, and that is not cool.” ~ HereWeGoAgain-1979

Others thought everyone sucked (ESH), which is what an NTA and YTA judgment should be.

“ESH. Your family are homophobic, hypocritical a**holes since they’re allowing heterosexual displays of affection, but freaking out over yours.”

“But you’re an inconsiderate a**hole for not running your revenge past your boyfriend before doing it.”

“Justified? Yes. But you should have asked your boyfriend first then respected whatever his response was.” ~ LakotaGrl

“ESH—except your boyfriend and the kids.”

“Okay, so they’re not quite comfortable with this yet. They’re a**holes for that. But you made your boyfriend uncomfortable to prove a point, you’re an a**hole for that.” ~ jrm1102

“Yeah, holy cow, his poor boyfriend (bf). I do not think OP was an a**hole to his family, not one bit. He was being petty, but it’s also not like he was making out with his bf or groping him.”

“Nothing he did was inappropriate. But where he absolutely is an a**hole is for putting his poor boyfriend through this. God, that must have been so awful and uncomfortable for him.”

“OP, you should have just told off your family and left. You don’t owe your family an apology at all, but wow you better be groveling to your boyfriend. He now does not trust you to look out for him or care about his comfort.”

“You honestly may have damaged your relationship. Also it’s pretty a**holey to behave that way to be petty, instead of behaving that way because you want to demonstrate affection to your significant other.”

“I’d be pretty upset if like my bf and I ran into his ex and he started being way more into pda than he usually is to make her jealous. He would never do that, though.”

“That being said, my judgment is ESH except for the bf and the kids. The rest of the adults in the family are f*cking awful, and OP was horrible to his bf.” ~ lowkeydeadinside

While few faulted the OP for his reaction to his family, most found him inconsiderate to his boyfriend.

Hopefully, he puts his partner’s needs first in the future.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.