Thankfully, the hate and intolerance that plagues so many adults is often lost on children.
But as one post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated, sometimes it’s simply impossible to shield kids from those opinions.
The Original Poster (OP), aptly known as upsettingfamilydrama on the site, laid it all out in the title:
“AITA for telling my niece her grandparents are homophobic?”
OP led by describing the difficult dynamics of his family.
“I (28-year-old male) am gay, and my parents disowned me because of it. I haven’t spoken to them in 8 years.”
“However, I’m still close with my sister (34-year-old female) and her daughter (10-year-old female). My sister still has a relationship with our parents.”
That intolerance directly impacts OP’s holiday season.
“Every year, my parents host a big Christmas gathering. I’m never invited, but my sister and niece always go.”
“A day or two after that, we do a smaller Christmas with just me, my sister, and my niece.”
OP’s niece had some questions.
“At our smaller Christmas gathering, while my sister was in the other room, my niece asked why I never go to my parents’ Christmas.”
“I replied with the excuse I’ve used for years: I had to work.”
“My niece said that my excuse didn’t make sense because sometimes the big gathering happened on Christmas, when I definitely have the day off.”
“She was getting upset and asked ‘do you not like to be with us?’ “
That left OP on his heels.
“If she hadn’t said that, I probably wouldn’t have told her. But I can’t stand the idea that she would think I chose not to go to the Christmas.”
“So, in a calm voice, I said ‘well, you know how I date boys instead of girls? Grandma and Grandpa don’t like that, so they ask me not to go to Christmas.’ “
And the grape vine took it from there.
“My niece was obviously upset by this. The next day, she called her grandparents and asked how dare they tell me not to come to Christmas.”
“Apparently she was really harsh with them. Then, my parents called my sister and yelled at her for letting my niece around me.”
“My sister confronted me and said I was an a**hole for causing the family fight and for involving my niece in it.”
“I feel really bad, and I really didn’t expect my niece to call them and cause a fight.”
“So I wanted to know, AITA?”
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
A clear majority of Redditors were completely on OP’s side.
“NTA. You were honest with your niece in an age-appropriate, non-confrontational way.”
“The only reason it turned into a huge fight is because no one else had been honest with her before about the situation.” — Padloq
“NTA. You didn’t ‘involve’ your niece; she’s the one who brought up the issue. It’s not on you to go out of your way to maintain a lie that’s clearly not holding up for her any more.”
“If your parents refuse to accept that trying to pretend gay people don’t exist isn’t a viable strategy for maintaining family harmony, or your sister refuses to acknowledge there’s only so far that trying to play both sides will go when one side is clearly in the wrong, that’s on them.” — mm172
“NTA, 10 is old enough to grasp what homophobia is. Your parents actually deserved her harshness. What did your sister want you to tell your niece as excuse? Would you have to lie?” — TimonEnPumba99
“NTA. If they didn’t want their grandaughter to know that they’re homophobic, they shouldn’t be homophobic. Simple as that.” — betsoverstreet
In fact, they took aim at OP’s sister.
“NTA. Your sister is a coward. The reason why it is so easy for your family to exclude you is because there is NO consequence on their end.”
” ‘You caused a family fight’… That’s rich. Your sister should be starting family fights EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. if she cared the SLIGHTEST about you…”
“Good luck OP and best wishes to you.” — Olivia-Clara
“NTA. Your niece is ten and was bound to find out. Your sister is a bit of AH because she isn’t angry at her homophobic parents but at you for telling the truth. You didn’t start this drama, your parents did, years ago.” — ToPiggyback
“NTA but your parents and your sister sure are. How dare your sister use you as childcare to pick her child up 3/4 days a week and then tacitly consent to your shared family of origin banishing you?! You are either good enough or not.”
“Spoiler: you are good enough. She’s a selfish, weak woman and I hope your niece sticks to her guns. Sounds like she’s the best one in that family.” — SlinkyMalinky20
“NTA Do not support homophobes. Your sister is a homophobe enabler and a danger for your nieces free development. If everything goes wrong she could make your niece homophobic as well.”
“Your niece asked, you answered, about something that should be normalized by now. What is your niece is gay later too? She will know she can always come to you with this.”
“The earlier you teach children to be open minded and not to judge other peoples love life the better.” — Blubbpaule
And plenty offered high praise to OP’s niece.
“NTA It sounds like your niece has more integrity than her mother, whom is concerned with not rocking the boat.”
“If telling the TRUTH causes a fight, it’s obvious your parents and sister are on the wrong side.” — OneTwoWee000
“NTA… it’s pretty sad that your parents and sister needed to be schooled by a 10 year old. I hope they realize that a 10 year old has a better grasp of reality, maturity, and compassion then they do and I hope they lose sleep at night because of it.” — Electrical-Cause4586
“Well now you know who has your back. Your niece. The new generation will not tolerate the bullsh** of the past.”
“ESH but you and your niece. NTA” — Revolutionary_Ad1846
With plenty of online support behind him, OP can rest assured he remains the “good uncle” camp.