Human sexuality is far more complex than simply heterosexual and homosexual.
While people are figuring out their own sexuality and personal preferences, they may try different things they later decide aren’t their cup of tea.
A 19-year-old woman is dealing with the fallout of her own experimentation. She turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor datingphasethrowawy asked:
“AITA for saying my lesbianism was a ‘phase’?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“So I started to explore my sexuality pretty late to people’s standards and only started dating when I moved out for uni at 18. I ended up getting pretty close with a girl who we’ll call Jane and we started dating.”
“I told Jane that I was exploring myself so it might not work out and she was totally cool with that. We dated for 5 months and I ‘took on’ the label of lesbian.”
“Turns out, I’m straight.”
“Jane and I broke up (we’re still super close) and that was that. I didn’t explain it all to my family, but they knew I was experimenting.”
“Well, my sister (17) came out yesterday as lesbian and my mum brought up that I am lesbian. I corrected her and said ‘actually I was just experimenting- it was more of a phase. I’m straight’.”
“I didn’t think anything of it and we continued on with our day. It wasn’t until earlier today that my mum called me down and had a go at me for saying my lesbianism was a phase and that my sister got really upset that I was ‘mocking her sexuality’.”
“My mum then insisted I write an apology letter to my sister and started sending me articles on how to be a better ally. I’ve tried apologising to my sister, but she’s really milking this (IMO).”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors were not of one mind in their response, but ultimately decided the OP was unintentionally the a**hole for her choice of wording.
“Uh oh. That wasn’t great huh. I’m going nah, if you explain yourself in some way and apologize for your mistake because it’s not that hard to do.”
“Phase is a heavy word when talking about coming out and sexuality and is regularly used to dismiss people’s identity.”
“I don’t think you’d be in this mess if you’d just said you’d been experimenting and it turns out you’re straight or something but yeah…”
“Explaining you’re happy she knows who she is, explaining you’ve been on a journey to figure out the same, and explaining you understand that your journeys are different and that you now understand why the word phase freaked her out is easy and in my opinion worth your time to make your sister feel better and get mom off your back….” ~ OilSeeYouL8er
“This. I was gonna say NTA, but noted that using the word ‘phase’ is probably what set them off.”
“If OP had just said ‘experimenting’ or something, I believe that things might have gone differently for her (though I don’t know the right words to use).” ~ Reddit
“[I think] ‘getting to know myself’ might work. There are no trigger words and it emphasizes it’s a personal journey not a shared experience?” ~ OilSeeYouL8er
“Ya that works I think. Immediately when I saw ‘phase’ I assumed that was the trigger word.” ~ Reddit
“It set me off a bit, but it didn’t seem said with malice, fortunately. Just sent me back to my mom saying my sexuality is just a phase.” ~ rebekah_sucks
“As I’m gay I can confirm I cringed at the title and the way it was said. Please don’t use the word phase.”
“I’ve had people say that to me when I was coming out and it sooo dismissive and belittling.”
“If you had just said experimenting it would have been fine, but it also wasn’t malicious on your part, so explain what you meant apologise for hurting her feelings and move on.”