All of us will go through some family drama at one point or another, but some of us will go through more intense situations than others.
For one guy, Redditor “Throwawayolderbrother534,” had a decision to make after his parents reacted poorly to the news that his younger brother was homosexual.
When they decided to not only disown his younger brother, but also throw him out of their house during the pandemic, there was only one way the OP could think to respond.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit:
“AITA for cutting my elderly parents off financially after they kicked out my gay brother?”
The OP explained how close he and his brother have always been, and how supportive he was of his brother coming out.
“I’m a 24 year old software engineer originally from an Arab Muslim country. I moved to the United States with my parents when I was five years old, and my younger brother was born here. He is now 16.”
“A year ago, my brother came out to me as gay. It wasn’t a surprise to me, I’ve always been very close to my brother.”
“We grew up in a majority white town and my brother was picked on frequently as a kid for being Arab, and on top of that he’s always been very shy and quiet, so I was the number one person my brother confided in while growing up. I’ve known he was gay for years but I let him tell me when he felt comfortable.”
“When he told me I was obviously completely supportive. I told him I would always love him and support him, and I couldn’t wait to see my brother-in-law someday, jokingly. My brother cried and hugged me.”
The OP was worried, though, about how their parents would react.
“Our parents, however, are very, very homophobic. I know you guys in America have experience with homophobia too, but trust me when I say you have no idea the extent of it in fundamentalist Muslim countries.”
“My parents are in their seventies and are both retired. They spent most of their careers back in their home countries and never built any savings in America, due to financial strains.”
“We live in their house but I’m the primary breadwinner and I make good money as a software engineer. My job isn’t one that requires me to be physically at work so I have fortunately avoided any negative financial effects from the pandemic.”
Unfortunately, the OP was right to be worried.
“Yesterday, my brother decided to come out to our parents. Obviously, this wasn’t an impulse decision but something he spent a lot of time deliberating over.”
“Our parents did not react well. They refuse to have anything to do with him anymore and disowned him. Not only that, they kicked him out of their house. He’s been staying with one of his friends.”
“My parents refuse to change their minds no matter what, and knowing the traditions of the people around us where we came from, I do not think they ever will.”
The OP decided if his parents would disown his brother, he would disown them financially in return.
“In response, I told my parents I will no longer be financially supporting them. I’ve contacted some apartment companies and have decided to move out with my brother. I make good money so I can afford a two bedroom apartment for us no problem.”
The family didn’t view this as the right decision, however.
“I did not think this would be a controversial move, but our relatives, even those in America, have been blowing up my phone telling me I am an a**hole for cutting off my elderly parents during a pandemic.”
“My response is they kicked my brother out during a pandemic. I’m not leaving him on the streets no matter what, but even more so during a pandemic.”
“So Reddit, am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors replied anonymously, rating the OP’s decision on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors were in favor of the OP’s choice after how his parents treated his brother.
“NTA ! if they can kick your 16 year old brother out during a pandemic, you can get out of there too. It’s not like you’re kicking them out of their home, you’re just leaving. They couldn’t expect you to live with them and support them forever, especially if they’re going to pick and choose when their own children deserve their love” – abbieno
“I’m Muslim and I agree . If they’ve decided that they can cut off their underage son in the middle of a pandemic, they’ve already chosen a side. Even if someone wants to say that it’s a religious preference/rule or whatever, Islam actually strictly forbids cutting off family like that.”
“If you’re distancing yourself from abusive family, that is one story. But to make the first step in cutting off your own child just because of a sexual orientation that they were born with? It should be just as unacceptable by Asian/Arab cultural standards (and I know how stringent they can be).” – Dood567
“NTA- sorry your parents are a**holes! Way to stick up for your little underage brother!!! Definitely 100% NTA for cutting your parents off.” – byebyelovie
A few stressed how important it was that the OP help his brother as a teen in the LGBT community.
“I ran a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth in NY. You have no idea to what extent you just saved your brothers life. What he WONT have to do to survive, the kinds of opportunistic predators he will avoid.” – unaluna
“This has always been my first thought for kids who are thrown out by their parents. Like we all KNOW what can happen to homeless teens. Rape, abuse, forced prostitution, drug addiction. Just so many bad things waiting for your homeless vulnerable child.”
“How anyone could do that to their own flesh and blood because they were gay is beyond me.” – nikknox
“There are three things you never want to be while homeless; non-white, disabled, or LGBTQ.”
“Even being one decreases your chance of survival significantly. Anything more is a death sentence. OP is a hero.” – SlaneDidNothingWrong
Other Redditors agreed and said the parents had this cut-off coming.
“As a foster parent we managed to grab a teen who’d been kicked out and was sofa surfing. We got her enrolled in DCS, our state prosecuted her parents and fined them the cost of her care (roughly $1200 a month). They ended up losing their home due to the costs.”
“When they complained to the judge, she was vicious – ‘well, you made your daughter homeless. Turnabout is fair play, isn’t it?'” – NoeTellusom
“[I would say,] ‘I have the finances to support one household. Previously, our family resided only in one household. My parents made the choice to kicked my brother, splintering that household from one in to two.'”
“‘He can not afford this second [household], and because I dont believe in abandoning family, I will be supporting the new household in my family. As a result, I can no longer support the old one. The choice to split our familys household from one into two was my parents and not my brothers, so it is only fair that they live with the financial consequences of that decision.'” – klsklsklsklsklskls
This situation would cause a major rift in any family, though perhaps especially in a family with strong cultural traditions.
However, as many Redditors have pointed out, the younger brother’s safety and health are a top priority. Hopefully with time, the rest of the family will be able to see that.