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Gay Man Called ‘Vindictive’ For Refusing To Donate Kidney To Sister Who Married His School Bully

Kidney Donation
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Content Warning: Bullying, Homophobia, Estrangement, Organ Donation, Organ Transplant

While it’s important to not live in the past, there are hurts like bullying that stay with you.

It’s especially painful when supposed loved ones dismiss the hurt a bullied person could still be experiencing, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor Delicious-Hat-2395 was bullied ruthlessly all through high school, especially once he was outed, and he was shocked later when that bully was treated like family.

But when his family pushed him to “get over” what his bully had done, the Original Poster (OP) distanced himself from his family, even during their hour of need.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for refusing to donate my kidney to my dying sister because she got with my high school bully?”

The OP was brutally bullied by a guy in high school.

“I’m a 35-year-old gay man. When I was in high school, I was bullied severely by Darren. I won’t go into the details, but it was really bad, past the point of typical high school douchebaggery.”

“In my sophomore year, I made the mistake of coming out to one of my friends, who promptly spread this information around the school.”

“Before this, Darren had targeted me for being unathletic and wearing glasses and had done this to a couple of other kids, as well, but after I was outed, his focus was only on me, and only because of my sexuality.”

He thought he got a fresh start in college, but there was a rude awakening waiting for him.

“After high school, I moved away for college. I made friends, even got a boyfriend, and pretty much forgot about Darren.”

“That was until one Thanksgiving when my sister, Ellie, brought home her boyfriend, Darren. Yes, the same Darren.”

“No joke, the first thing he said when he saw me was, ‘D**n, Ellie, you didn’t tell me your brother was a [f-word].'”

“Ellie f**king laughed, as did my dad.”

“I was kinda stunned, but I didn’t yell or start a fight. I just got up and walked out.”

The OP’s family had clearly chosen sides.

“After the fact, my family tried to play it off, saying that Darren was joking because he was nervous meeting the family.”

“They also told me that he and Ellie were serious, so I had to get over it.”

“I just told them all that I wouldn’t be attending any event where Darren was. In private, I told Ellie that I felt hurt that she’d date Darren, knowing what he did to me.”

“She basically called me too sensitive and told me she has the right to date who she likes, which yeah, she does.”

“Since then, I’ve been putting distance between myself and my family, who seem to have readily accepted Darren into the fold, to the point that Ellie and Darren are now married.”

The OP’s estranged family reached out when they needed something from him.

“Recently, my mom reached out to tell me that Ellie was in the hospital and needed a kidney transplant.”

“The rest of the family had been tested and none could donate, and my mom wanted me to get tested because I’m her full brother with a high likelihood of a match.”

“The thing is, after all these years, Ellie is basically a stranger to me.”

“If I were to do this, I’d have to drive three states back to my hometown, miss who knows how much work, and give up a piece of my flesh, all for the woman who dated and eventually married the guy who made my high school days a living h**l.”

“I told my mom that I wouldn’t be getting tested, and she freaked out at me over the phone.”

“I quickly hung up on her, but before I did, I heard her call me vindictive and a monster for refusing to save my sister’s life.”

“I admit, I feel guilty about it.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some reassured the OP that this was his choice and likely not a reciprocated one.

“NTA. The question to ask yourself and to ask any family member who call is this: Would Ellie do this for you if you needed the kidney?”

“Most assuredly, the answer is NO. She treated you poorly and has not contacted you in years. Why would you endanger your life for someone who treated you badly and who married the one person who caused you immeasurable pain?”

“She has cut you out of her life and now she is in need, so you are supposed to forget all the pain and give her a kidney. I, for one, would travel back home just to tell her how horrible of a sister she has been and that you will be keeping your kidney just where it is.”

“And just for fun, I would ask her husband if he is sure that he would want a GAY kidney in his wife because to may turn her gay!” – countryboy_1101

“NTA. No one is under any obligation to donate an organ to anyone else, ever. It does not matter if it is for your family or not. Given that you are not close to your sister, and she has no problem letting your homophobic bully continue to berate you, I wouldn’t bother trying to help her, either.” – rajortoa9

“She can go on dialysis while she’s waiting for a non-family match.”

“While technically she can date whomever she wants, I would tell your mom, dad, bully, and sister that maybe they should find a non-gay kidney that it might not, you know… contaminate her. If you’re going to donate so much as an eyelash… it will be to non-homophobes.”

“NTA.” – VegetableBusiness897

“NTA. Stay away from that family. They not only disregard your feelings, but now they’ve only contacted you because of the potential for a donor match. Not even an apology. In my country, there’s a saying, ‘You reap what you sow,’ and your sister and her family are certainly reaping it.” – Edofate

“They should ask Darren to donate. He’s her homophobic hubby after all, and she likes his ‘jokes.'”

“They have programs where if you can get someone to donate, you get put to the top of the donation list. See if he‘ll do that for her.” – ctsman8

Others agreed and also pointed out the risks of donating to a dearly loved one.

“NTA. Just so you know, anyone who volunteers to donate an organ is given the option to halt the process at any time, for any or no reason. Donating an organ is hugely personal and it’s key to the healing of the donor that they be in the right frame of mind. You’re not in the right frame of mind. I have a feeling you’d probably be rejected for that reason.”

“Also, it’s possible they’re lying to you about other donors. They just don’t want to do it themselves, so they’ve pinned it onto you.” – Tangled_Up_In_Blue22

“You have to understand how big of a deal it is to donate a kidney. It’s not just donating blood. It’s a lifelong commitment. I wouldn’t do this. (I mean, well, I would for my sister, but she’s not a witch like yours.)” – 12heatedblankets

“NTA. Why should you do it for people who don’t care about you? The testing alone and then giving up a kidney is a huge deal. It’s her own fault that she treated you badly.” – Honest_Bad_9715

“He should absolutely stay away, and he doesn’t owe them anything. But if it makes his own life easier, he can always go get tested because the doctors will say he’s not a match if he goes in and lets them know he has no intention of donating, does not want to do it, and is being coerced and pressured to be there.”

“It’s a really common scenario, and HIPAA prevents them from telling the family why he’s not a match. But he isn’t a match because he is not a willing donor.”

“He doesn’t have to do a damn thing but if he doesn’t want to have to hear about it for the rest of his life in case his sister dies and he ever decided to speak to his parents (again he owes them nothing, but I have cut off family and it is a difficult thing to do) he can always go that route.” – BojackTrashMan


“Nobody is an a**hole for not wanting to donate an organ, regardless of the reason. I say this as somebody who has twice received a kidney transplant.”

“In terms of practical advice, this is what you do. Tell your family you have changed your mind, and you will ‘of course’ be happy to give your sister a kidney if you are a match.”

“There is a process that follows. It begins with you phoning a number. They will send you a questionnaire that is lengthy, like 14 pages or so. Based on the responses to those questions, you may be rejected as a donor, or they may allow you to carry on to the blood test.”

“If your blood is a match (and it’s a lot more than just the blood type), then there is a third stage which includes a bigger medical check and a psychological examination.”

“At no point in the process will anybody be told the results of any of your tests. You can say, at any time, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ and all anybody will be told is, ‘He is not a match.’ They will never give the person the reason why.”

“The entire process for organ donation depends on it being difficult to be accepted, and easy to be rejected in a manner that does not reflect in any way upon the person who is the proposed donor.”

“There are two kinds of stories that the Kidney Foundation never wants to appear in the papers. The first is, ‘Kidney donor dies on the operating table.’ If there is even the slightest chance that donating will be a risk for you, you’re out. The second is, ‘I was forced to donate a kidney to….'”

“The donor is asked at every stage if they are in it 100% voluntarily. They don’t ever want to see anyone throwing shade on the process.”

“The donor MUST be all-in on the process. The screening process is lengthy and arduous, and if a part of you doesn’t want to do it, whatever the reason, then don’t complete the process.”

“Let me just add that the physical process isn’t that bad. I had a live donor for my first transplant. The surgery was on a Monday, she (55 years old) was out of hospital on Wednesday, and she was back to walking the Stanley Park Seawall on Friday (that’s like, five kilometers). Not every donor will recover that quickly, but that gives you an idea of how well it can go.”

“If at any point anybody asks you if you deliberately sabotaged the process, you can, with complete honesty and sincerity, say ‘no.’ You didn’t sabotage it. They don’t want you donating. You are not a match.” – Odd_Connection_7167

The subReddit was disgusted by how the OP’s family had treated him, likely concealing their homophobic tendencies until an outspoken homophobe like Darren entered their lives and gave them the kind of son they wanted.

It was clear that the OP should stay away from this family, even if he had the means to help. They weren’t there for him when he likely went through physical as well as psychological bullying, and he didn’t need to be there for them when there were other donor options on the transplant list.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.