How and when someone comes out is a very personal choice.
No matter what age, it all depends on a person’s emotional readiness.
There is no perfect way to do it.
And this can be a difficult pill for parents to swallow.
A parental instinct is often to engage and discuss.
But a kid may not be ready.
So what does a parent do?
Case in point…
Redditor -Ineedhelp– wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for telling my Husband our son was gay?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (32 F[emale]) caught my son (15 M[ale] ) cuddling with his friend (15 M) while they were sleeping in their room.”
“I decided not to wake them up, and I discussed it with my husband (34 M), and the possibility that our son might be gay came up.”
“While I initially agreed with my husband’s suggestion to approach our son when his friend left, I later decided that we should just wait until our son was comfortable sharing this with us.”
“My husband argued, saying what if he never tells us that he’s gay?”
“I told my husband that if he doesn’t tell us that he’s gay, then he’s probably not.”
“I told him that we should just let our son know that we’ll love him regardless and leave it at that.”
“However, my husband went against our agreement and questioned our son about his sexual orientation while I was driving my son’s friend home.”
“When I returned home, I discovered my son in TEARS, yelling and accusing me of outing him.”
“I was confused and told my son that I didn’t know what he was talking about.”
“My son told me while he was crying that his father revealed what I saw and basically coerced him into coming out before he was ready.”
“My son asked me why I would tell his father and why I would enter his room without his permission.”
“I started crying and told my son that I was sorry and that I loved him and accepted him no matter what.”
“My son remained distant and now is refusing to speak to me and his father.”
“When I confronted my husband, I told him that I was angry that he threw me under the bus.”
“He claimed he didn’t mean any harm, only shared what I mentioned to our son, hoping it’ll make him comfortable about coming out to us.”
“Despite his pleas for forgiveness, I can’t help but feel anger towards him, knowing my son is now feeling hatred for me for something that I actively tried to prevent.”
“My husband argues that blaming him for our son’s emotions is unfair, and told me our son is only going through an emotional phase that will pass.”
“Despite him begging for my son and my forgiveness, telling us that he meant no harm, I’m torn between forgiving him because I blame him for causing our son to be angry with me.”
The OP was left to wonder:
“AITA for telling my Husband our son was gay?”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.
“NTA – Yeah, your husband screwed the pooch big time.”
“Your suggestion to wait until your son was comfortable with coming out on his own in his own way was, of course, correct.”
“Your husband, despite his pleas of innocence, betrayed your trust and your son’s privacy.”
“He has created a terrible rift in the family, and it is he who has to fix it between you and your son.”
‘He created the mess, and he needs to clean it up.”
“You need to go to your husband with this, and if he doesn’t straighten it out right now, he will be spending a lot of cold nights this winter.” ~ Mustng1966
“This OP! NTA.”
“Your husband blamed you as soon as your son started to get defensive, fully knowing that what he was doing was completely against what you discussed, and turns out you were 100% correct in foreseeing your son’s reaction.”
“I agree your husband should fix it.”
“But I’d also maybe have a conversation with your son 1-1 and explain what happened from your point of view, reiterating it was never your intention to force him to come out and you wanted to let him do it on his own terms.”
“You love him always and the subject doesn’t need to be brought up again until he is ready to do so, and you’ll respect his privacy and always knock from now on.” ~ puchungu
“And breaking a freshly-made promise.”
“And deciding it was ok to drag his own son out of the closet.”
“He betrayed two people he’s supposed to love and protect.”
“I’d never trust him again.”
“Mom is NTA.”
“Dad has forever broken their trust because he thought he knew better about a very nebulous issue that was not his own issue to make decisions about.” ~ FleeshaLoo
“I agree: one of my sons came out to his dad.”
“My husband told me in secret because he wasn’t sure if his reaction was good.”
“I reassured my husband (who did right even if he was surprised to be the first to know as I am bi), but I didn’t mention it to my son.”
“He took 4 months to come out to me, and I never told him I already knew as I don’t want to harm his relationship with his dad.”
“And we’re there for our son when he needs to, he knows he can come out to the rest of the family in his own time.”
“So OP, NTA, but your husband failed you in co-parenting and failed your son by forcing him to talk while he wasn’t ready.” ~ Significant-Ad9908
“This, but you should apologize to your son for bringing it up to his father either way.”
“Explain that you expected a more mature reaction from your husband, that you explained it a certain way so that he wouldn’t make assumptions, yet he chose to anyways.”
“You were well-meaning in wanting your husband to simply make it clear that if your son is gay, both of his parents are accepting, and he can be open about it.”
“Your husband prioritized himself/his own nosiness about your son’s personal business and tried to force your son to come out before he was ready, as you predicted, and then deflected the blame onto you when he realized that he should have taken your suggested approach.”
“It’s a tricky situation but do try to show understanding for your son’s feelings at this time, he’s only 15 and is experiencing a severe violation of his private life!”
“NTA, but had a lapse in judgment in trusting your husband.”
“Your son is reasonably upset about this since your husband did not respond with the same maturity that you did and instead turned it into an interrogation.”
“It was probably not a good idea to provide the possible evidence (him cuddling with another boy), but it’s your husband who made the assumption, not you, and your husband needs to be held accountable.”
“Lesson for other parents: any of your kids could be gay without you knowing; just assume that the possibility is always there whether you have ‘proof’ or not and create a welcoming space for them.”
“Not being told is not a personal slight against you!”
“OP’s husband definitely could’ve taken the last half of this advice.” ~ Mundane_Reference564
“I vehemently disagree with all the Y-T-As and E-S-Hs. To me, this is a NTA.”
“OP knocked. OP was doing something she normally does, which was her son’s laundry.”
“OP went to her husband, who she thought was a rational human being, not to out their son but to talk about the very real possibility that their son MAY be gay. THIS IS NOT OUTING.”
“What was outing was what OP’s husband did.”
“The reality is, parents talk to each other about everything regarding their kids.”
“OP has not at any point in this post indicated that she believed her husband was an unsafe person for their kid, so it’s not unbelievable that she would confide in her husband information regarding their kid.”
“OP expected her husband to react rationally at the possibility their son may be gay. He didn’t.”
“Instead, he made this a big deal and forced their son out of the closet.”
“OP’s husband is the one who outed their son.”
“If you tell a trusted family member that the passcode to your house is 1234 for emergencies and you ask them to keep that a secret, but that person tells someone else who shouldn’t know that information, most people wouldn’t blame you.”
“You trusted your family member to have your best interests in mind.”
“While it doesn’t 100% translate, it’s the same principle.”
“OP reasonably thought she could trust her husband and act in a way that had the family’s best interests in mind, and he decided to blow it all up to satisfy his own curiosity.”
“It sounds to me like OP wanted to prepare her husband for what may be to come and just reaffirm that they will react with love and compassion.”
“And I will die on this hill.”
“OP DID NOT OUT HER SON!!” ~ imisspeaches
“I agree with you 100%. OP is NTA.”
“My husband and I had this same conversation a few years ago about our oldest son because of a friendship he had.”
“We agreed to not say anything to him because we did not want to out him, invade his privacy, or pressure him.”
“If my husband did what OP’s husband did, I would be furious.”
“He absolutely handled it wrong and needs to try to fix it with his wife and son.” ~ Gullible-Law
“Your husband stinks.” ~ Loud_Fox_6092
OP came back to chat…
“I entered my son’s room because I was doing laundry and planning on washing my son’s clothes.”
“I did knock to see if they were awake and waited for a response, and when I got no response, I entered.”
“I only usually do this when I plan on washing clothes, as I like to do it early in the morning.”
“I’ve been doing this since my son was 12, and he told me he didn’t mind it because he would wake up with clean clothes.”
“When I saw my son and his friend cuddling, I immediately walked out of his room and shut the door.”
“I wasn’t thinking straight and should have waited for his friend to leave.”
“Sorry for not mentioning this before.”
Well, OP, Reddit is with you.
You weren’t being malicious.
You had your son’s best interests at heart.
Things went a bit awry.
Sounds like you love your son a lot.
There are plenty of resources for the whole family to help process this if you need support.
Thanks for being such a caring mom.