Children want to get to the bottom of everything. Whether you are a child’s parent, relative, family friend, or even a stranger, you will be asked a thousand questions about everything under the sun.
Usually, interactions with such curious and energetic little humans are an absolute delight.
We hear those unceasing questions about everything under the sun and we are pushed to stop, step back, and think about all the things we take for granted as busy adults zipping through the world.
But alongside that insatiable curiosity comes another attribute so essential to children: they have no filter whatsoever.
Kids are simply too young, too new to the world to sense the social ripple effects that certain topics create. They want to know everything and they don’t care what makes people uncomfortable or conflicted.
Redditor Global_Ad3402, as she’s known on the site, encountered this dynamic in a recent conversation with her cousin’s young son.
Their conversation ignited such family drama that she was lead to share her experience in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The title of the post laid out the ordeal quite clearly:
“AITA for telling my 7-year-old second cousin I am gay and married.”
The Original Poster (OP) first set the scene.
“Was over at my mom’s house when my cousin Brianna come over with her 7yo son Devon. We were hanging out when she and mom decided they wanted to go shopping.”
“Devon was watching Paw Patrol and didn’t want to go, so I said I’d stay and watch him. They left and I went in the den with Devon.”
Apparently the dog-based entertainment was enthralling enough to prevent what happen next.
“About 20 or so minutes later, Kayla (my wife) calls to discuss dinner plans. When I was going to hang up, I told her “‘okay, see you soon. Love you, bye.'”
“Devon turns to me and says ‘You shouldn’t tell people you love them unless they are family.’ Which is pretty good advice if you are 7.”
“So I said ‘Kayla is family, Devon. She is my wife’.”
That called for some unpacking.
“But he was confused because I was a girl and Kayla is a girl, and he thought we were roommates. He thought about it for a minute, then he decided that I should have a husband.”
“So I told him ‘Well I don’t want a husband, I want a wife. Girls can have wives and boys can have husbands if they want. Or girls can have husbands and boys can have wives, like your mommy and daddy’.”
And that called for even more unpacking.
“He was still confused, so he asked some questions. A lot of questions were about the ‘His and Hers’ or ‘Mr & Mrs’ stuff, I guess his parents have a lot of that at home, or who did what chores. But he generally seemed to get it.”
“He didn’t ask about babies or anything (thankfully) and I kept everything PG.”
Remember the previously mentioned lack of filter?
“Well when my mom and cousin got home, he went to tell his mom the ‘news’ and she was not happy.”
“She asked me outside and started laying into me about overstepping my boundaries. I thought it was because she thought I told him about sex or babies or something, so I told her what happened.”
True colors came out pretty quickly after that.
“She still wasn’t happy. She said they (her and husband) have been telling the kids that we were roommates and I should have stuck with that (but I didn’t know this, nor do I really like it.)”
“I told her she was being a intolerant because I know that she told the kids that my brother and her sister were married.”
“Then my mom came out to see what all the fuss was about and we told her what happened. She just said ‘oh’ and stayed on the fence. Then Brianna went inside to grab Devon and they both left.”
“I asked mom what she knew about it and apparently she knew about the roommates lie. I was angry with her too after that, so I left.”
Cue ripple effects.
“I got home and told Kayla about it, but she didn’t get as upset about it. Called it a misunderstanding. Later on I get a call from my cousin and her husband about how I need to apologize to them, but I didn’t.”
“Now they have taken to Facebook to tell everyone how ‘indoctrinated’ their son.”
“I am getting calls and texts from people telling me I had no right to tell him that because it is a ‘controversial’ subject and he is too young to get it.”
OP closed with a subtle prompt to the internet community.
“Mom has come out firmly on my side now, but my brother said I shouldn’t tell other people’s kids these things at all. I don’t think I am in the wrong, but I don’t have kids.”
“I honestly don’t think I’d mind, because I kept everything PG, but I could be wrong.”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
NAH – No A**holes Here
“NTA” was by far the most popular response from Redditors. They cited a variety of reasons for concluding so.
Many called out what they deemed blatant homophobia.
“WOW NTA they are SUPER homophobic” — CitraTerranova
“NTA. These people are horrible and I hope everyone decent in your family cuts them out. Including your homophobic a**hole of a brother.”
“How dare they be mad at you for not lying about who your wife is. Your existence isn’t controversial or political, only their hatred is.” — lightwoodorchestra
“Lying about sexuality normalizes homophobia and hatred of the ‘other.’ Your cousin would rather have her son hate and fear you than accept and understand you. NTA.” — nurseiv
Others keyed in on the child’s place in the story. They had strong convictions about how to respect his very legitimate curiosity.
“NTA, his parents shouldn’t have lied to him about you and your wife being ‘roommates.'”
“The way you explained it is how I would explain it to kids who would ask me, I don’t think you overstepped your boundaries.”
“Devon is going to meet LGBTQ+ people in his life, might as well explain it to him now rather than later.” — YouAhriTarted
“NTA, no one is too young to learn about tolerance of different lifestyles. Sounds like you had a conversation that was perfectly age-appropriate.”
“I’m sorry that you have family members that would prefer to disregard your marriage in lieu of making themselves feel better, but hopefully you can teach Devon what it means to be an ally (if not your other family members).” — only_the_wild_ones
“Definitely NTA. Gay people exist. He was going to find out eventually” — ehp17
“NTA, the kid had legitimate questions and you answered them. Your family shouldn’t be hiding your marriage or sexuality and you definitely should not not be apologising to them, they are very much [the a**holes] in this situation.” — BuddugBoudica
“NTA. Also, as you saw, the kid had no problem getting it. Kids never do. They just go ‘oh, ok’ and accept it.”
“It’s the adults that have the trouble.” — VivaVeronica
A few made a point to sympathized with the discomfort they assumed OP must have felt upon being confronted.
“NTA. You are under zero obligation to lie about yourself and your life, and they are [the a**holes] for expecting and asking you to do so.” — yourlittlebirdie
“NTA. Your cousin sucks and you are under no obligation to hide or deny your identity. It’s not like you described your preferred sexual positions to her.” — theadjudicator8
“There is nothing wrong with being your authentic self and explaining that in an age appropriate way to a child. Your cousin is disgusting. NTA.” — melaniahatesme
“NTA. Big time. I hate that people still see this as controversial.”
“Never lie about your marriage, who you are, etc.” — KatzAKat
And her mom took some direct criticism for her complicity.
“NTA. Frankly, they are for lying to their child.”
“And your mom should have spoken up. It is bullsh** that she didn’t. If your cousin doesn’t like it, she shouldn’t be welcome. You’re her kid. Your cousin isn’t.” — Coawh85
“NTA. I would not be apologising and I would be asking your mother why she invites people who won’t accept who her daughter is to her home.” — j3pipercub
OP addressed her mother’s behavior in an update that included details of the continued saga.
“Update: Had to field some more calls after linking this to my FB wall. Apparently my cousin’s husband was telling people that I went out of my way to tell him about us.”
“He also left out the ‘roommates’ part and the fact that I kept everything PG. I am not his FB friend, so I didn’t see these.”
“I also asked my mom why she went along with the roommates thing. She said it was to keep the peace with my cousin because she likes having the kids over.”
“I told her that it hurt me that she would lie about me like that and she apologized. She said she wouldn’t lie about it to the kids anymore.”
We’ll never quite know the full story about how the family’s interpersonal dynamics ended up after this.
But we do hope Devon’s curiosity continues to be met with age-appropriate honesty in the future.