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Gay Man Revokes Cousins’ Christmas Presents After Overhearing Them Mock His Boyfriend

Gay couple holding hands wearing Christmas sweaters.
Colin Hawkins/Getty Images

Talking behind people’s backs is always a dangerous endeavor.

As much as you might want to spread unreliable gossip about others, or share a juicy piece of information someone just told you in confidence, you have no guarantee that what you just said won’t get back to the people who weren’t supposed to hear it.

Nor, for that matter, can you be too sure that the person you’re talking about isn’t within earshot of you.

Redditor throwRa-buggy was excited to throw his first holiday party in his and his partner’s new home, to which most of his extended family were invited, all of whom would receive carefully selected presents from the original poster (OP) and his partner.

However, the vibe at the party took a sad, sullen turn when the OP and his partner heard the OP’s cousins making less than kind remarks about them.

Remarks to which the OP felt there was only one course of action to take.

Wondering if he was being too harsh, the OP tool to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for taking away my family’s gifts because of something I overheard?”

The OP explained why their cousin’s remarks made them persona non grata in his home:

“Me (31M[ale]) and my long term boyfriend (30 M) bought a house together last June.”

“I have a big family, with eight cousins and around twenty nieces and nephews and I’m the oldest of my generation.”

“I also have a pretty high paying job and so does my boyfriend.”

“My boyfriend hasn’t had any contact with his family for over a decade and has been coming to my family celebrations since before we were dating.”

“Within my family I am known to be a bit of a splurger with gifts, and the kids are always excited for my gifts because they’re usually big things like LEGO sets and things of the sort.”

“Now with the story: So today (or yesterday I guess), my family held a pre-Christmas celebration since we will not be able to meet up anytime this year after this week.”

“It was held at me and my boyfriend’s new house, the first family event we’ve had here.”

“My boyfriend really wanted to take part in the gift giving so went all out with gifts, spending an average of 100 dollars per person.”

“He was so excited to give everyone their presents since we spent not only money but also a lot of time picking everything for everyone.”

“The festivities were a hit and my boyfriend and I stepped away for a bit to have some quiet time together, while we were resting on the stairs, we overheard my cousin (17 F[emale]) chatting with my niece (15 F), they were joking around about a few family members and mentioned my boyfriend and how he was ‘too gay to function’.”

“Honestly we didn’t mind it too much, it’s a movie reference and they’re kids, but then another cousin (24 M) came in and began making harsher jokes, which the kids laughed at.”

“These ‘jokes’ brought my boyfriend to tears and I refused to let that slide.”

“When the gift trading began, I took the three aside and let them know that I wasn’t happy with their comments and that they weren’t ok to say.”

“I told them to apologize to my boyfriend because it was unfair to him and they refused because they were just jokes that we weren’t meant to hear.”

“I told them I didn’t care and they had to apologize.”

“They refused again and I told them that since they don’t respect him they don’t deserve the presents we got for them.”

“This got them to backtrack and say they’d apologize but I told them it was too late but they should still apologize.”

“This is where I think I might have been too harsh.”

“The youngest of my cousin’s told her mum, my aunt, that I was refusing to give her and the other two their presents and she was angry about it, she told the parents of my niece and the male cousin’s dad and partner about it and all of them made a huge fuss.”

“Me and my sister kicked them out and when they tried to grab their presents before leaving I stopped them and rushed them out the door.”

“The whole thing fell apart after that and it all ended very abruptly.”

“So, AITA for kicking them out and taking away their gifts over jokes?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed. that the OP was not the a**hole for kicking his cousins out and revoking their Christmas presents.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s behavior was more than justified, not only considering that his cousins refused to apologize, but also that they tried to defend their actions by claiming the OP wasn’t supposed to hear them.


“‘You weren’t meant to hear’ is one of the worst excuses I’ve heard.”

“It’s honestly even worse than ‘I was just joking’.”- QuitGlittering3062

“So, according to them, the problem was that you and your bf heard the jokes, not that the jokes were hurtful to begin with?”

“NTA.”- superhibiscus


“They tried to grab their presents on the way out?”

“Wtf?”- Outrageous-Muffin375


“How are you gonna treat someone so bad at their function.”

“Personally that would be recension of all future invites of those ones involved.”

“The fact that they made it out to be a grab for the gifts is disgusting.”

“They didn’t come for family they came to get free stuff and that level of toxic is never invited to our events.”

“I’d truly not buy them gifts again.”

“And to treat your boyfriend in such a manner only shows their respect for you and your life.”

“I’ll say it again NTA Court adjourned.”- CandleFuture618


“By your family’s actions it sounds like their relationship with you is more centered on the transactional side of things.”

“You and your SO were disrespected and insulted in your own house and the priority was the gifts?”

“I don’t think they want the same type of relationship with you as you do with them.”- Ok-Platypus8666


“Oooooh the entitlement is strong with these folks.”

“You were not disciplining her awful, stupid children, you were not giving them something that they were absolutely not entitled to.”

“These rude dumb kids were being completely disrespectful to you and your boyfriend in your own house.”

“And where have they learnt this?”

“OK, some is at school / internet, but it is reinforced at their homes.”

“These people are nasty leeches.”

“Stop the presents, just stop, all of them.”

“See who still turns up at your house, see who still keeps in touch.”

“Sorry OP, but your generosity has masked some deep homophobia, and you guys need a new balance.”- boredathome1962


“There’s no excuse for their behaviour and it’s really sad they spoiled what could have been a lovely Christmas party.”

“Completely justified taking the gifts away.”- zoobatron__


“You bought the gifts.”

“If you don’t want to give them, then screw everyone else.”

“But on a side note, you have a 15, 17 and 24 year old making jokes and refusing to apologize.”

“I might get it if they were a little younger, like A LOT younger, but this was just childish and ridiculous of them.”- NathanS0207


“What I want to say about your family will get me banned.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“I agree with all the previous comments.”

“Merry Christmas to you and your BF.”

“I’m glad you have each other.”- sugarlump858


“They were rude to their hosts, and were told what they said was hurtful.”

“When they dug their heels in, they lost any ‘right’ to those presents from the person they insulted.”

“Unfortunately the parental reactions are a pretty good indicator of where those attitudes came from.”- Awkward_Energy590

“This here told me everything I needed to know about their entitled a**.”

“Jokes were hurtful, they only wanted to apologize for personal gain, not because they realized it was necessary.”

“The entitled parents were pissed about their kids not getting gifts, while being indifferent to their hurtful remarks.”


“I put more weight on the things people say behind my back than to my face.”

“NTA.”- littlehappyfeets

“Merry Christmas to your boyfriend and you.”

“He sounds so wonderful, and excited to be part of your family.”

“This must have hurt him deeply.”

“I wish I could give him a hug right now.”

“I’m sending a big one anyways.”

“He sounds like a beautiful, sensitive soul who’s been through enough already from his family.”

“He doesn’t need more drama from yours.”

“Please let him understand that large pockets of people in the world are stupid, and it’s not on him.”

“Some people are simply beyond help, and it’s not your boyfriend’s problem.”

“Absolutely NTA.”

“Those few people are not welcome back at your home.”

“They’re awful, and have been taking advantage of your generosity.”

“Nothing more.”

“They have no real respect for you, or they wouldn’t talk that way about someone you care deeply about, in his own home.”

“It’s infuriating.”

“They’re not welcome back.”

“And they are never to get gifts again.”

“Not even after fake apologies that might come later just so they can resume taking from you.”-MangoSuspicious5641

The fact that the OP’s cousins both tried to defend their actions by saying he wasn’t supposed to hear them and only considered apologizing after being told they wouldn’t get their presents is very telling indeed.

If this sort of behavior isn’t terribly surprising from teenagers, a 24-year-old man should definitely have known better.

Unfortunately considering the OP’s aunt was more angry about the presents being revoked not only explains their behavior, but also makes one think the OP shouldn’t expect an apology any time soon.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.