Though society is generally more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community than it was a few years ago, there are still terrible stories of people losing loved ones’ support when they come out.
Sometimes even the people who are supposed to be supportive are not, warned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor jessuzzana2 believed she was doing the right thing for her teenage brother, who had been thrown out by their parents when he came out.
But when her husband said she was being too harsh, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had gone too far.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my younger brother he needs to find somewhere else to live?”
The OP’s younger brother moved in with some conditions.
“My little brother (16) has been living with me for a little over a year now, our parents kicked him out when he came out and I couldn’t not take him in, he’s my baby brother.”
“My partner set a few ground rules when he moved in, no parties, his rent would be our weekly grocery bill, and if he could look after our 2 children (6 & 10) while we’re both working late that would be amazing, and there would be no guests in our home.”
“He agreed to all of these conditions and was holding up to them very well until recently.”
The OP was mad when her brother broke a rule.
“My brother recently got a new boyfriend who we have met a couple of times and he seems really really sweet but we don’t know really know him that well.”
“Anyway, my partner and I were working late the other night and he called me to find out if his boyfriend could come around, and I told him I’d rather he didn’t be around my girls while we were not there, he seemed fine with it and I thought nothing of it.”
“However, when I got home there was his boyfriend, sitting on the couch with him. I didn’t disturb them because his boyfriend seemed emotionally distressed (he was crying) and when he left I asked my brother what happened.”
“Apparently, his boyfriend just found out his parents are divorcing. I told him I was sorry for his boyfriend but I asked him not to have him over around my daughters until we were home and just because they were asleep, doesn’t change the fact because anything could have happened.”
The OP gave her brother a big ultimatum.
“We got into a bit of an argument with him defending himself and I ended up telling him I felt extremely disrespected and worried for my daughters because he wasn’t our agreement and I have no idea how many times he’s had people in the house without permission.”
“I told him unfortunately he’s going to need to find another place to stay. I have kids to look after and they come first.”
“We don’t take much rent off him so he’s got 15,000 in his bank account, he’s not running a risk at being homeless.”
“I told him he had until the end of March to find a place and until he does his regular duties stand.”
“He started crying and apologizing and asking if he could stay so I told him I wasn’t disowning him like our parents, he just can’t live here anymore.”
“My husband says I was a complete AH and I need to tell him he’s allowed to stay, he said he called first so he’s most likely never had anyone else over without permission and he’d be a pretty bad boyfriend if he wasn’t there as support.”
“I feel like I may be the AH because my husband is usually tight on the rules and even he’s willing to bend them for this…”
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 were appalled at how the teenager was being treated.
“YTA. Your brother needs a loving home, not a place to pay rent and nanny. He’s a kid trying to learn how to have friends and be a good partner, and now you are kicking him out too? How sad for him.” – Old-Advice-5685
“If you are going to take in a 16-year-old, you don’t charge them rent. And you don’t kick them out except as a last resort. (And even then, you find them a place they can live, so they don’t end up homeless.)”
“YTA, OP!” – Cohomology-is-fun
“Reddit is always screaming parentification, but this is exactly what they are doing to this poor child. More abuse by family – just a different flavor.” – msbelle13
“This is a hard YTA. Your brother is only 16 years old, a kid. He has also gone through one of the most traumatic experiences a kid can go through, being kicked out by f**king terrible parents just for who he is.”
“Even after that, he sounds like a great kid, especially if he’s good at paying rent to you (I wouldn’t charge my siblings rent in that situation) and is taking care of your kids.”
“One singular emergency situation in which he breaks the rules to be a good boyfriend is enough for you to leave him on the streets? Do you know the statistics for homeless LGBTQ+ youth out there? Your husband is so right and you’re a massive AH.” – Packer224
“YTA. You’re telling us all that your little brother has no risk of being homeless, but he’s 16, his parents disowned him, and HE IS 16 YEARS OLD.”
“There is no scenario here where you aren’t TA.” – hydrocholoric_
“Oh my god! This poor boy has been let down by every single person who was supposed to have his back and look out for him.”
“OP is a shining example of what one of my college professors (psychology) called ‘poor adulting.’ As a parent, OP needs to learn a few lessons in age-appropriate expectations and contributions to a household. As a sibling, confidante, and friend (h**l, as a godd**n human!), OP needs to learn all of the things about trust, acceptance, unconditional love, gentle and firm guidance, boundaries, and support.”
“OP really thought they did something, ‘I couldn’t not take him in,’ when the reality is, it sounds like OP wanted to societal pat on the back for ‘doing the right thing’ by their down-on-their-luck sibling. OP, this isn’t a sitcom or a movie. This is your real life. Be better. Not just for your brother, but for your kids.”
“One of the most emphatic YTAs I’ve ever given. Stop scrounging for brownie points and validation and go do whatever it takes to make this right with your brother. How this is handled is likely to impact your relationship with him for the rest of your lives (up to and including the possibility of you no longer having a relationship with him).” – helenasbff
Others agreed and questioned the OP’s logic.
“Despite being a KID, you charge him rent which he pays. You say you can’t afford another person so that’s why, yet he’s saving you in child care. Do you pay him for that?”
“He’s responsible enough to save $15,000. He watches your kids for you. He hasn’t had any prior issues with rule-breaking that you absolutely are sure of.”
“His boyfriend had a traumatizing experience and instead of making an exception, you kick your brother out?”
“You don’t know if he’s had prior people over period and you are punishing him for perceived bad acts that can’t be proven.”
“Is there something wrong with his boyfriend? Or just because you don’t know him? Or is it because he’s gay? Surely your brother has enough sense to ensure your kids are safe. If he doesn’t, then why do you leave them with him? You either trust his judgment or you don’t.”
“If you gave a crap about your brother, you’d make an exception and let him stay. If you want to punish him for having his boyfriend over without permission then make the punishment actually fit the crime.”
“And maybe get to know your brother and his boyfriend so you feel comfortable with him in the house.” – PotatoLover-3000
“YTA. You put yourself in a place where you’ve taken over the care of another child, even if it is your brother.”
“In the future, when your children turn 16, do you plan for them to pay you in order to live in your home? If you feel disrespected, are you going to demand they move out?”
“If the answer is no, reconsider how you treat your brother. If the answer is yes, then you can go hang out with your parents in the ‘criminal child abandonment’ dungeon.” – oohhnikki
“I see major red flags with the ‘boyfriend around my girls’ psychodrama. Don’t her girls already live with a 16-year-old boy? What’s the problem with him having someone over? Screams homophobic bulls**t to me.”
“YTA OP, obviously” – Ordinary_Positve573
“It is so weird because she is willing to trust her kids with him, but somehow she thinks he is so untrustworthy because he will bring strangers that could hurt her kids? So she either trusts him or she doesn’t.”
“I am not saying he should bring any stranger, but he sounds so mature for his age and so willing to follow rules that I wouldn’t even think that his boyfriend would hurt the kids in any way.” – one98nine
“YTA. I understand your concern, but you’re overreacting.”
“He’s sixteen, and he pays rent (all groceries for 5 people is a considerable amount), plus he’s doing child care frequently, which is considerable value too.”
“Despite this, he does not have any visitation rights, which is unusual.”
“I totally understand wanting to protect your kids.”
“He may not even have thought he broke your rule, since his boyfriend was on the couch and not with your kids. While that wasn’t what you meant, what you say here would arguably make him in compliance with your rule.”
“And even if he broke the rule, it’s once. You have reason to believe it’s the first offense since he called first, and your daughters have never told you about any earlier transgressions.”
“Plus his boyfriend’s parents just announced a divorce, which is a major crisis of a scale that happens less than once in a decade. Not exactly run-of-the-mill stuff.”
“All in all, I think you need to make up your mind on how to treat him. You’ve set restrictions on him (no visitors, no parties) that are akin to treating him like a child or a young teenager. But you’ve made demands on him (paying groceries and working as a babysitter for rent) that are more in line with treating him like an adult.”
“And the ‘first offense and you’re out’ is harsh even by adult standards.”
“Honestly, I know you’re trying to do the right thing here by taking care of your kids first and your brother too if you can, but I genuinely think you underestimate how much your brother means to your kids.”
“I doubt he’s just a babysitter to them, so while you need to maintain order and limit his friends’ visits while you’re away, I recommend you try to help nurture their relationship as long as it can be healthy for all of them.”
“I recommend you let your brother stay. And to help him get over this exacerbation of his abandonment trauma, I strongly recommend apologizing to him over this.” – PetrogradSwe
“You’re kicking out an already traumatized, disowned 16-year-old for a first offense. And that’s AFTER you’ve been charging said 16-year-old rent and making him work as your babysitter in order to have a place to stay when your parents would have seen him homeless for something he can’t change about himself.”
“I’m really curious how you could possibly think you’re NOT the a**hole here.” – cillianellis
While the OP was trying to take care of her two daughters, the subReddit pointed out that she’d forgotten to treat her younger brother like the child he was, too. Demanding groceries, strict rules, and babysitting don’t really fit the bill.