Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is unfortunately still a big problem in many parts of the world, including the United States.
But how we handle our LGBTQ+ children in the face of bigotry says a lot about who we are.
Redditor catcowdogpeanutrat talked about her experience with homophobic neighbors and her LGBTQ+ child:
“AITA for telling my son to take his homemade pride flag off the window facing our homophobic neighbors’ house?”
She supports and loves her daughter, but wants to protect her more than anything.
“My son is 14[Male] and my daughter is 17[Female]. She is bisexual. My son is not LGBTQ+ (as far as I know), but he feels strongly about being an ally for his sister.”
“My son made a gay pride flag by coloring nine pieces of printer paper and taping them together. I thought it was really beautiful.”
The window was facing the homophobic neighbor’s house.
“He then taped it on the window of his bedroom, facing our neighbors’ house, who are homophobic. I asked him to move it to a wall instead of a window and he told me that I was being controlling, when I didn’t believe I was.”
“I just don’t want to be involved in a confrontation with them. AITA?”
Redditors decided 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
Unanimously, folks agreed that while our Original Poster’s (OP’s) intentions may have been good, she was still in the wrong.
“YTA. If no one speaks up for a minority, then repression is encouraged. Don’t let freedom be a power vacuum filled only by haters. Everybody has to speak up against hate or hate wins.”~JetScootr
“YTA. You’re afraid of a confrontation and so rather than stand up for your daughter you effectively punish your son? Screw that. At least she has one person who supports her.”~AccordLands
“YTA, although I don’t think purposefully. Your daughter has been brave enough to tell your family something about herself that may make people reject her.”
“Your son has made something to support her that he proudly wants to show the world.”
“You told you son, and indirectly your daughter, that the opinions of the homophobic neighbors are more important than the loving thing your son did and support of your daughter. That support for her is nice, but only if others don’t see it, because it’s not worth having a fight over.”
“I suggest you tell him that’s an old initial impulse that you’re unlearning. The go out as a family and buy a big pride flag.”~Greeneyestexas
“YTA. It seems that despite your best efforts, you’ve managed to raise a compassionate, caring human being who stands up for what he believes in.”~alliteratesaardvarks
“I get it, but YTA. He’s not doing anything that would upset a reasonable person, and he’s doing this in support of his sister. Telling him to take it down because your neighbors might make a scene is letting bigoted people control your family’s actions just by being difficult.”~gameoldtime
After all, if we don’t stand up to bigots, who will?
“Your kid is being a better ally to your daughter than you are. You raised a great son so I don’t think you’re actually an a**hole but you’re acting like one right now.”
“If you don’t want a confrontation with the homophobes, tell them it’s none of their business!”
“Put the flags up and apologize to your kids. Right now you’re saying the neighbours hatefulness is more important than the daughters happiness.”~borgcubecubed
“YTA, By having your son hide the flag, you are sending a message that being in the LGBTQ+ Community is something to hide/be ashamed of. I’m sure that you are not intending to send this message, but that, to me, is how it comes across. Homophobia is also not something that should be enabled in your neighbors.”~Nymeria_Waters
“YTA. I get being a peacemaker but when that is just about keeping horrible people happy because it is easier, is that really the lesson you want to teach your 14 year old son. I have never met him but I am so proud of him standing up for what is right I want to hug the hell out of him.”~skz740104
“I understand that you just want to avoid conflict, but teaching your kids that they should stay quiet on injustices isn’t a great lesson.”
“You son is being a great brother, not to mention person. If your neighbours are uncomfortable with it, that is their problem and theirs alone, especially since nothing has even been said about it.”~alex-ev
“YTA, but the word AH is too strong. I get not wanting to get the headache of having to deal with screeching neighbors, and unlike the rest of the commentators, I don’t think you were being all that controlling or homophobic, but let your son put up the flag, it’s pride month (I think) after all.”
“Not LGBTQ in the slightest, nor would I claim myself an ally (I honestly care little for what people do), but there’s no harm in putting up a flag in his room on a window, if push comes to shove, it’s best to hear the neighbors screech about this and shut them down then and now rather then listen to them b*tch at you over a borrowed rake or something else in the future.”~TheIronTemplar
Unfortunately, our OP decided to go the easy path.
“Thank you to everyone for your perspectives.”
“It’s extreme to say I don’t support my daughter. I love and support her very much. I was the one that took her to the Pride Parades last June.”
“But our neighbors are vicious people. They will make a big stink about this. They will probably call our daughter slurs.
“Last year a kid in our neighborhood came out as transgender and they told everyone at church to pray for him, and many people did. I would like to avoid that situation.”
“In my honest opinion, I think my daughter having to hear people pray for her, just because of her simple existence and identity, is more damaging than keeping the flag out of the window. This is what I believe.”
“You all may believe differently, and I respect that. I want to do what’s best for my family.”
“Our neighbors are part of the Family Values Preservation Society of [our suburb] which is basically just a faction of our Christian HOA. They have horrible campaigns in the name of ‘family values.'”
OP may not be a bigot, but silence in the face of bigotry is bigotry in and of itself.
History has proven this time and time again.
“I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides.”
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”
“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.” ~ Elie Wiesel
Hopefully, more will learn from this and choose not to shove their child back into the closet or out of the window and onto a wall.