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‘Edgy’ Parent Faces Backlash To Their Insensitive Joke Response To Teen Son’s Coming Out

Offended teen boy

OffRedditor LostnConfused1010 recently had a major foot-in-mouth moment during a very important conversation with his son.

The Original Poster (OP) had suspected for a long time that his son was interested in men, but when the time finally came for his son to come out he made a really bad joke at a really bad time.

He turned to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for advice.

He asked:

“AITA for how I [37-year-old Male] reacted to my son [17-year-old Male] coming out to me?”

He went on to explain the situation.

“So, I’ve always known my son had an interest in men.”

“He was slow on the pick up of incognito mode, and from the searches he made, I figured he was at least “Bi-curious” (if that’s the proper term for it) since he hit puberty.”

“Well, last year, he started bringing a boy around, and it was obvious they were dating, to the point I figured that he knew I knew, and it wasn’t a big deal to anyone.”

“Well, apparently, I was wrong.”

“After school yesterday, he and his boyfriend came up to me and said there was something really important they needed to tell me.”

“My son said that they were dating and had been for a year. Well… I was surprised that he wasn’t aware I knew and was a bit thrown off.”

“My mouth moved faster than my brain, and I said, ‘Well, that’s pretty f*cking gay.’”

“Now, I thought it was peak comedy, since it is, in fact, gay. However, I understand using the word gay in that way gives it a very negative undertone, hence the mouth faster than brain comment.”

“Now my son and I are usually pretty “edgy” with our humor, this being fairly tame for the stuff we joke about.”

“While probably not appropriate for the situation, it wasn’t our norm for a conversation between us. However, he and his boyfriend were very, very upset and left.”

“I’m probably the a**hole, but I thought I would check, and see if y’all had some advice on what I can say to fix it. He currently won’t respond to my texts or calls.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided:

“YTA for the wording. I won’t lie, as someone who has been out and proud for years, that joke made me laugh my an** off.”

“But your son needed support more than humor.”

“In the grand scheme of things though, I was expecting much worse from the title.”

“So I think if you just apologize and explain that you meant it in a humorous way and that you fully accept him and his partner, you and your son will be fine.” – Lesbian-Mermaid

“YTA but I see what you were trying to do. I’m glad that, from the sounds of it, your son has a very supportive parent in you. A lot of us don’t, so for real, props to you.”

“But your son only had one chance at coming out to you. It’s a big moment for him, and your response was to make a joke.”

“I know you were trying to indicate that this wasn’t a big deal to you in a bad sense, but I get why it was hurtful for your son and his boyfriend.”

“Maybe apologizing and asking if you can have a second chance at acknowledging this moment for him would help turn it around.” – SureCan0604

“You’re the funny a**hole here.”

“Trust me, in a very short space of time, you and your son will look back on the moment and laugh about it.”

“Just give him time to simmer down, apologize, and explain you knew and thought it was very obvious.”

“It was just an unspoken understanding, and no big deal made about it, and again, say sorry for not realising he wasn’t yet at the place mentally about the situation that you were and obviously thought he was.” – Massive-Antelope-856

“I’m clearly outnumbered, but I think NAH. Just somebody who made a joke at an inappropriate time. Who hasn’t?”

“You live and learn. You clearly don’t judge your kid for his sexuality, and I assume you just wanted to show acceptance by breaking the tension with an attempt at humor.”

“Just apologize for joking during a moment that was clearly important to him and ask how you can best support him moving forward.” – MaddyFatty

“I’m definitely going to be in the minority here, but nobody on Reddit knows your personal dynamic and this is exactly the type of joke I’d want my father to tell me to lighten the seriousness of it all.”

“But what your son wanted was something more genuine in that moment. You misread the situation but I don’t think that makes you an a**hole.”

“NAH, and I’m glad you support your son.” – behappysometimes

“You’re gonna get rinsed, but I’ll give my gay perspective. It’s fine in the end, as long as you talk to him. He’s told you something big, despite you already knowing.”

“He’ll be wanting some tiny bit of obvious support and a little bit of shock. We fight really hard as teens to hide our true selves, to realise it didn’t work hurts a bit.”

“Talk though, I suspect you’re a good dad really.” – teflon2000

“YTA for your wording.”

“It no doubt hurt your son and his BF.”

“You have no idea as to how his BFs family is when it comes to their relationship so you could have been a ‘safe space’ for them both to share their feelings and relationship. – LittlePea0617

“YTA – but it was funny. But Time and place.”

“You need to apologise, and also inform him that you’ve known about his preferences for over a year, and you didn’t raise it with him because you wanted him to be comfortable.”

“That you support him 100%, love him to bits as your son, and if he needs anything you’re there.” – Apprehensive-Show322

“Lmao A+ for the joke. Made me laugh pretty hard lol but probably not the most appropriate for that scenario!”

“Although, I totally understand the whole mouth moving before the brain can process deal, and it’s gotten me in trouble before!”

“I’d say just talk to them and smooth it over and explain that you’ve known all along and are okay with it, you just were thrown off guard, and your mouth went for it lol NAH” – Plum_Potato

“I feel like most people expect a negative reaction to coming out.”

“So even though this was in the lane of the humor you and your son share, given the timing of it, his sensitivity to the situation meant that it wouldn’t be received well.”

“NAH, I just think you need a follow-up conversation to let him know you don’t really gaf. Some people be gay…” – Itsjustausername535

“YTA. This was a very hard thing for him to do. The coming out story and how you, as the parent, take it is what can set the tone of your relationship with him going forward.”

“Set your son down and tell him you’re sorry. Tell him you’ve always known and you have and always will love him.”

“Tell him you were trying to be funny but realize it was the wrong way and the wrong time to do so. As to him, not knowing you know… well, that’s just kids being scared.”

“I always taught my son that there was nothing wrong with loving who you wanted to love no matter the gender. He still feared I was going to throw him out of the house if he told me.”

“It’s just them being scared. Just let him know you love and respect him.” – Spencerchick

“I’m bisexual. If my dad did that right as I had come out in front of my BF, I’d be upset…especially as a teen.”

“After I knew he accepted me, I’d laugh with him. We have a similar kind of relationship with edgy jokes. Just apologize and offer your support.”

“You’re a well-intentioned AH. The impact just wasn’t what you were expecting.” – Bigjoeyjoe81

“NAH, you just made a mistake because you were taken by surprise. it was not a big deal to you because you have known for a long while, and you thought he knew you knew.”

“so your mind was still in a normal estate, like a son just giving you an update on his current dating life.”

“and your relationship with him being edgy banter, it just came out before your brain could make the connection”

“‘why is he teeling me this?’ > ‘he thinks i dont know’ > ‘he is coming out, so it’s a big deal for him, not the place to make a joke. definitely not the place to make that kind of jokes’”

“if you apologized when you finally connected the dots, i bet your son’s reaction really helped too. then i wouldnt call you an A.”

“also the reaction of your son is normal. he will calm down and most likely will forgive you by the mistake.” – xBulletJoe

The OP went on to update his original post:

“Iiiiii did not expect this to gain so much traction. It’s a bit intimidating, lol. I am reading all the comments, though.”

“Anyways, here is a small update – He’s at his grandparents’ house, which I knew. He told them to tell me he’ll be home tomorrow after school to talk. I’ll update you all after the conversation.”

“Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate it.”

Most well-intentioned a**hole there ever was.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)