When a person comes out as gay to their loved ones, timing is a major factor. That often difficult conversation is only made more troublesome if the context is all wrong.
But what if it never feels like a good time?
A recent post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated what can happen if the right time is elusive.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Fluffy_Access_ on the site, laid out the key details in the post’s title.
“AITA for having my [28-year-old male] coming out very late, including a secret, private wedding?”
OP began by setting the scene.
“We had a family dinner recently (we all got tested, the country i live in has also more relaxed rules right now).”
“My father and mother (both in their late 50s), my brother and his wife (early thirties) and me [28-year-old male] and my husband [26-year-old male].”
Then came a key piece of information.
“The thing is, i always told my family my now husband is my roommate, best friend, ‘brother from another family’.”
“He was never there to family gatherings, only in rare cases, but not like a boyfriend. I was careful not to show too many signs.”
“I also got married to the love of my life two months ago (only us, no family and friends), we have both stable jobs and income and our own spacy apartement. We even talked about getting a pet and someday even children. <3”
OP shared his rationale.
“I just wanted to be completely sure to only come out, when i’m independed to my family. They’re not homophobic, the topic of LGBT just never came up, so i was not sure how they would react.”
“So, we had our rings on and i nervously (but also happily) told my family that i’m gay and married.”
The unveiling was, shall we say, dynamic.
“Guys, there was a dead silence on the table.”
“Everyone was looking at us in pure disbelief, then my mother asked for how long and i answered, we were married for two months and together for 3 years.”
“I could tell she was angry and told me ‘she couldn’t believe this audacity’, took some of the dishes and left the table.”
But OP’s mother wasn’t the only one stunned.
“My father threw a rebuking look at us and followed her.”
‘My brother was also not very happy, because he asked me about being gay some years ago and i denied it without a second thought.”
“He said congrats and made efforts to leave too, my sister-in-law did the same. Politely said congrats and left with my brother.”
OP, for his part, was stunned too.
“I can’t believe how they reacted. I thought they could be happy for me, but i think i was wrong here. I wrote my mother a long text message later, how dissappointed i was in her reaction…”
“…she only responded with ‘You’re unbelievable. You lie to us for 3 years, didn’t even tell us about your engagement and now acting like the victim’…”
“…to which i replied that ‘it was my choice to come out whenever i felt ready’…”
“…to which she only replied ‘Yes. And it’s my decision if i ever want to talk to my lying son ever again’.”
OP closed with a couple relevant notes.
“I should also mentioned she had a relationship shortly after her graduation (age 18/19/20?) with a gay men for some months.”
“At the end he told her, he thought it could have worked, because she had some manly features. It made her distrust man she dated for a long time.”
“The reason why i could be the asshole: Maybe i could have trust them much sooner, my mom also never truly said something homophobic, not even after her experience with the gay guy.”
“I did lie to some extent.”
“My husband is comforting me, but i’m so sad right now.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors had to break the news—they thought OP was indeed the a**hole.
Many criticisms pointed to OP’s expectations.
“YTA I’m afraid. It’s true that you can choose to come out, or not, as and when you feel ready.”
“But you’re the AH for expecting your family to be nothing but delighted when you drop the bomb that you have had a partner for years and are married, and for going after them about it when they were shocked.”
“It’s not about whether you’re gay, straight, or anything else. It’s about the fact that you hid the significant event of your wedding from your family and then expected congratulations when you sprung a completely unexpected thing on them.”
“Since they have never given you any reason to think they would be homophobic, it’s also going to be deeply hurtful to them that you hid a major part of your life from them because you assumed they would be.” — elsehwere
“YTA. How can you possibly expect your family to be happy when you tell them you’ve been hiding one of the biggest parts of your life for years? I’d be heart broken.” — korraoverlook
Plenty advised empathizing with his family members.
“YTA it’s not about being gay that’s the issue, but she didn’t get to be part of some really important milestones in your life. You dropped a major bomb like they don’t matter and you didn’t want them as a part of your life, celebration of your engagement and marriage.” — ThrowRADisaster32
“YTA: I understand why you might be nervous coming out but 3 years? Married for 2 months? Whilst they aren’t homophobic? I’d be mad that I missed a wedding and it was kept a secret for so long. It’s entitled to think they’d be happy for you.” — YourRoyal_thighness
“YTA they have every right to be upset. I’d be devastated if my son went and got married without telling me. I’d get over it and be happy in the long run, but that’d break my heart.” — Intelligent_Swim_161
Perhaps the Reddit feedback will push OP to begin the process of understanding his family’s take and start repairing things.