Coming out to your family as a member of the LGBTQ+ community can be frightening and may take a person years to work up the courage.
How their loved ones respond can leave a long-lasting impression.
One father wondered if playing a prank on his son when he decides to come out.
He turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to pose a hypothetical “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) question for feedback on his plans.
Redditor aitatrollson asked:
“WIBTA if I troll my son and his [boyfriend] BF when they come out to us?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My son (16M) is gay and we all knew since he is 8, don’t know how but we all knew.
“He was kind of a surprise but a happy one of course, but his youngest sister is 29, his oldest is 32, me and my wife are 62 years old so he is the joy of our household and our daughters possibly love him more than us.”
“Me and my wife are both retired so we are mostly at home, sometimes giving lectures as a guest at our old beloved university and it is a blessing to be at home with our kid at his teenage years.”
“My youngest daughter lives next door to us and our oldest lives a 5 minute-walk away from us with my wonderful Son-In-Law.”
“He has a boyfriend from his school for 2 years and they think they are doing a great job hiding from us (nope,we all know) and it is adorable to watch them awkwardly flirt, give a kiss or etc… and it has been a joy to watch their relationship bloom (also my younger daughter is currently planning their hypothetical wedding in her head).”
“Last week, I heard them talking about coming out to us when he comes to stay at our house next week. I know his BF’s family is off limits and we are planning to house him when they find his orientation because his dad is something I don’t want to name.”
“I know this is a big step for them and I know this will be a critical moment but my son is a prankster, I am a prankster, also my older daughter and her husband are pranksters.”
“We are also big Star Wars fans in this household (me and my wife met at the cinema at 1977, watching a New Hope in our first year of college).”
“So I am planning to say ‘We knew, we all knew.The only one who did not know was you and we did not tell you because we wanted to see your face when it changed expressions (Carrie Fisher said this to George Lucas at roast speech, RIP Leia). My son is also known to have a poker face so this line will suit really well.”
“My wife thinks this would be really cruel and heartless, my younger daughter thought it would not be inappropriate, my older daughter and son-in-law think it is a wonderful idea to ease the enviroment.”
“Then my younger daughter told us about this forum so we are here now.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA/YWNBTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA/YWBTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided OP would be the a**hole if he decided to prank his son when he comes out to his family.
“YWBTA – there’s a time and place for pranks; when he’s ready to come out to you, it’s been a long process and requires huge amount of trust.”
“Don’t betray that trust. This is a special moment; a defining moment for him.” ~ Zealousideal_Boat944
“Absolutely agree. I totally understand the temptation, but the time for ‘Dad jokes’ and all the rest is a bit later.”
“At the time they actually come out to you, all they want is acceptance and love. At least give them 5 minutes of that before you start cracking jokes.”
“You don’t want to miss the mark and actually cause them trauma – you would live with that for the rest of your life.” ~ Aussiealterego
“There are so many stories [on Reddit] of people coming out who are upset because they don’t get the reaction they expected.”