Living your life one way, then revealing that your truth is something else, is always a difficult process.
You are destroying the person people thought you were and replacing that idea with a new version of yourself that they don’t know or understand.
A painful, lengthy process begins and there will be repercussions.
The challenge is to navigate this process with grace, dignity and compassion for everyone involved.
Unfortunately, not everyone views this in terms of other people and sometimes they use their change in lifestyle to hurt someone else.
So, how do you deal with that?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Ecstatic_Apricot when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for disowning my brother when he came out as gay, because of how he’s treating his wife?”
She started out with a history.
“I (21 female) have a brother (28) who came out as gay last month.”
“He has been married to my best friend’s big sister (24) for four years, they have 2yo twin daughters together.”
“I’m really close with her, so I’ve been trying to stay neutral in what has become a messy separation.”
She then began detailing the problems.
“My brother told his wife he’s gay by sitting her down, and saying he had been sleeping with two different men for about six months.”
“He said he is now sure that he feels romantic feelings for men, and also told her he has been sleeping with random men from Grindr for over a year behind her back.”
“She obviously freaked out, asked him how he could do this, why didn’t he tell her when he started having the feelings, etc.”
“He said that he’s always thought he was gay but he didn’t want to come out because it might affect his career.”
“She asked him what about the effect on her life?”
“She is now a single mother to two toddlers.”
“He was essentially very angry that she wasn’t supportive of this, so he kicked her out of the house, with the kids.”
“After she eventually found a place to stay, my brother moved in one of the men he has been having an affair with.”
“Since then, he has had very little contact with the kids, as in speaking to them on the phone once a week maybe.”
“He has expressed that he still doesn’t want to be public about coming out, so he posted on Facebook that he has separated from his wife because they aren’t in love anymore and hinted SHE was the unfaithful one.”
“(Posting things like ‘yeah, seems like someone in this relationship wasn’t satisfied with just one man’) and is basically being a d*ck.
“I told him a couple weeks ago that he’s a f*cking a**hole and I don’t want to be involved with him anymore because I think it’s disgusting that he’s treated his wife like this.”
“I told him I get that you have to come out in your own time, but you don’t need to kick her out, ignore your kids and berate her, and you don’t need to make comments that people will assume mean she was being unfaithful.”
“(He said this was a joke about him having two partners now? still f*cked up).”
“He said I’m being a homophobic a**hole, and that I don’t know how hard it is to come out.”
“He said that if I don’t accept him, I’m a bigot.”
“He made mistakes and what not.”
“I said maybe I will forgive him if he improves his behaviour to his wife, and he said he resents her for keeping him from sleeping with men for years.”
“I gave up at this point. My sisters (17&24) both think I’m being homophobic, my mom agrees with me.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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: NTA
Many pointed out that this was not about sexuality.
“You didn’t disown your brother for being gay. You disowned him for being an unfaithful, selfish a**hole.”
“Big difference.” ~ bethfromHR
“The title is honestly misleading, it really has nothing to do with him being gay beyond the brother apparently using that as justification for his behavior, which is just gross.” ~ TessyDuck
“Because it’s all about him and his needs.”
“He seems to think that he is the victim here and that he is owed a pass to be a giant d*ck.”
“Has your brother always been selfish? Or is this new behavior?” ~ MsDean1911
“By sort out his new lifestyle he means a life of being single and having no responsibilities like having children.”
“He’s using his sexuality to try and shield himself from his sh*tty behavior.”
“He’s not an a**hole for being gay.”
“He’s not an a**hole for wanting to leave his wife because of that. It’s the moral thing to do. Both for him and for her.”
“But damn does everything else in this story make him an a**hole.” ~ RazorRamonReigns
“I’m gay and I agree.”
“The brother is a selfish a**hole.”
“Not because he’s gay, not because he felt he had to leave his wife; because he cheated on her a lot, treated her and his kids like sh*t.”
“Sometimes gay people are deeply closeted and get married to someone of a different gender.”
“It sucks, and there’s inevitably hurt when it comes to light.”
“That may be awful, but it happens, it’s understandable, and it’s necessary to be a decent human during the process.”
“Cheating is sh*tty behavior.”
“It’s a betrayal. Refusing to be there for your kids is shitty behavior, and is also a betrayal.”
“Being gay and closeted is an awful feeling, but doesn’t absolve people for their responsibility to be decent humans.” ~ The-Shattering-Light
Some worried about the kids involved.
“Your brother is family and this must hurt you a lot being caught in the middle but I would say that his behaviour is not acceptable.”
“I have known men who have come out in their later years but their priority has always been the children.”
“At the end of the day, being a parent should always come first and he seems to have forgotten this.”
“Coming out would be a scary thing for anybody, but destroying his relationship with his kids? That’s far worse” ~ Peemo83
Others talked about responsibility.
“Him coming out does not absolve him because he’s a f*cking adult.”
“What he did was shitty and he’s incredibly selfish. This is someone i would absolutely cut out of my life.”
“His wife and kids deserved SO much better and I hope they’ll be able to move on from this without too much trouble.”
“Good luck!” ~ descolero
“He’s making it about him being gay, which you don’t actually seem to have a problem with.”
“The issue is that he cheated on his wife repeatedly, then kicked her and their toddler children of the marital home, and then had to audacity to lead people to believe she was the one who cheated.”
“He’s using ‘homophobic’ to guilt-trip you, as if coming out as gay excuses all the horrible things he’s doing along his journey.”
“He chose to marry her and father those babies, he needs to treat them with a modicum of respect and tact while he figures out his new life” ~ koifishyfishy
“I have to give a big YES to this, he’s incredibly fucking selfish.”
“He’s using his coming out as gay, as a weapon in his victim mentality.”
“Edit: I mean HE has been having an affair for a YEAR and kicks HER out of the house?”
“Seriously!?” ~ Kinlance
There were also a few personal stories.
“When they divorced, my parents had a weird fucking argument over custody.”
“My mother wanted the kids, because my father was a terribly selfish man. My father wanted to… not pay child support, so he insisted that he should have the kids.”
“My mother simply pointed out that having custody of the kids actually meant also like… taking care of them? And providing for them daily? Those are human being?”
“To which my father said ‘Huh well you can have them then!’, skipped the custody hearing and went to play golf instead”
“This was not a long custody hearing” ~ Tauposaurus
There were also health concerns to consider.
“He is incredibly selfish. Honestly she should get tested as soon as possible.”
“He’s been sleeping with multiple people behind her back and does not seem to care about her wellbeing at all.” ~ laurenquad
“Not to mention the potential health risks for the wife assuming they were still somehow sexually active during the year he was having random Grindr hook ups.”
“It’s obviously possible to have safe anonymous sex, but this guy doesn’t scream responsibility.”
“Jesus christ” ~ Rikey_Doodle
“Also it sounds like he has had multiple partners.”
“So she may want to consider getting tested at the very least.”
“If your in contact with her let her know she should. Based on where you are some health departments can work with her and may even do it free.” ~ TopPush7
Discovering and naming your truth – whether it’s a change in gender, sexuality or anything else – can be a liberating, wonderful and tragic experience.
There are responsibilities, though, that come with having relationships.
Those duties include kindness and respect and compassion, no matter the transitions happening in your own life.
Above all, always, be kind.