Have you ever given someone a gift, only to find they interpreted a message in your gift you never intended, and then were offended by said message?
Or did you grow up in a healthy environment where “it’s the thought that counts!” was truly abided by?
Reddit user aitanieceblanket found herself in a strange situation over a gift.
She went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” in order to figure out if she was, in any way, to blame for this.
“AITA for making my niece a ‘gay’ blanket?”
Our original poster, or OP, began making a quilt as a favor to her brother:
“I(26f[emale]), sew im my spare time. Usually blankets and quilts and I usually give them to family for xmas/birthdays.”
“My 31m[ale] brother recently asked me to make his daughter(4) a replacement quilt. The one I gave her as a baby which was violet and indigo was too small and her larger orange and red one had been scratched by their cat.”
OP agreed, and asked her niece what other colors she’d like in the quilt:
“I said sure and offered to combine the bits that were salvageable from her other quilts in order to save on buying new material and so the old quilts didn’t go to waste. They said sure.”
“I asked my niece if she had any other colours she wanted included and she said blue.”
“I was stumped for a while on how to combine blue, indigo, violet, orange and red until I realized they were the colours of the rainbow and one of her toy ponies tails so I decided to make a rainbow swirl pattern quilt.”
But, as she used a rainbow, OP’s brother didn’t take too kindly to the message:
“At no point did I consider that it could be see as ‘gay’ and foolishly didn’t consider that my (Catholic) brother might not like it.”
“Lo and behold he didn’t. His wife and my niece love the blanket but he can’t stand it and is furious with me and demanding an apology.”
But OP doesn’t feel like she owes anybody an apology. Yet, she still needs some clarification from Reddit:
“I don’t feel like I need to apologize since I didn’t mean to offend him. AITA here?”
Redditors helped OP see 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
Nobody could righteously see how OP was wrong.
“NTA speaking as a gay, we don’t own the rainbow and rainbow colors don’t even automatically mean ‘gay.'”
“Tell your homophobic brother it was based off her toy. Or skittles. Better yet, tell him to get over himself and let his child be happy over the blanket she likes.”
“For her sake, I hope his daughter doesn’t grow up queer. =\”~justobsolete
“Most 4 year old girls I know (and plenty of the boys too) LOVE anything rainbow. What’s not to love? Bright, happy colors and a magical thing that appears in the sky very rarely?”
“Your brother must hate shopping for little girl’s clothes, if he objects to anything rainbow. Poor little girl.”~Purple_Midnight_Yak
“My 6-year-old son loves all the Rainbow Mickey merch from Disney. He has a bunch of it and is getting more for Christmas and I am HERE FOR IT.”
“I mean, if he does turn out to be gay, fine, but I really don’t think his preference for awesome multicolored stuff now signifies anything more than his just liking bright things. That stuff brightens our whole house!”~eugenesnewdream
“A blanket can’t be gay. It’s a blanket. Its orientation is ‘fluffy.'”
“Tell your Catholic brother to think of the blanket as a reference to the story of Noah and the flood, and ask him if the Bible is also inappropriate for children and is gay because it features rainbows.”~unrepentantbanshee
After all, how can a blanket be gay? It’s a piece of fabric.
“NTA. As a gay, rainbows don’t belong to the gay community.”
“I was told growing up that a rainbow is a way that our ancestors wave hello to us. To this day rainbows make me think about my grandpa whose passed.”
“Your brother’s insecurity and homophobia is the real problem here.”~ChiaEFX
“NTA He is losing his stuffing over a rainbow quilt made for a child?”
“Most children love rainbows. They adore bright colors. Hell, you have to be a pretty empty, sad adult to not love a rainbow.”
“Ffs. It isn’t like you embroidered a scene from, idk, the Rocky Horror Picture Show on it and tossed it to the little one.”
“Instead, you wanted to make sure that she had some of her other blankies within the new present, asked and included her in the process, and made her a thoughtful and caring gift.”
“Ugh. Your brother is a bigoted AH.”
“But…. and as much as it sucks… and it does suck…”
“It might be worth saying that you will change the blanket.”
“Not for your brother. He can crawl under a rock.”
But for a little girl that thought rainbows were beautiful and deserves to have someone loving and supportive around her: you.”~kaevas
“NTA. I’m not a fan of pacifying homophobes, but in this case it may be worth it for the kid.”
“Sew a patch with the Bible verse about rainbows on it and call it a day.”~WhoFearsDeath
“NTA. If he’s the only one throwing a fit that’s definitely on him.”
“For your sanity it might be easier to throw out an apology to let it be over with though. Just don’t sew him more quilts/blankets in the future.”~DKGroove
Reddit is unsure about whether or not OP should apologize/edit the craft just the keep the peace and keep her distance, though.
“NTA I find it sad that he is personally offended by a rainbow. Also he leapt right past Noah and the flood, didn’t he?”
“You don’t owe him an apology. Stay in your niece’s life as a sensible counterpoint to this way of thinking, which is unnecessarily narrow.”
“Hate to think what will happen when she gets to prisms in science class.”
“PS if he persists in being difficult, you could consider making a quilted cushion with all kinds of sea green and blue, and then you could say this is the flood, and this is the rainbow.”
“But I don’t think you should replace or feel bad about the quilt. It sounds lovely.”~Medievalmoomin
“……did your brother forget that god made a rainbow to promise he would never destroy the earth in a massive flood again?”
“And that little boys and girls everywhere love rainbows and enjoy spotting them after a rainy day? Does he hate lucky charms too?”
“Tell him it’s a rainbow and not ‘the gay’ as he probably pictures it. Imagine being a grown man and telling your daughter you cant like rainbows, probably the most stereotypically girly thing to like, because it’s gay. Tf.”
“NTA. The fact that he associates the blanket with gay people says way more about him than you.”
“His daughter loves it and that should be the end of it.”
“He’s projecting his insecurities and reading way too much into a very common color combination that is used in all kinds of places that have zero to do with gay people.”~thoughtfulspiky
“NTA. It’s extremely odd to me that a Catholic person would take the rainbow, which is in the Bible after God flooded the Earth as a symbol that he will never flood the Earth again, and suddenly hold it to a new meaning.”
“Rainbows are pretty. Although the LGBTQ+ community has adopted its colors as a pride flag, that doesn’t mean rainbows are gay or that they have to stand for something.”
“They’re cute. They’re a part of nature.”~AnonymousDifficulty
While Reddit cannot agree on the best way to deal with OP’s unfortunately homophobic brother, they do agree she did nothing wrong and should not have to apologize.
This creates a more complicated situation for his child and family, though, should the child grow up queer-we hope some semblance of acceptance can show up in his life for such a situation.