Finding someone to be close to can be challenging in the world these days.
There are tons of pressures from every direction for our partners to be perfect.
What happens when the worst of those pressures comes from family, and for terrible reasons?
That was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) RelationNecessary592 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for testing my parents to prove that they are homophobic?”
OP began with the background.
“I am bi and my parents have always disliked every girl I brought home for one reason on the other.”
She explained her suspicions.
“I think it is homophobia as they are friendlier with my boyfriends.”
“I have tried to bring it up but they are adamant that it was just because they didn’t like the girls.”
“They are very defensive about it.”
Then, OP got to the problem itself.
“The last time I visited I talked to them about my girlfriend.”
“I didn’t mention the gender, I just told that I started to see someone and I knew they would like them.”
“I listed out some of the things they would like about her, the fact that she is an engineer, she works for a large tech company and she is very well educated.”
“They were nodding along and I knew they assumed that it was a guy and I told her name and their vibe changed from happy to disappointed, It was very upsetting.”
“I kinda lost my cool and told them that I knew they would react this and that was why I didn’t specify gender at the start.”
“They got upset at me for tricking them and purposely trying to get a reaction out of them.”
OP wasn’t sure how she should feel about the outcome.
“I feel like an a**hole because it was kinda manipulative and I feel sh*tty for reducing my girlfriend to just her achievements.”
Having explained the situation, she turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
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
Some got right to the point.
“NTA but also, that’s not really tricking them.”
“Omitting the gender at the start isn’t being deceptive. You definitely have your answer though if they got upset and tried defending their reaction.” ~ kolorahl
“NTA, better to reduce her to her achievements than define her by her body parts.” ~ DDecimal
Others tried to be more nuanced.
“Your parents are feeling defensive because they see themselves as good people and homophobes as bad people.”
“Therefore since they are good people they cannot be homophobic. I think you should probably find some articles about subconscious bias and try to talk to your parents that way.”
“Every single person harbors biases.”
“The trick to being a good person is to try to become aware of your own biases and counteract them in your own behaviors.”
“Your parents need to learn about subconscious bias and apply those techniques when they meet your dates.”
“They aren’t bad people because they have a bias. They’re bad people if they act on that bias and they’re bad people if they refuse to accept their biases and work consciously to counteract them.”
“I think you need to emphasize to them that this can be a make or breakpoint in your relationship with them.”
“Explain that you understand they’re feeling defensive and that they don’t like to think that they are biased against your female dates, but their behavior shows that they are.”
“Explain that subconscious bias doesn’t mean that they are deliberately behaving in a way to discriminate against you or your female partners.”
“And explain that the only defense against subconscious bias is acknowledging it and then consciously counteracting it.”
“You need them to put aside the defensiveness and work on those behaviors.”
“Let them know that this is one of those defining relationship moments and if they aren’t able to set aside their defensiveness and face whatever the core feelings that are causing them to act the way that they have acted towards your female partners.”
“It could have lasting impacts on your relationship with them and ability to trust them.”
“Provide them with some reading materials about subconscious bias and let them know that you are taking a break from discussing any of your romantic life with them.”
“Tell them that you’re always willing to talk, but their behavior and even more their denial and unwillingness to own the behavior is seriously hurting you.”
“Compassion can go a long way towards helping people understand subconscious bias.”
“It’s really hard to recognize when you’re not living up to your own standards and that’s what they’re dealing with right now not any lack of love for you.” ~ mellow-drama
Commenters were curious about what happens next.
“The fact that they refer to it as tricking them just proves the point. Her gender has nothing to do with her achievements, so their flip in personality was solely to do with her gender.”
“My question is, though, what you plan to do with this information. You know your parents are homophobic…. So now what?” ~ Sad-Raise-754
There were comforting words as well.
“One, you never lied, it’s not like you told your parents she was a boy in the beginning and then was like ‘Oh yeah, by the way, she’s actually a girl’.
“Two, you didn’t reduce her to just her achievements.”
“What someone accomplishes in life is part of what makes them who they are, as well as personality of course.”
“You wanted to see if your parents would like them as the person they are, not make judgements based on their gender.”
“I feel like they are a little homophobic, as they seem disappointed every time, you’re in a same-sex relationship.”
“Of course, you were trying to get a reaction, you were trying to see if they were being honest when they said that it was just because they didn’t like the girls.”
“NTA OP, be with whoever makes you happy, and your parents can accept you and your significant other, no matter the gender, because it’s who you are that matters.”
“Happy pride, btw <3” ~ AlphaHybrid18_
There are plenty of challenges in finding a partner without adding in outdated ideas about gender.
Be wary of those that judge the people in your life based on which set of reproductive organs they happen to have.