'AITA' Contemplates Gay Man Who Told Niece Grandparents Were Homophobic

Sunday January 9, 2022
Originally published on January 5, 2022

A 28-year-old gay man asked on Reddit if telling his 10-year-old niece that his sexual orientation was the reason he was disinvited to his parents' holiday party held on Christmas Day was okay.

He was quickly validated for his behavior by Reddit users, Newsweek reported.

"The anonymous 28-year-old man gained over 17,000 votes online after posting to the popular Subreddit 'Upsetting Family Drama.'"

He asked on Reddit, "AITA for telling my niece her grandparents are homophobic?" (AITA is an acronym for "Am I The Asshole?")

He explained how his parents had disowned him after they had learned he was gay eight years earlier, though he remained close to his sister and her daughter. His parents hosted a large holiday gathering every year, but he hasn't been invited since they learned he was gay. He would later have a small holiday gathering with himself, his sister and his niece.

"At our smaller Christmas gathering, while my sister was in the other room, my niece asked why I never go to my parents' Christmas. I replied with the excuse I've used for years: I had to work," he wrote.

But recently his niece asked why he needed to work on Christmas Day, and became visibly upset when she also asked if he liked his sister and her.

"If she hadn't said that, I probably wouldn't have told her," he confessed. "But I can't stand the idea that she would think I chose not to go to Christmas. So, in a calm voice, I said 'well, you know how I date boys instead of girls? Grandma and Grandpa don't like that, so they ask me not to go to Christmas.'"

Angered by this, his niece confronted her grandparents the next day.

"The next day, she called her grandparents and asked how dare they tell me not to come to Christmas. Apparently she was really harsh with them. Then, my parents called my sister and yelled at her for letting my niece around me."

According to the man, his sister was left angry at him for "causing the family fight and involving my niece in it."

His case is not unusual. "The man's family issues are far from rare in the LGBTQ+ community, with a Stonewall and YouGov report finding that only 46 percent of lesbian, gay and bi people feel able to open up about their sexuality with everyone in their family," Newsweek said.

But on Reddit, the man received validation with some 17,000 users showing him support. "Despite the Reddit user's self-doubts, the response to his situation was unanimous—he was not in the wrong. Instead, users rushed to decipher which family member was instead," Newsweek said.

"You were honest with your niece in an age-appropriate, non-confrontational way. The only reason it turned into a huge fight is because no one else had been honest with her before about the situation," said one user.

"If they didn't want their granddaughter to know that they're homophobic, they shouldn't be homophobic. Simple as that," added another.

One user reasoned that despite not being in the wrong, he should have informed his sister beforehand: "Your only mistake here was not informing your sister of the conversation you had with her daughter. I mean you dropped a big family detail on a 10-year-old and then just left."

Another user criticized the man's sister. "Your sister is a coward. The reason why it is so easy for your family to exclude you is because there is NO consequence on their end."

There was also praise for his niece.

"Can I just say your niece is wonderful. She saw something she didn't like, had the courage and trust to speak to someone she cared about about her feelings. She didn't play games, went to the source, and found the problem. Then she addressed the problem at its source, her grandparents."

"She literally followed the line of trauma to where it was perpetuated and then went to it and said this isn't ok. I hope after the initial shock blows over that your grandparents can re-evaluate their views, or at least set them aside for the greater good, which is their granddaughter."

"I hope you are super proud of her, because I am. She's a gem."