Man doesn’t believe that his son has a girlfriend because he assumed his son was gay.
Sexuality is a large spectrum. There are gay, straight, bi, pan, and asexual are all on the sexuality spectrum, with there being even more that I haven’t even listed. That’s why it’s dangerous to assume the sexuality of other people.
On a popular Reddit thread in the Am I the A**hole Subreddit, one dad gets into trouble because he didn’t believe his ‘gay’ son had a girlfriend.
My (56M) youngest son "Tanner" ( 19M), as far as I knew, was gay. He’d only ever talked to his older brother about crushes on boys or me as early as middle school. He only had boyfriends throughout middle school, and high school and the first relationship he had in college was with a guy.
Over the weekend, Tanner came home with a girl ‘Natasha’ (20F). He introduced her as his ‘ girlfriend Natasha,’ I was a little confused, but I just kinda went with it. I just thought he meant girlfriend in a friendly way. In hindsight, Tanner’s never been feminine, so I chalked it up to him discovering himself more at college.
At dinner Saturday night, I asked about how his apparent ex Corbin was doing and if they had moved in yet, not realizing they had broken up. My other boys got it already and started snickering, and Natasha looked confused while Tanner got mad. I finally noticed Tanner getting upset and asked what was wrong. When they got there, he yelled at me about introducing Natasha as his girlfriend, and I had an oh sh*t moment.
I tried talking to him Sunday before they left, and I tried to explain that I hadn’t realized, and he got mad and told me again that he had introduced her as his girlfriend. I told him I thought he was gay, and he got angry and said he was bi and never explicitly said he only liked guys. AITA.
Now to our experts on LGBTQ+ etiquette, the internet.
You’re NTA (Not the A**hole); it was a misunderstanding, not something you did to be malicious. Your son can’t expect you to know what he doesn’t tell you, and you can only base your knowledge on what you know.
I suggest talking to him about the situation and making sure he knows that you weren’t meant to upset him or anything; you were just going with what you knew. Personally, though, I don’t think you’re an a**hole.
NAH (No A**hole Here) – You put your foot in your mouth. It happens. If he’s mad because she didn’t know he likes guys, you did him a favor. It’s better she knows now and either accepts him for who he is or doesn’t. It’ll come up sooner or later.
Look. As a bisexual, I have known a lot of older folks who decide to assume once they know I like the same sex that I must be gay and literally never consider the possibility of bisexuality because (and this is the sh*tty part) they don’t think it exists. Only gay or straight. I don’t know if that’s you so I’m not accusing you of it.
But when your son comes home with a girl that he literally introduces to you as his girlfriend and you keep making comments full of stereotypes (‘he never was very feminine’) while skimming right over the actual words coming out of his mouth and never bothering to take a minute to clarify them, that’s probably the nerve you stepped on.
I don’t think you meant to be TA. But I do think you accidentally acted like people who definitely are. It’s up to you if you keep trying to convince him that you aren’t an a**hole or if you simply tell him ‘I’m sorry I hurt your feelings and didn’t pay close enough attention to what you told me. I love you and your girlfriend seems lovely.’
At this point, continuing to justify what you did and said is continuing to risk sticking your foot in your mouth, whereas simply offering a straightforward apology for the mistake and an acknowledgment of what your son was trying to share with you is probably the best way to make sure he KEEPS sharing things with you. I think a lot of people get stuck on trying to prove they didn’t mean harm when all that’s really needed is acknowledging that harm happened anyway and moving on with the day.
OP sounds like your son is operating under the don’t ask don’t tell policy with you.
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January 25, 2023 at 09:49AM