A 20-year-old man has gone viral on Reddit after getting into a heated exchange with his mom.
The man posted in the popular “Am I The A**hole” subreddit, wanting to know if he’d been unfair to his mom after he told her that he was in a sexual relationship with his best, male friend.
She had tried to be supportive, saying she’d always suspected he was gay and that he could now stop “pretending” to like women.
The man in question does not identify as gay and reacted angrily to her words.
“I (20M) and my best friend “Cory” (21M) grew up together from the age of 3,” the man explained. “Our dads are old army buddies. Like we did everything together: sports, double dates with our girlfriends, experimenting on and off. Everything’s always felt right when we were together.
“We moved in together for college and a few months ago he broke up with his ex-girlfriend,” he continued. “I took him to get drunk to help him get over it and we got pretty wasted and ended up in bed together… And from there we just kinda both agreed it felt RIGHT. We’re still kinda figuring out what it all means but we’ve been together since then.”
“It’s weird because neither of us have ever been attracted to other men other than each other and we’re both attracted to women and have identified as straight. It’s just really confusing though I think if I’m being honest I’ve been in love with him since middle school.
“We came home over the weekend and we decided to tell our folks about us… My dad and my brothers took it fine.”
“While talking with my mom about it she goes on this whole tangent about how she knew I was gay and how it was OK. I explicitly told her I wasn’t gay and that we were still trying to figure stuff out. Then she goes on about how I didn’t have to pretend to like girls anymore and I just blew up. I yelled at her to stop trying to tell me about myself and to actually listen to what I was saying. She started crying a bit and she went to go lie down. My dad and my brothers think I was being an A-hole and that my mom was just being supportive.”
The internet responds
The posting prompted hundreds of replies. These could roughly be split into two categories – those telling him to cut his mom some slack. Many felt his mom was trying to understand something that her son himself doesn’t understand yet, so she might make some mistakes. Secondly, others wanted to remind him that there’s more to sexuality than just gay or straight.
“Do either of you know that bisexuality exists?” was one well-liked comment. “This is genuinely not meant as a criticism – a lot of people grow up only seeing examples of gay and lesbian people. Bisexual representation is fairly lacking. This is something that caused issues for me growing up. I had crushes on lots of boys when I was very young, but had my first crush on a girl at 12/13. Because I already knew I liked boys, I convinced myself that I just wanted to be that girl’s friend. It took me several years after that to come to terms with the fact that I like both men and women.”
Many came to the defense of the mom.
“She is struggling with the news and trying to be supportive and failing. Give her some time to wrap her head around what you told her. Remind her that you are all figuring it out and it’s okay to feel a bit confused.”
Another response came from someone with experience of parenting.
“I’m a mom and stepmom of 4 kids total. I grew up in the 80s when labels were definitely an important way to categorize the world around us. It was either “gay” or “straight” or “bi”. It’s a confusing time for a lot of people, including your mom,” she said.
“Your mom is trying to make sense of things,” she continued. “I fully understand that you don’t want the label of gay at all yet and that to you, right now, love is just love.
“To your mother, she is still living in her world where a man falling in love with a man = gay. I honestly believe that she was just trying to help you be okay with the label, thinking you were just acting out of a need to try to soften the news by saying you weren’t sure and didn’t need that label. I know it’s hard, but I’d reach out to her. I’d tell her I love her, and that I’m just not comfortable or sure about any label just yet. And thank her for the support.”
Another person echoed the views of many: Let’s not focus on labels.
“Society puts too much emphasis on labeling. And we should all just let people love who they love and mind our own business.”
Bisexuals make up the majority of LGBTQ+ community
Although he may not feel comfortable using a label for his sexuality, the poster is in good company. A study last year found that one in five Gen Z youth (born between 1997 and 2003) in the US now identify as LGBTQ. That’s almost double the percentage of millennials (10.5%) who identify that way.
The same study said that across all age groups, 7.1% of adults in the US identify as LGBTQ. Of that group, the majority (57%) identify as bisexual. This is followed by gay (21%), lesbian (14%), trans (10%), and “something else” (4%).
Main photo: Posed by models (Shutterstock)
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