Man Supported for Coming Out To Homophobic Family During Sister's Wedding

A man is receiving support and love from his sister—and Reddit—after coming out to his homophobic family during his other sister's wedding.

The man, u/UserMempsh, shared his story to the r/AmITheA**hole subreddit, asking if he was wrong for "ruining" his sister's wedding by coming out after a torrent of goading comments, earning over 6,500 upvotes and 1,000 comments in 10 hours.

The original poster (OP), says he's 29, and hadn't come out to his family yet—saying he feels they suspected, but never asked him outright due to his family's homophobia. He has three sisters, "Michelle," 36, "Julia," 35 and "Annie," 22. Michelle's wedding was last week. During the toasts at the reception, his father cracked a joke at OP's expense.

"I finally have my first son in law, and hopefully I will soon have two more. Maybe someday even a daughter in law if sissypants here mans up and gets a [girlfriend]," u/UserMempsh describes his father saying.

He says that everyone laughed, except for Julia, who came over to check on him to make sure he was okay. He told her he was fine, but that his father's joke "bugged" him. She told him that he should try to let it go, at least during the rest of the night, and he tried to.

As the night went on, however, his family continued to push him. His father started asking if OP had a girlfriend, and when he'd start giving his parents grandchildren. Michelle offered to hook OP up with one of the bridesmaids, "unless you are wired the wrong way."

He says Julia rolled her eyes at the comment, but his mother egged it on, saying that the bridesmaid should come over, as he "needs to be with a WOMAN at his age."

"I just lost it and said 'actually mom, I'm gay'. The whole table went silent, some other people heard too and Michelle started crying, saying I ruined her wedding with my awful confession," u/UserMempsh wrote.

Julia's on his side, and said that if their family "didn't want to hear it, they should have stayed quiet." Unfortunately, the rest of his family is calling him out for coming out.

"[Am I the A**hole] for ruining Michelle's wedding?" he asked the community.

coming out pride month gay homophobic family
A gay man is being supported for sharing his story where he was forced to come out at his sister's wedding by his homophobic family's constant goading of him. iStock/Getty

June is Pride Month, commemorating the riots at the Stonewall Inn. On June 28, 1969, there was a police raid after years of harassment; when the cops started to become violent, the LGBTQ community spontaneously came together and fought back. The Stonewall Riots led more and more LGBTQ people to organize and fight for the right to live openly. One year later, the first pride marches occurred to mark the event.

There had been previous protests—including efforts by the early gay-rights organization the Mattachine Society and a 1966 "sip-in" at the NYC gay bar Julius—but Stonewall energized the LGBTQ community. People including Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Zazu Nova and Jackie Hormona were identified as major figures in the fight against police oppression at Stonewall.

Thanks to the efforts of activists like these, the LGBTQ community has made great strides, though homophobia still lurks. A 2014 article by Rolling Stone reported an increase of homeless teens who had been kicked out by parents for coming out. Though only about 5 percent of the population are LGBTQ, the magazine reports, queer people make up 40 percent of homeless youth.

FamilyEquality.org has good advice for parents wondering how to best support their offspring when they come out. The organization says parents shouldn't ignore it, say they always knew, shame them or dismiss their child's coming out as a "phase." Instead, parents should thank their kids for being honest, tell them they love them and ask what support they need.

The netizens of the r/AmITheA**hole subreddit assured u/UserMempsh that he wasn't the person who was wrong.

"[Not the A**hole] Oh dear god you did not 'come out at her wedding', you were literally pushed into a corner until you SNAPPED," u/Emotional_Answer_319 wrote in the top-rated comment with over 12,300 upvotes. "Julia sounds like a great sister!"

"I want to add that I think the family suspected OP was gay because their phrasing and comments were oddly specific. They basically set him up for this and are blaming him for it," u/b**chyunicorn agreed.

"The whole family (Julie excluded) sound like the homophobic borg collective. What horrid people," u/no_shirt_4_jim_kirk wrote. "Now, I'm the kind of petty where I'd think, Hmmmm, did somebody say something about a 'ruined' wedding? I'd leave but not before pulling a fire alarm or two on my way out the door."

"True, the title should be [Am I the A**hole] for being forced to discuss my sexuality at my sister's wedding. Also your sister ruined her own wedding OP. She is wired the wrong way with a too long nose to match, to poke into other peoples matters," u/No_Conclusions wrote. "[Not the A**hole]."

"More Julias & less Michelles!! [Not the A**hole]," wrote u/Glock212327.

"Yeah reading the title I was ready to vote the other way but the family was just mocking and berating OP, dear god. [Not the A**hole] and I'm glad you have Julia but the rest of your family sucks," u/somechild wrote.

"I came here loaded for bear. We've seen a number of posts about people who want to steal focus at someone else's wedding," u/epostiler wrote. "But you were being actively bullied. That's different. [Not the A**hole]."

"Also, who cares if Michelle's wedding was ruined? After the 'unless you're wired wrong' comment, I hope it was! Bigots/bullies shouldn't get to make whatever comment and expect to be respected. I hope her cake fell over and her MIL wore white," u/anneofred wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/UserMempsh for comment.