Dad Wonders If He’s Really A Jerk For Not Telling Coworker Their Sons Are Dating

Navigating the complex world of dating can be challenging for anyone, let alone teenagers. Nobody wants others meddling in their love life, and we should all have the right to reveal our relationships to friends and family at our own pace. 

That’s why one father respected his son and his son’s partner’s wishes by keeping their relationship a secret. His colleague, however, was not excited to learn that their boys had been dating. Below, you’ll find the full story that was shared on the “Am I the [Jerk]?” subreddit, as well as some of the replies invested readers have left.

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This father respected his son’s wishes by keeping his relationship a secret

Image credits: Brett Sayles (not the actual photo)

But once his colleague found out that their sons had been dating, he didn’t take the news very well

Image credits: Honey Fangs (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Onur Binay (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Leonardo Luz

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Though many parents have become more accepting in recent decades, there are still some who are uncomfortable with their kids being gay

Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)

Regardless of how old you are or what your sexuality is, it can always be intimidating to inform your parents of a relationship you’re in. Suddenly, there might be pressure on the situation, and you might be subjected to outside opinions that should have no bearing on you and your partner’s connection. It’s understandable that these teenage boys would want to keep their relationship private, especially considering the fact that Byron’s father is not very open-minded. Unfortunately, some parents are still uncomfortable with the idea of their children being gay. A 2022 survey from the Trevor Project reports that 31% of Baby Boomers, 28% of Generation X and 23% of Millennials would be “not too comfortable” or “not comfortable at all” if one of their children came out to them.

We have made huge progress in reducing prejudices against the queer community over the past few decades, as 76% of Generation Z says they would be comfortable with their children being gay, while nearly 90% of parents in 1985 said they would be upset if they had a gay child. But sadly, it can still be risky for teens to come out to their moms and dads. 28% of LGBTQ youth experience homelessness at some point in their lives, often due to parents or guardians kicking them out upon learning about their sexuality or gender identity. Some teens even choose to run away if they feel unsafe or unwelcome at home.

Coming out can be risky, so it’s important for individuals to do so on their own terms

Image credits: Any Lane (not the actual photo)

Because of the risks associated with coming out to parents and guardians, many teens choose to come out to friends or other trusted adults first. Half of gay and bisexual university students report that they knew their sexual preferences when they were in high school, but many chose to wait until they graduated and were living away from home before coming out. It can often feel safer to come out to friends who are allies or queer themselves before opening up to a parent or guardian, whose reaction you might not be able to predict. There is no right way of when or how to come out, but it’s important that the individual is able to do so on their own terms.

There are a variety of reasons why someone might be hesitant to come out, despite knowing their sexuality and possibly even being in a relationship. Unfortunately, homophobia still exists, and it can be hard to know how others will respond. Sometimes people aren’t quite sure exactly what to label themselves as, and they don’t want others to start putting labels on them. They might be afraid of being seen or treated differently, and they might be scared that their life or lifestyle will suddenly change. This is why we should also never out another person. Outing someone else violates their privacy and can be traumatizing. Some people also stay in the closet for safety reasons, and outing them can be dangerous. According to LGBTQ And All, 1 in 7 trans people hide their gender identity from members of their family, and over half refuse to come out at work due to fear of discrimination.

A warm, safe and loving home environment is what all kids and teens need, especially those in the LGBTQ community

Image credits: Jack Sharp (not the actual photo)

Although Byron’s father was not happy with finding out about his son’s relationship in the way that he did, I’m sure his son appreciated him respecting his privacy and their relationship. When it comes to how parents should react when their children come out of the closet, Family Equality says moms and dads should respond with love and support. Commit to being an ally, and ask your child how you can help them or what they need from you. In this case, the boys needed this father to keep the relationship a secret until they were ready to reveal it. Sadly, only 37% of LGBTQ youth say their homes are queer-affirming spaces, so a hug and some kind words can go a long way.      

Fostering a warm, inclusive and loving home environment is what every child and teen needs, particularly when they’re trying to figure themselves out or embrace a part of their identity that has been kept a secret. We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this father did the right thing by keeping this information to himself, or would you have responded the same way? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing similar themes, look no further than right here.   

Readers assured the father that he did nothing wrong by keeping this secret for the boys

The post Dad Wonders If He’s Really A Jerk For Not Telling Coworker Their Sons Are Dating first appeared on Bored Panda.

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