Jay was proud of the strong bond he shared with his 16-year-old son. Having lost his wife four years ago, he cherished the connection he had with his children, a source of comfort and strength. However, a recent revelation during a family road trip tested the limits of their relationship.
Jay Notices His Son’s Leather Jacket Habit
The journey began with a seemingly innocuous observation. As they prepared to take pictures, Jay couldn’t help but notice that his son always donned his leather jacket for these moments.
An offhand comment led to his son’s embarrassment, but it was the whisper from Jay’s 14-year-old daughter that hinted at something more profound.
She revealed, “That’s because Jared said he likes it,” but her brother quickly hushed her.
Son’s Vulnerability Hints at Hidden Truth
Jay dismissed the incident, thinking it was just typical teenage awkwardness. However, things took an unexpected turn later when his son repeatedly requested to use Jay’s phone.
His own device had broken, and Jay couldn’t resist teasing him by pretending to withhold it. In a moment of vulnerability, his son said, “Please, I need to text my boyfriend.” Jay was shocked – “Your boyfriend?”
Panic overtook his son, and he quickly corrected himself, stuttering, “Oh, no, sorry, Freudian slip, not bf, best friend, god.” It was obvious to Jay that his son was freaking out.
In the backseat of the car, Jay’s daughter broke the silence, matter-of-factly declaring, “Well, guess that’s out.” Jay, who had never suspected his son’s sexual orientation, was in utter shock.
His son had always exuded masculinity, and Jay prided himself on being an open-minded parent. He asked, “Are you gay? What is going on?”
A Bi Son and Bi Daughter
His daughter piped up to correct him, “Bi people exist, Dad. I’m one, too.” Now, Jay was even more surprised – she was just a child in his eyes.
Fear of Rejection
His son, voice trembling, admitted, “Well, maybe she’s right, unless you find me to be a disgusting freak, then no.”
Jay was at a loss for words, unsure of how to react. He said the first thing that came to mind: he didn’t seem gay.
Challenging Stereotypes and Assumptions
His daughter chimed in, reminding him that people don’t necessarily fit into stereotypes. Jay agreed with her but confessed his surprise.
His son apologized for hiding this part of himself, explaining that he feared Jay’s rejection.
Jay’s Initial Reaction Strains the Relationship
But here’s where Jay messed up. Instead of reassuring his kid, Jay said that he was disappointed. He thought his son shared everything with him.
His son’s response was laced with regret, “I didn’t want you to hate me, I’m sorry.”
Jay Tries to Lighten the Mood
Jay, attempting to lighten the atmosphere, probed further, asking about the young man in question. He questioned if the person his son had feelings for was straight.
His son responded earnestly, “Dad, I wouldn’t crush on a straight guy,” while sharing a photo that depicted a masculine-looking individual.
The picture confirmed his son’s statement, although Jay found the match surprising. Trying to defuse the tension, he playfully teased about the length of the young man’s hair.
This earned him a reprimand from his daughter, who felt he was being insensitive.
An Awkward Prank?
The argument continued, with Jay defending his remarks, asserting that he wasn’t being mean. However, his son intervened, pleading with both of them to stop.
He finally said, “We got you, Dad. Sorry, it was a prank. None of it was real.” Jay tried to explain that it was okay, but his son cut him and told him to drop it. It was super uncomfortable from that point on.
Jay tried to make amends by offering his phone for his son to text Jared, but his son declined.
A Father’s Regret
Jay couldn’t help but feel bad when he noticed the message to Jared that read, “I miss you so much.” Now he was stuck – he thinks he should’ve been more supportive, but in the moment, he was surprised.
He went to Reddit to find out, “Am I in the wrong here? Did I mess up?”
Jay’s Initial Reaction Labeled as Jerk Move
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that he had acted poorly in the situation with his son. They firmly labeled him as a jerk for his initial reaction to his son’s revelation.
Several Redditors from the LGBTQ+ community expressed their disappointment in Jay’s lack of support and understanding, with one stating, “YTA the moment you told him you were disappointed.
Come on, man, that’s just not how you make a kid feel like they can open up to you.”
Learning from Mistakes as a Parent
Another Redditor, who had made similar mistakes as a parent, shared their experience. They told Jay to “Apologize but also let your actions speak for you.
Do not rely on your kids to educate you, but if they try- -shut up and listen. Read books. Challenge your outdated mindset. Change. If you are lucky, they will forgive you, and you can still have a good relationship.”
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