to have mentioned in conv that BIL is gay

(111 Posts)
MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 12:32:33

DH and I were over at new neighbour's house last night having a few glasses of wine.
We were talking about how our dc won't have as many cousins as we had. I have one sister and my H has one brother.
I said 'yeah, it doesn't look like ds will have any cousins because my sis doesn't want kids and H's bro is gay and doesn't want them either' and went on with the conversation . BIL has been out since he was 18, he's 40 now, it's not a secret at all.
When we came home my H said 'You outing my brother like that, wow'
He said it's not a secret but it's not for you to go talking about my family to anyone, I didn't think it was an issue to be kept hidden, it certainly isn't to BIL and I don't think he'd be annoyed at me for mentioning it.
My H and BIL aren't that close, BIL lives in another country and in fact, BIL and I speak more often, get on better than he and H does.
So as not to dripfeed, their mom didn't take the fact he was gay very well and even now won't tell a lot of her friends, his partner is Bil's 'housemate'

Anyway, wibu to have mentioned it, maybe I was being careless and should have thought before I spoke?

H is really, really pissed off with me, sulking & not talking, ignoring me.

N0tinmylife Sun 31-Mar-13 12:56:05

I do think being gay is relevant to him being less likely to have children. It is always going to be harder for a gay couple to have children, and therefore probably less likely. Its not as if they can just ditch the contraception and let nature take its course, and there will certainly never be an accidental pregnancy, which must account for a reasonable proportion of babies born to heterosexual couples. It was therefore directly relevant to the conversation, and a perfectly reasonable thing to say.

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 12:56:51

I think in the context of the conversation there was no need to mention BIL is gay just has you didn't mention your sister is straight. I don't think the fact he is gay was relevant to the conversation. However I don't believe your DH is objecting on the grounds of relevance, he is objecting because he sees his brother's sexuality as a dirty secret and for that reason alone he is definitely being unreasonable.

lysteddy Sun 31-Mar-13 12:57:12

I think yanbu but maybe because you said bil is gay and doesnt want children and you didnt say my sis is straight and doesnt want children thats why your H feels you sort of 'outed' his brother.

MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 12:57:19

Thanks for the perspective WileyRoadRunner, good to hear your side.

I think I was being careless, I had been talking about my sis earlier and how she didn't want kids and was really focused on her career and had decided she just wasn't a person who wanted to be a mother and I kind of was giving the reason BIL didn't want kids either. He's said he doesn't want to put he & his partner through the adoption process.

I realise now I didn't need to tell them he was gay but i thought it was relevant to the conversation and I didn't really think about it.

I rarely mention it at all, first time ever actually, not like I think of him as my gay BIL just my BIL who happens to be gay and something I thought was relevant came up.

motherinferior Sun 31-Mar-13 12:59:39

Actually in context you were being even more reasonable. Your DH really needs to stop being so closety about his out brother.

thezebrawearspurple Sun 31-Mar-13 12:59:52

Your husband is entitled to share only family information that he wants to with strangers (which is effectively what new neighbours are). I have friends who would be offended if I made a comment that revealed more about one of their family members than they wanted that person to know and I would be offended if someone mentioned similarly personal things about mine.

Just because your open about something doesn't mean you want other people broadcasting your business to strangers! I don't blame your husband for being annoyed. You also need to learn the difference between a secret and personal information. Job, income, relationship status, sexual orientation, weight, phone number etc are all personal information, it's perfectly acceptable for those who know us to know these things, it is not ok for others to share these details to the entire planet. Not gossiping about people is not 'keeping a shameful secret', it is basic manners and respect for others. Have some respect for your husbands (and bils) privacy.

lljkk Sun 31-Mar-13 13:00:22

Your DH is way over-reacting.

fertilityFTW Sun 31-Mar-13 13:00:39

Confused as to why it's assumed BIL does not want/will not have children. Many gay couples do.
So if you happen to know (through your friendship with BIL) that he doesn't want children, that does not necessarily relate to his sexual inclination I would think.

motherinferior Sun 31-Mar-13 13:02:59

BIL is OUT. He has a partner. Everyone in his life presumably knows he is gay. It is not 'private' info. It is perfectly normal info about a perfectly normal adult.

MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 13:04:40

Ok, I take your point zebrawearspurple but I wasn't gossiping.

Thank you all, I think I was thoughtless sharing something about my husband's family that he's sensitive about,
Because my BIL is very open about it to whomever we meet I assumed it was ok that I was too.

KobayashiMaru Sun 31-Mar-13 13:04:48

treating it as a personal secret is closetism.

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 13:04:49

If the conversation had been about extended family and you had mentioned your BIL's partner by name, clearly "outing" your BIL as having a male partner, do you think your DH would've been equally upset?

pinkyredrose Sun 31-Mar-13 13:05:52

Confused as to why it's assumed BIL does not want/will not have children

It isn't compulsary you know!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 31-Mar-13 13:07:03

I think it was not your place to talk about your sister, actually. People always feel the need to comment on other people's business and why they do or don't want children. It just sounds horribly gossipy.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 31-Mar-13 13:07:23

Mountain out of a molehill. Tell him to grow up and to have a look at why he's acting like a child about this.

...and no, YWNBU to have mentioned it. Your BIL is out whether his mother or his brother approve or not, so you can't 'out him' FGS.

It wasn't strictly necessary within the context of the situation, you could have said neither my sister or DH's brother want children etc BUT we all give 'filler' information in conversations. You might equally have said (if it were true) that 'My sisters DH has two children from a previous marriage and doesn't want anymore either'... yes, strictly not necessary to the conversation - but hell, if we all stuck to what was 'strictly necessary' in a conversation MN would be bereft of threads grin

diddl Sun 31-Mar-13 13:08:15

I don't think BIL being gay is relevant if he, like your sister actually doesn't want children.

I think your husband is being silly by sulking, but by & large I think he does have a point about just disclosing stuff to people you don't really know.

WinkyWinkola Sun 31-Mar-13 13:09:09

Would your bil have minded the neighbour knowing? If not then yanbu.

I'm sure the neighbour hasn't thought twice about it.

Your dh is being a pita over nothing.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 13:09:12

Your husband has nothing to be sensitive about and I wonder if he is homophobic and in some way ashamed of his brother. angry

However, I don't understand (and I am moving on to talking generally now. It is a general observation) why it seems to be that sexuality - if you are not hetrosexual - appears to need to be said whereas hetrosexuality never needs to be mentions. Straight - don't say anything, but gay - mention it. Why is that? My sister doesn't want kids. My brother in law is gay and doesn't want kids. Why not just my brother in law doesn't want kids? Why not my sister is straight and doesn't want kids?

StuntGirl Sun 31-Mar-13 13:10:30

Your husband is being ridiculous. Outing his brother? Did you point out he's been 'out' since the 80s?

I can see that his sexuality wasn'y directly relevant to the conversation, although I can also see why you did mention it, but I'm curious what conversation would have been Allowed to mention it. If they asked if he was married or seeing anyone are you allowed to 'out' him then or do you have to lie? How ridiculous.

It very much sounds like your husband is ashamed of his brother.

MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 13:11:18

Sorry to be unclear in original post.

I didn't mean BIL won't have kids because he's gay,

I said 'bil prob won't have kids because he's gay and he and his partner don't want to go through the adoption process'

Neighbours are new neighbours yes but not strangers, known them about 4 months and often in each others houses.

I will apologise to H later for being thoughtless. He has left to go out for the day presumably as he hasn't spoken to me since.

WileyRoadRunner Sun 31-Mar-13 13:13:40

treating it as a personal secret is closetism.

This ^ attitude really annoys me.

Personally, that is not the reason I don't announce my brother is gay, I talk about him and his partner. I don't treat it as a personal secret but I wouldn't disclose it to a new neighbour.

Perhaps it is because it isn't a big deal to me that I don't discuss it. It is just a tiny part of what my brother is about. There are so many other things that define him. Him being gay is low down on my list of thins i would describe him as. that doesnt mean I am trying to keep him in the closet!

OP YANBU as such but I say that my brother and his partner do not want children. Because that is the truth. Whether the fact he is gay is why he doesn't want children I don't. I can understand why your husband may have thought it inappropriate to divulge the why and wherefores of somebody being unlikely to have children but that may be down to the fact that he is just a more guarded person as opposed to any sense of embarrassment.

motherinferior Sun 31-Mar-13 13:13:49

I wouldn't apologise.

Actually I don't even think you should have mentioned your sister doesn't want kids either. Her choice and your BILs choice not to have children is nothing to do with your neighbours at all. In your shoes I would have just said they don't have children and left it at that. I would be pretty pissed off if my brother was gossiping about my future intentions with people who are strangers to me. It could well come back and bite you on the backside as gossip so often does.

MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 13:24:43

Wiley, thanks again for your perspective, honestly, to me, Bil's sexuality is just a tiny part of him too.

This really is the first time I've mentioned it like this to anyone who didn't know in the 10 years H and I have been together.

BIL lives in US so if we talk about them it's 'bil and partner' and its never a big thing.

Tbh, I shouldn't have said anything about my sis or my Bil's reason for not wanting kids. I just didn't think twice because they'd both say it to anyone.

I don't think he'd mind me saying it, he's very open and often tells me never to let ds think being gay should be hidden.

I will apologise to H for being thoughtless but not for letting someone know his bro is gay

MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 13:26:17

It wasn't gossiping

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