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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.

WeAreEternal Sun 31-Mar-13 13:26:38

My brother and my best friend are both gay.

In general life their sexuality it completely irrelevant. I don't converse about it unless it is relevant to a conversation, and in your case it was.
Your BIL isn't ashamed so you have no reason to hide it, but it sounds like your DH has some personal issues with his brothers sexuality, probably caused by his mother.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 13:30:03

Can I ask - in all seriousness and not being arsy, but just because I don't understand the reasoning and I want to.

Why it was relevant for the bil but not for the sister?

Why the reason needed to be or reasonable to be or understandable to be given for him, but just 'she doesn't want kids' was enough for the sister?

Why not he doesn't want kids. She doesn't want kids.
or
he doesn't want kids because...
and
she doesn't want kids because...

Again, not trying to fight, it's just that I don't understand. It is clear that for many people there is a reason to give information for one that it would not be considered necessary to give for the other, but I don't get why that is.

WileyRoadRunner Sun 31-Mar-13 13:30:53

Yes, perhaps your DH was just caught off guard by the turn in conversation and just felt uncomfortable about the intimate details being divulged as opposed to being ashamed about his brother's sexuality.

I think it is a difficult thing. My dad is sometimes obviously uncomfortable with my brother's sexuality. It doesn't mean he is homophobic or even that he is ashamed/embarrassed by it. He loves my brother to bits too.

Perhaps it's more that you need to be aware that your DH is uncomfortable with having that conversation outside of his immediate family/friendship group. Doesn't mean it has to be a secret bit perhaps just that some sensitivity should be employed!

moonabove Sun 31-Mar-13 13:31:28

Ah well if you've never mentioned it in that way before then you must have caught your H unexpectedly and hit a nerve that perhaps even he didn't realise was still there?

I think it's wrong of him to punish you by not speaking though.

MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 13:43:47

Hecsy, I didn't put in original post but mentioned up thread that I did give reasons about my sis too.

I actually do realise now I shouldn't have been giving personal info about either of them.

I said ds prob won't have cousins because sis has said she'd rather have her work and doesn't see herself ever being a mom and BIL is gay and doesn't want to go through the adoption process.

I thought it relevant, nobody batted an eyelid and we moved on.

I think you're right Wiley, while BIL is fine with everyone knowing, H considers it personal information and I shouldn't have spoken so carelessly about his or my sis' situation

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 13:46:59

ah, missed that. ta. Just too much information generally then? grin

I live with someone for whom even your choice of cereal is a closely guarded secret wink so the idea of someone not wanting to disclose unnecessary information about a third party doesn't seem unusual to me.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 31-Mar-13 14:41:46

I think something you said in passing has been used by your DH as a stick to beat you with as he's uncomfortable with his brother's sexuality. In the context that you describe, you were with neighbours/friends, having a general chit chat, saying that his brother was gay was neither here nor there to me. It's like he's picked up that tiny bit of the conversation and is now using it to have a go at you. The sulking would worry me - what kind of man sulks because his wife said something he wasn't comfortable with (though had never indicated she couldn't talk about this issue before)?

A relative of mine is gay and if it came up somehow, it wouldn't be an issue to mention it. Equally, it wouldn't be an issue not to mention it IYSWIM.

You mentioned America earlier. Is your DH American? From what I have seen living here (and this is only my experience), people can be more closed minded about homosexuality, particularly if they're quite religious - could this be a factor at all?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 31-Mar-13 15:10:37

From Homophobe to controlling bastard in three pages.

Absolutely brilliant

Bue Sun 31-Mar-13 15:46:55

I'm surprised that some people really can't see (or refuse to see) how being a gay man is relevant to not having children. I know many gay men. Of all the ones who have been out since a young age (ie not in a relationship with a woman/married previously) not a single one has a child. Yes having children is possible but it is very, very rare. OTOH many of the lesbians I know have children, even the ones who have been out since a young age.

FWIW DH's brother is gay too and won't ever have children, it just isn't for him. I would have mentioned it in the same context as the OP and I don't think DH would have a problem with that.

WMittens Sun 31-Mar-13 16:26:08

I don't think your husband is ashamed that his brother is gay as has been suggested; however, he may be jealous that you and his brother get on better than he and his brother.

complexnumber Sun 31-Mar-13 16:32:37

Personally I think you are way out of order to be discussing someone's sexuality behind their back.

The fact that he may be out is irrelevant, it's not for you to throw it around.

His brother may have a lot of very personal reasons why he does not want this to be a topic of discussion round a dinner table, it certainly does not imply he is ashamed or homophobic.

YABVU

pinkyredrose Sun 31-Mar-13 16:35:43

Personally I think you are way out of order to be discussing someone's sexuality behind their back.

Oh for Gods sake. It's not like she was discussing his criminal record or medical history. Why is it way out of order to mention that someone is gay? confused

Its out of order to discuss whether people want children or not and their reasons behind that choice though. Surely that isn't information for the general public to sit and chat about?

complexnumber Sun 31-Mar-13 16:38:41

Maybe... just maybe he might consider that to be his business to discuss.

mummytime Sun 31-Mar-13 16:40:42

I agree, there is nothing wrong with mentioning someone is gay, anymore that asking about someone getting married or having a baby (so presumably straight).

scottishtablet Sun 31-Mar-13 16:43:57

I can understand why he is pissed off.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 31-Mar-13 16:49:03

For the love of god. Why don't we just rule out conversation all together - that would make life easier wouldn't it hmm Some of these comments are just fucking ridiculous.

Mordecai - there is NO reason whatsoever for you to apologise to your DH. He is being an utter knob and should be grovelling to YOU when he comes home. YOU did nothing wrong, he on the other hand has acted like a complete and utter twat.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 31-Mar-13 16:57:35

In the context of the conversation I fail to see the problem. DSis doesnt want children so I would assume is in charge of that decision for herself. DBiL is gay and doesnt want children therefore he is highly unlikely to be presented with an unplanned child by his partner (unless my knowledge of biology is even more woeful than I realised).

Given some of the posts on this thread I am starting to wonder if all conversations will need to be preceded by a form filling exercise detailing what topics can and cannot be discussed.

sarahtigh Sun 31-Mar-13 17:04:29

i can understand your Dh,

my DH is very private he does not like me saying to my friends oh DH had the flu all last week, or talking about his mother not being well, I would think nothing of this normally but I do not mention Dh having colds etc now as he does not like it he has no brothers/sisters but I suspect like your Dh if he did he would also expect me not to say whether they were gay/ straight, unemployed/self employed religious/non-religious etc

some people just think sexuality is always private and hate those questionnaires that ask amongst other things whether you consider yourself gay/ straight/bi on the basis that no-one should be asking this questions; not that one or more of the options is better/worse than the other

scottishtablet Sun 31-Mar-13 17:10:56

I personally don't understand why the conversation was taking place at all; I'd be really pissed off if my sister had been telling her new next door neighbours that I did or didn't want children.

theskyonasnowynight Sun 31-Mar-13 17:14:26

I agree that considering sexuality as "a private matter" is a form of closetism (unless the person is very private, isn't out etc). Heterosexuality isn't a private matter, and the only reason why it usually isn't made explicit in the sort of convo that the OP describes re her sister is that it is most people's default assumption. Even where it isn't the default assumption it is usually established by the kind of casual signifiers which nobody considers private (eg referrencing a husband or a boyfriend in passing. Indeed, before civil partnerships wearing a wedding ring would normally have been a signifier).

One of the key factors in people accepting homosexuality is whether they know an openly gay or lesbian person who "normalises" it for them. Another way of normalising it is by accepting it as no more a private thing about someone (subject to the caveats above) than their preference for steak over chicken or cycling over walking. This doesn't mean its right to gossip about someone, discuss their sex lives or talk about their sexuality salaciously, just accept that mentioning it may not be "relevant" but its no more "wrong or personal" than to say "my sister doesn't want kids because she loves hard work and travel".

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 31-Mar-13 17:16:48

Whether the conversation was appropriate is one point.

What I dont get is why the OP's DH thinks that he owns the right to decide what can or cannot be said about another person. If he had objected to the conversation as a whole then I could see his point. Deciding that he 'owns' the knowledge that his DB is gay is just a bit weird.

Hugglepuff Sun 31-Mar-13 17:22:47

My ds is gay and she is quite clear that she does not like it coming up in general discussion with people she does not know - which is absolutely fine, she is very comfortable in who she is, but is quite right in thinking that she does not want to be part of other people's gossip.
Did you point out that your ds is heterosexual and does not want children ? If not then your bil's sexuality isn't relevant either.

StuntGirl Sun 31-Mar-13 17:27:09

Goodness, really? I don't want children. If it ever came up in conversation and a friend or family member told anyone I didn't want kids I couldn't care less. Why is it such personal information? confused

StuntGirl Sun 31-Mar-13 17:31:04

Of course if someone has made it clear they don't want it discussing thats one thing. But neither the sister or the brother have. Its hardly a state secret!

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