Ex won't let Ds go to his wedding because he is bisexual? Is he being unreasonable?

(56 Posts)
Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:06:50

Ds's Dad is getting married in a few months in Poland. It was arranged that Ds would be going.

I've known for 2 years that Ds is bisexual. He didn't tell his Dad, I respected his choice. Yesterday his Dad found out via FB. He wasn't happy at all.

He's now saying Ds can't go to his wedding because he won't be safe going to Poland and being bisexual.

I think he's making excuses because he's not happy about it.

Branleuse Mon 24-Mar-14 16:12:52

how will they know hes bisexual unless someone tells them?

im assuming you think there's more to it? Do you think there may actually be a safety issue if people find out?

momb Mon 24-Mar-14 16:14:44

He may be making an excuse because he's not happy about it, but it may also be that he's concerned for your son.
There has been lots in the news over the last couple of years about homophobic rhetoric in the media out there and Polish politicians making homophobic statements.
If your ex isn't comfortable with your son's sexuality, then presumably he would have difficulty backing him if there was a difficult situation while they were out in Poland?
Realistically, how likely is it that anyone would know your son is Bi? That may be a pivotal issue for his safety in Poland. Also, is your son an adult yet?

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:15:07

According to my ex it's written all over Ds and he will end up arrested or something for being gay.

Awitchwithoutchips Mon 24-Mar-14 16:15:30

Sounds like his dad has the problem. How old is your son?

harriet247 Mon 24-Mar-14 16:15:53

Poor kid sad can you arrange to do something with him instead? Like alton towers or something? polish people on the whole are wonderful kind people but its still behind with excepting gay ppl etc

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:16:00

Ds is 17.

CantUnderstandNewtonsTheory Mon 24-Mar-14 16:18:34

Is it actually illegal to be bisexual in Poland? shock genuinely didn't know that!

Hoppinggreen Mon 24-Mar-14 16:18:39

To be totally fair I seem to remember that when the World Cup or something was on there were issues around gay or bisexual people being safe in Poland and we have Russian friends who say this can be the case there too. I also saw a TV programme about homophobic violence in Eastern Europe, which was pretty shocking.
I know your son should be proud of who he is but ( god how do I ask this without being offensive???) would someone know on first meeting him he was bisexual?
I ask because if he obviously fits the gay or bisexual stereotype then he could face some verbal abuse or violence. I know that could happen here too but I get the impression that the authorities may not take it as seriously in Eastern Europe.
If my son is gay or bisexual or whatever ( he is only 5 now) then I would want him to be proud of who he is and I would be too but I would also want him to be safe.
Hope that wasn't offensive. - not my intention

Branleuse Mon 24-Mar-14 16:18:41

maybe he actually wouldnt be safe.

whatever5 Mon 24-Mar-14 16:19:14

How will they know he's bisexual let alone arrest him for it? Whether it is true or not that he will be unsafe, I wouldn't feel like going to the wedding now if I was your son.

Have you or your son mixed with the people that will be at the wedding, or been to that region?

There are regions were it is like the 60's, unsafe for non heterosexual people or disabled people/women.

This is globally, I'm not picking on Poland (I love the country and will be going again this year).

I'm in my 40's, there are times when you have to put your safety (keeping your mouth shut/opinions to yourself) to keep yourself safe.

BettyStogs Mon 24-Mar-14 16:22:36

So your ex thinks it's 'written all over him' yet he didn't know until he found out on Facebook?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Mon 24-Mar-14 16:23:14

I agree with Hopping there is shocking homophobic violence there and if he fits a stereotype he could be targeted, I would want him to be safe.

almondcake Mon 24-Mar-14 16:23:28

Why is his dad getting married in Poland if it is such an unpleasant place?

riskit4abiskit Mon 24-Mar-14 16:24:50

He cant look very bi (however that might look like)! If your ex never guessed about it til now!

Thistledew Mon 24-Mar-14 16:25:17

It is so obvious that your DS is gay/bisexual that the police will arrest him on sight, but not so obvious that your Ex didn't suspect a thing until he found out via FB? hmm - at your ex, not you.

If your DS still wants to go after getting that reaction from his F, a chat about the fact that he would be well advised for his own safety to be discrete about his sexuality whilst he is there might be in order, but there is no other reason for him not to go.

Pigletin Mon 24-Mar-14 16:26:43

If it is written all over your son, how is it that your husband didn't realise before? I find this hard to believe.
I think it's cruel for your ex to punish your son with not going to the wedding because he is bisexual. Or to make it sound as if a whole country (or half a continent as some posters have suggested here) is not safe for someone who is gay. What bullshit.

"Why is his dad getting married in Poland if it is such an unpleasant place?"

He may live there of course.

But it has lovely areas, historical sites, fantastic architecture etc and it is relatively cheap.

My middle DD wants her wedding in the salt mines.

It is a shame that on some issues they are still behind in their attitudes and laws.

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:28:20

Ds isn't very camp in his mannerisms, I don't think. He does have long ish hair and likes wearing pink jeans and nail varnish. If he wore normal clothes then you couldn't tell.

His Dad is marrying a woman from Poland hence the wedding being there.

TheBody Mon 24-Mar-14 16:29:37

well presumably your ex, dhs father adores and lives his son? yes? so he wants like every normal parent in earth to keep him safe.

there may be all sorts of people at the wedding and pegs os he knows your son wouldn't be safe.

I would go with your dh on this.

NoodleOodle Mon 24-Mar-14 16:32:00

What an awful situation, you're obviously there for him, and this must be an emotionally difficult situation for him, especially at the precious age of 17. I don't have any answers or suggestions though, sorry thanks

momb Mon 24-Mar-14 16:34:42

Homosexuality isn't illegal in Poland so he won't get arrested, it's more the threat of violence which may not be rigorously investigated or prevented.
The wedding is a few months away. If your DS wants to go then he needs to perhaps tone down the pink and make up around his dad for a while so that your Ex's fears can be assuaged somewhat. It may be that he's taking advice from his fiancee too: she is likely to have a better idea of the potential risks.
Having said that, if I were your DS I would tell my Dad that i wouldn't go.

BillyBanter Mon 24-Mar-14 16:34:50

If it's written all over him then how come it's taken fb for his dad to notice?

Maybe the wife to be has the problem.

I don't have any advice, sorry. I hope it gets sorted.

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:36:12

So maybe ex isn't just being a nobber and he has a point?

Do feel sad for Ds though.

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:37:29

Yeah I wondered that too. I don't know how his Dad is possibly shocked to be fair.

momb Mon 24-Mar-14 16:42:53

Now none of that!
Just because he may have a point doesn't mean he isn't a nobber.

Spend the flight money on a lovely trip away for the two of you over the weekend of the wedding instead.

Grennie Mon 24-Mar-14 16:44:55

He is being horrible. If this was really about safety he would invite his DS, but advise him to dress more conservatively.

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 16:52:35

I'm pissed off his first thought was he can't go to his wedding, no comforting words or anything.

Viviennemary Mon 24-Mar-14 16:58:22

There has been quite a lot on the news lately about prejudice in Russia. Don't know if that applies to Poland as well. Maybe your DH is just being on the safe side. Don't jump to conclusions.

Foodylicious Mon 24-Mar-14 17:02:54

Is he actually worried about his fiances family and their reaction to him not just random strangers?

I think for your ex it might be hard for him to tell your DS that he can come but that he can't be himself - maybe he just thinks its easier/nicer for your DS if does not go all, rather than have to pretend to be someone he is not.

Though you could argue that if it is her family he is worried about he should stand up for his son - might not be that strait forward though

EurotrashGirl Mon 24-Mar-14 17:03:10

OP, if your XH thinks its so obvious that your DS is bi just by looking at him, why didn't he figure it out sooner himself? Why did he have to find out via Facebook? I think his argument is BS.

GarlicMarchHare Mon 24-Mar-14 17:07:17

I wouldn't advise a gay/bi teenager to attend a gathering of homophobes in any country, especially ones he doesn't already know but who probably know of his leanings. The potential for stress, anxiety and even violence would be high. It's too much for many adults, let alone a teen.

He's the perfect age to learn about bigotry & oppression and form political opinions. He might want to find out about, and even get involved with, supporting those risking their lives for gay rights in Russia and Africa right now. If he later chooses to confront homophobia in person, fully informed, good for him ... but his father's wedding isn't the right place to start learning.

kentishgirl Mon 24-Mar-14 17:26:42

Well I doubt the lad is going to try to cop off with the best man in the middle of the reception.

It can't be 'written all over him' if Dad has never noticed, can it.

Is this more about what his inlaws/new wife will think?

OlympiaFox Mon 24-Mar-14 19:17:44

I think it depends on how easily the other guests could find out if he's bi (through a public fb account for example) or if he's unprepared to pretend otherwise. I know some Polish people and from what I hear Poland is a few decades behind in terms of attitudes toward gays/bis/trans etc... It could be very dangerous for a young person who doesn't understand how important it is to keep that side of yourself hidden because those attitudes can easily transform into violence. It's impossible to judge without knowing everybody involved, maybe your ex is angry with or embarrassed by him or maybe he is genuinely concerned for his safety.

GertTheFlirt Mon 24-Mar-14 19:25:02

Poland, I'm sure is lovely really.

We had a school trip and it invited every right wing bigot going in a jack booted, skin headed 30 mile radius. You would have thought the Poles wouldn't be into fascism but we had it all - homophobic abuse, racial abuse (they dont like black people, oh no they dont, they really dont) , they shouted "whore" at the girls who wore make up. Trust me, this was an over dressed brigade due to the minus temperatures, not a group of lasses in hot pants and boob tubes. Bloody horrendous place.

But back to the OPs dilema - Poland is intolerant. No I wouldnt put my child in any form of danger by suggesting he take his bisexuality into a completely intolerant atmosphere.

Floralnomad Mon 24-Mar-14 19:32:57

I must say I felt a little uneasy about my gay DS visiting Russia last year but I wouldn't have tried to stop him going ,I just advised him to keep his opinions to himself .( he's not that obviously gay)

Cakeandcoffeeandtea Mon 24-Mar-14 19:43:52

Lots of opinions, thank you.

I'm feeling less angry at my ex now.

bochead Mon 24-Mar-14 20:09:13

Keep your son safe - a lad I went to primary school with was murdered due to his sexuality in south london as a teen - his poor Mum has never recovered.

Abide by the warning his other parent is giving you as E. Europe generally seems to be going thru a really nasty intolerant phase right now generally (I'm hoping we in Britain don't wind up importing it by default). Much better your son's feelings are hurt than he gets his head stomped in. You don't know your ex's bride's extended family etc,etc.

Some things just aren't worth the risk.

RainbowSpiral Mon 24-Mar-14 21:41:32

If ds understood all this couldn't he go and just leave the pink jeans and nail polish at home - its only for a few days. Jeans are not wedding attire anyway. It is his dads wedding and a big deal to miss.

bochead Mon 24-Mar-14 21:58:40

If he's publicly declared his sexuality on facebook then the info may already have reached those you really, really wouldn't want it to.

You have no idea who is in the brides wedding party, and a Dad who has said it won't be safe. Sometimes we may not like the content, but to ignore the message is just dangerously stupid.

Naivety and asking everyone to sing kumbya together nicely doesn't work when being kicked by jack booted thugs. You can be right and be dead.

beals692 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:20:50

Slightly concerned that I've just booked a holiday to Poland....I'll just have to try not to look too gay while I'm over there sad

All the Polish people I know here in the UK are fine about it though.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 24-Mar-14 23:27:16

If I was getting married and I truly believed that one of my kids would not be welcome / safe at the wedding due to who they were then I'd be moving the wedding - not uninviting one of the kids.

If the person I was marrying did not agree that marrying somewhere that did not welcome my child was inappropriate - well- that would end the problem anyway as there would be no wedding.

tulipsaredelicious Mon 24-Mar-14 23:32:37

I would move the wedding to a new venue rather than have my child feel ostracized.

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 23:33:50

there would be the threat of violence - my ex is Polish and there is just no way that we could discuss our son's dubious sexuality without him shouting about 'fucking poofs' (sorry) anything really

tulipsaredelicious Mon 24-Mar-14 23:35:38

In fact, I would bend over backwards to make sure my child felt included.

manicinsomniac Mon 24-Mar-14 23:35:47

This is a really surprising and sad thread to me. I had no idea things were so bad in a country so close to us.

There are millions of Poles living in this country aren't there? I don't actually know any in person but I don't think they are generally known as homophobic are they? Maybe they are. I feel very ignorant.

OP, I was coming on to say YANBU and to slate you ex partner. But, having read the thread, it seems he might just be concerned for his son. Very sad situation sad

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Mon 24-Mar-14 23:52:33

OH is Polish, from what I've seen from our friends both over here and in Poland sadly they are generally very homophobic IME.

Polish weddings are usually long drawn out affairs, they go on right through the night until the next morning and a massive and I mean MASSIVE amount of vodka is consumed.

The potential for alcohol fuelled nonsense would be pretty high I imagine, sorry to say but I think he is best staying away sad

Grennie Tue 25-Mar-14 00:32:36

manic - I have come across some very homophobic Polish people in the UK - although obviously not all are. There was a small demonstration against our local LGB pride which apparently consisted almost totally of Polish people.

olidusUrsus Tue 25-Mar-14 03:04:15

Oh ffs. There are homophobic people everywhere. There are homosexuals everywhere. This thread is an infuriating mass of generalisations.

MusicalEndorphins Tue 25-Mar-14 04:00:57

I believe your son would be facing more risks to his safety in Poland, yes. I am not educated on the topic, but a gay (Polish) friend said her father would literally kill her if she ever returned.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Poland

MusicalEndorphins Tue 25-Mar-14 04:02:54

Of course her dad sounded hateful and violent, and may very well have said that no matter where he lived. Probably was a poor example.

AramintaDeWinter Tue 25-Mar-14 08:52:29

I think it's safe to say your ex is a nobber, going by his immediate reaction to learning that his son is bisexual, and he is using the apparent homophobic situation in Poland to justify his own homophobic views.
He's just found out his son's sexuality and his immediate reaction is to ban him from his wedding? A real man and father would be wanting to support his son, and discussing ways of ensuring his safety when he attends the wedding. Eg making sure son is appraised of the potential risks and of ways of reducing those risks.
As it is the only thing your ex seems to care about is himself and how he will look in front of his new Polish family. Definitely a nobber.

I'm Polish and find this thread quite upsetting, but maybe you're all right and I'm just blinkered and naive... sad

henrysmam Tue 25-Mar-14 09:11:03

I know ds is only 17have but think he should be given all the info possible and be guided to make his own mind up. Father seems negative about the whole thing. I would hope there would be enough people at the wedding who love and care for your son that he would be supported and protected. Explain your fears and be totally honnest. He should have the chance to go if if if he still wants to. It is an opportunity for him to travel and see family. His dad would be wrong to uninvite him. Good luck.

sparechange Tue 25-Mar-14 09:14:07

I used to have to travel to Poland regularly for work. Not just the cities, but the very rural areas where it was pretty common to see horses and carts on the roads.
My colleague from our Polish office, who accompanied me for most of the trips was gay and out. Part of our work involved liaising with the border police, and the head of the local office was a lesbian.
In the many dinners and drinks and chats we had, neither of them every said to me their sexuality caused them problems. Both had reached senior positions at work. Both lived with their partners.

That isn't to say homophobic discrimination doesn't go on. But in rural England where I am originally from and urban Northern Ireland where DH is from, it happens as well. That doesn't mean all bisexual people should fear going to a wedding in the UK.

Your Ex is being a grade A bigot and arse, and using some flimsy argument to push his own prejudices and homophobia. Your poor son to have to realise that is the sort of dad he has sad

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