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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.

N0tinmylife Sun 31-Mar-13 12:34:43

How odd. Is your DH ashamed of the fact his brother is gay? I can't see why he is reacting like this otherwise.

EostreChaoticResurrEggtion Sun 31-Mar-13 12:35:17

It sounds to me as if your H is ashamed of his brother being gay.

CandlestickOlder Sun 31-Mar-13 12:35:53

Is your H homophobic?

motherinferior Sun 31-Mar-13 12:36:31

Your DH and MIL are being ridiculously uptight. They do know your BIL can marry his 'housemate', right?

oldraver Sun 31-Mar-13 12:36:37

Has your DH shown any issue with this in the past as it sounds more like he is bothered for himself than your BIL ?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 12:37:12

YABU because you could have just said BIL doesn't want kids. Whether he is gay or not has no bearing on that choice.

Your DH IBU for his 'outing' comment. Fair enough it's not your business to share but the whole 'outing' comment makes me think shame is attached to the comment somewhere.

Latara Sun 31-Mar-13 12:37:45

YANBU as long as your BIL wouldn't mind you discussing his sexuality with other people.

ThreeWheelsGood Sun 31-Mar-13 12:38:35

Yanbu by the way, totally fine to have mentioned it in that context like you did. Especially as he is out. Not sure what your DH took issue with, is he imagining BIL wanted to tell your neighbours himself?!

blueballoon79 Sun 31-Mar-13 12:38:46

I'd just ask your husband why it's a problem for people to know his brother is gay. Is he ashamed?

MusicalEndorphins Sun 31-Mar-13 12:40:48

I guess you could have just said your bil didn't want any children, without mentioning his sexual orientation?
It sounds like you just spoke a bit carelessly, but no harm has been done. Maybe apologuise and promise to not give out personal information about his family. I think he is over reacting.

toomuch2young Sun 31-Mar-13 12:42:17

Yanbu as long as bil wouldn't mind, sounds like he wouldn't and why would he?
However lots of gay people do have children so being gay isn't especially relevant to that conversation.
Your H sounds like he may have an issue with his bro being gay, or he may just be protecting his privacy, hard to say really.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 12:42:50

Well, it doesn't matter in that it is nothing to be ashamed of and he is acting like you have disclosed some Terrible Secret, which makes him a bit of an arse, tbh, but why was it necessary information? You simply said that your sister didn't want children. You didn't insert her sexuality. Whereas although the reason your brother won't have children is also that he doesn't want them, you inserted his sexuality.

I don't understand why you did that. It made sexuality something where it wasn't the point at all. "Neither my sister nor my husband's brother want children." was surely all that was needed.

pinkyredrose Sun 31-Mar-13 12:43:05

Your DH is being ridiculous, ignoriong you ffs! If you'd said BIL was a murderer he may have had reason to be upset.

There was no real need to mention that BIL is gay in the same way that you wouldn't have told anyone that he was heterosexual but at the same time what's the problem with people knowing he's gay?!

mmmuffins Sun 31-Mar-13 12:43:20

YANBU. Your BIL is out. His being gay should not be a dirty little secret that cannot pass anyone's lips.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 12:43:21

brother in law, I meant.

WileyRoadRunner Sun 31-Mar-13 12:44:34

My brother is gay. It is not something I would mention to people, just as I wouldn't mention that my BIL is straight.

I would be annoyed if my DH went around telling people.

I am not ashamed of my brother, I absolutely adore him. But him being gay is inconsequential to me, it is not something worthy of any more discussion than somebody being heterosexual.

mmmuffins Sun 31-Mar-13 12:45:51

I do think the mentioning he is gay is slightly relevant, because it means there will never be accidental children, in the way that their could be in the sister's heterosexual marriage.

mmmuffins Sun 31-Mar-13 12:46:41


MordecaiMargaret Sun 31-Mar-13 12:47:40

Hmmm, I don't think he's homophobic, but I do think it's an issue for him.

He's told me before that he didn't care BIL was gay but when he came out (H was 13) he was annoyed, felt he lost out on older brother he could talk to about girls etc. This was the 80's in USA and H said there was a lot about AIDS in the media etc and he didn't know what to think. Their parents had divorced and while the Dad was supportive, mother was not, although in regular contact now.

Do you think I overstepped the mark mentioning it? He's adamant I did. 'Why do you think it's your place to give away details about MY family?'

H is 8 years older than I, I have a lot of gay friends and don't think twice about it,unless of course they wanted me to keep it a secret - then I wouldn't say a thing, but BIL is out for ages and I've never been told to keep it quiet till now.

I honestly don't know

moonabove Sun 31-Mar-13 12:50:24

I think you were a bit insensitive just to throw it into conversation with relative strangers so I can see your dh point.

MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel Sun 31-Mar-13 12:52:56

Why did you feel the need to mention that he is gay when you didn't feel the need to mention your sisters sexuality?

motherinferior Sun 31-Mar-13 12:54:26

It's this attitude to 'privacy' and 'sensitive personal information' that means being gay is still being treated like a slightly embarrassing secret even among people who say they have no problem with it.

My sister is an out lesbian parent and I mention that quite a lot, as it happens.

NomNomDePlum Sun 31-Mar-13 12:55:22

your dh is being unreasonable. if his brother is out, it's not a secret, and his (your dh's) trying to be 'private' about it is offensive.

your bil probably doesn't have children because he doesn't want them, though. being gay hasn't got much to do with it.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 31-Mar-13 12:55:43

My husband can be a bit like that. He operates on a need to know basis. he's a bit weird. grin

His two questions (to himself) are always
Does the person I am talking to need this information?
Do I have the right to disclose this information? (eg is it my information)

In this case, your husband would answer no to those two questions. No, the person did not need to know the sexuality of someone being talked about. and No, it was not your information to disclose. Someone else's sexuality, whatever it may be, is their information, not your husband's and not yours.

If it was relevant to the conversation, and you know your brother in law has no problem with it, then that's different.

But unless you were going to say well, my sister is straight and she doesn't have any plans to have children but she might have a contraceptive failure at some point in the future, or they might change their minds and my brother in law is gay so he can't physically have children with his partner and they don't really want children either but they might change their minds in the future...

grin which would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?

Then really and truly all that was needed in the context of the conversation you were having with near strangers was "Neither my sister nor my husband's brother want children."

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