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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.

FierceBadIggi Mon 01-Apr-13 21:03:10

Seriously Complex, if someone asks you about your siblings you wouldn't say "well my brother Jim lives nearby with his wife and kids, and my sister moved to Australia with her boyfriend".?? You would think it too personal to say that? I think you are not being truthful/thinking this through. You would come across as very strange if you refused to reveal that kind of info to friends at a dinner party.

aurynne Mon 01-Apr-13 20:39:23

There was no NEED to mention your BIL is gay, but there is also nothing wrong with it either, so why all the fuss for mentioning it?

The OP did not mention her sister is straight because the majority of people are straight and, rightly or not, it is the assumed position. Would any of you (and I am referring to straight people) have a problem with anyone mentioning you're straight?

I am sure the OP's BIL would laugh out this ridiculous argument...

motherinferior Mon 01-Apr-13 20:26:46

Because I do mention Mr Inferior from time to time.

Same difference, like wot I said.

motherinferior Mon 01-Apr-13 20:25:43

So I assume you keep your partner's gender a tight secret?

complexnumber Mon 01-Apr-13 20:22:36

"The only reason you disagree with the 'same difference' example used Complex is because you think sexual orientation is ok to mention if it is heterosexual"

Absolute bollocks.

I just think people, regardless of their sexuality and/or differences have a right to chose who to disclose to.

And it is not up to the partners or siblings of others to chat about these things around dinner tablesl

RubyGates Mon 01-Apr-13 20:10:53

How would your DH have reacted if you'd said "BIL and his partner Fred have decided that they don't want children"?

Because I think that's what I'd have said in the situation. Because it sugests that BIL isn't a control freak and has made a unilateral decision about whether to have children or not.

I don't think that in the context YWBU

FarelyKnuts Mon 01-Apr-13 20:05:53

Unless you are "outing" someone who is not out, does it actually matter. As many above have pointed out, society "reveals" sexuality ALL THE TIME!! My DH, DW etc etc. As long as you are straight of course, no one bats an eyelid. It is presumed unless told otherwise. Why should it be, in this supposedly enlightened times of equality (haha) that we live in, a problem to reference a same sex relationship the same way?
As a lesbian with a child I am constantly presumed straight and constantly having to bloody well out myself because of this inherent assumption when I actually give not even a single shit if the whole world knows I am a lesbian nor do I care if the neighbours/my brother/ friends talk about me and mention my sexuality, even more so when I am not there and will never hear of the conversation anyway.

Pandemoniaa Mon 01-Apr-13 20:01:02

Your dh's decision to sulk and ignore you is completely U and very childish.

However, I can understand why suddenly dropping the fact that your BIL is gay into a conversation with your neighbours may have come as a shock to him if your DH is a fairly private person. It's not a question of homophobia, more a question of how much personal information is appropriate to share in a given context.

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Apr-13 19:57:55

Well my 2p worth is that you shouldn't really speculate on why anyone may/may not want children. But the fact you 'leaked' that your DBil was gay in that context which is fine imo. It is perceived to be more difficult for gay people to adopt, so once you'd gone down the path of discussing their reasons for not having children, it was perfectly relevant to mention it. The question is, should you have been talking about something so personal in the first place?

But FWIW my DH is very private and would have said something like 'FFS Wilson you don't have to tell everyone you meet everything you know' and left it at that. Your DP's reaction is OTT and leads me to think he doesn't want people to know his DB's sexuality. Too hard to say from the info given if that's because he's ashamed of it, or if he thinks it should be private.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 01-Apr-13 19:56:28

<hey MI looks like I'm back in town LITTLE HAS CHANGED>

motherinferior Mon 01-Apr-13 19:55:30

<wotcher harpsi>

Theicingontop Mon 01-Apr-13 19:54:31

I had a similar problem with my brother. I was at my mother's house with 3yo DS, and my younger brother was there with his new boyfriend. DS asked who 'the man' was, and I said, that's Uncle N's boyfriend.

Older brother gives me a lift home and has a catsbumface about me telling DS that he was younger brother's boyfriend. "You could have just told him his name, didn't have to point out their relationship to one another"


I think when you tiptoe around someone's sexuality, if they're fine and open about it, it's just insulting. It is the way it is, and if someone has a problem about it, it's their issue.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 01-Apr-13 19:47:15

I would say, quite casually to anyone at all really 'my SIL's husband' or 'my sister's husband' - thereby 'revealing' their sexuality.
To you, sexuality isn't an issue, or a secret. That's why you didn't think twice about it.
'Revealing' someone is gay is only 'a bad' or even notable thing if being gay is also a 'bad' thing. To you, and to all decent people, it is morally neutral. Frankly, this reflects well on you imo.

FierceBadIggi Mon 01-Apr-13 19:46:55

I wouldn't mention someone being gay if it was to, for example, their boss, in case they turned out to be homophobic. But OP's BIL is in a different continent and unlikely to experience any prejudice from the neighbours..

FierceBadIggi Mon 01-Apr-13 19:42:43

The only reason you disagree with the 'same difference' example used Complex is because you think sexual orientation is ok to mention if it is heterosexual (my brother's wife went to Borneo) but not if homosexual. Or if someone asked you if dcs had any cousins, would your reply be to say "I can't possibly make any comment as it would reveal something about their sexuality? Madness.

complexnumber Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:27

It's certainly not 'the same difference'
The op stated;

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

Which, to me, means it was brought to the wider discussion.

Either she told everyone about her DB's sexuality or she didn't.

She did without consent, so she is certainly being unreasonable.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 01-Apr-13 19:24:48

yes. The point here is that the DH is upset that his brother's homosexuality has come up. We speak of sexuality all the time. If OP had said "DH's brother and his wife have decided not to have children", I suspect the DH wouldn't have blinked. It's "DH's brother and his husband decided not to adopt children" and that made him upset.

And that's the problem. Homosexuality is being treated as if it's something we don't disclose in the course of a normal conversation.

I suspect these people she mentioned it to couldn't care less.

motherinferior Mon 01-Apr-13 19:20:29

Come to that I quite often mention the fact my sister is a lesbian (and has two children). It is not exactly a big secret. If I don't mention the fact that her sons' other parent is a woman they assume she is straight which she doesn't particularly want them to assume as she doesn't consider her choice of partner something that should be kept a discreet secret.

motherinferior Mon 01-Apr-13 19:17:17

It wasn't being discussed. It was mentioned. Quite a lot of people know I live with a bloke. I do not get huffy if this is mentioned. Same difference.

complexnumber Mon 01-Apr-13 18:58:50

I would be so upset if my sibling's sexuality was being discussed over someone else's dinner party.

What's not to get?

TiggyD Sun 31-Mar-13 22:33:58

YANBU. Your husband has an issue with his bro being gay.

FakeHotCrossLobsters Sun 31-Mar-13 22:30:18

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

"He has left to go out for the day presumably as he hasn't spoken to me since."

This is your bigger problem OP. This sulking and ignoring you to punish you for speaking about something that is "not your place" to discuss.

Would your BIL have told the neighbours the same thing if he had been there? Maybe it's something they didn't 'need' to know but I don't think you were wrong to tell them as part of a discussion if it's something your BIL would discuss openly.

We are often asked if we will have another child or if DS will be an only child. As it happens, he is not an only child but our first two babies, his siblings, both died and pregnancy is not straightforward for me. Having another child would not be easy as I am prone to problems in second and third Trimester. I will sometimes explain this to people but sometimes I do decide that they don't need to know. Usually it depends on how and where they ask.

But if my brother or SIL, or DH's brothers and sister and their partners, told one of their friends about us to explain why DS is an 'only' child I wouldn't feel it wasn't their place.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 31-Mar-13 21:58:51

Maybe the DH is upset because his DB wants children and will never have them.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 31-Mar-13 21:49:14

YANBU. His reaction implies that being homosexual is something shocking or embarrassing which should only be revealed to a very few people. Which leads me to believe he still has issues with his brother being gay.

Now, the problem with discussing having children etc is that it is an intrinsically personal conversation. Reasons for wanting children, or not wanting, or being able to have them physically, or not having a partner or being homosexual etc, it's all quite personal, imo. That's the only thing I can think which would excuse his reaction. Would he feel the same way if you'd revealed say, that his brother was unable to father children (in a hetero relationship)? If he would then I think he wasn't BU for being upset; he's just a private person.

Hope this makes sense.

FierceBadIggi Sun 31-Mar-13 21:40:46

Sounds like he cares for his brother in a quiet, embarrassed, don't-frighten-the-horses kind of way. Not sure how he feels for his wife, other than wanting to make her feel bad over nothing.

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