A man has shared an impassioned defence of why he refuses to visit his grandfather even though he’s dying.
The Reddit user recounted the “homophobic” torment he suffered as a child, detailing how his relative had insulted and mocked him.
In a post on the platform’s “AmItheA**Hole’ forum, the Redditor explained that it had been evident he “played for the same team” from a young age.
“I wasn’t transgender but I wanted to be a princess and at some degree my parents would allow me to dress as a princess, paint my nails,” he said. “I know it’s not the same for everyone, but I was extremely feminine and gay and I showed indications of being like this since I was able to choose things of my liking.”
He went on: “My grandpa in the other hand, tried to ‘straighten me out’... by watching and playing football, baseball and other masculine activities (that made more gay because watching the NFL is how I knew that I def LOVE men)... and then I wanted to be a cheerleader because I [definitely] wanted to cheer those men.”
He then explained how, as he got older and started to earn his own money, he began buying his own clothes, including “heels, dresses and makeup”.
“I was euphoric about the fact that no one [could] stop me from buying my stuff as long as I worked for it. My parents didn’t like it but they accepted it,” he continued.
His grandpa, meanwhile, “wanted nothing from me, doesn’t look at me and behind my back calls me names and a ‘fruit loop’,” he said.
“The point is he is dying and my parents want me to see him but I don’t want to, that man never said anything to me that was encouraging.”
Ending his post, he said: “I don’t care if he ‘fought for my freedom’, I’m tired of giving praise to old men who ‘fought for my freedom’ then get mad when I express it.”
The man’s post racked up thousands of upvotes and more than 330 comments in just two days as fellow Redditors flocked to offer him their support.
“Just because someone is on their deathbed does not give them a right to see anyone if that person is not up to it, especially if they have been intolerant and jerk towards them for years,” one wrote.
“You are made to be perfectly, exactly you, you are amazing,” said another. “Anyone who has a problem with it is wrong, not you. You are not responsible for their self loathing. They are filled with hatred and resentment and love a target to direct it towards.
“Proud of you for loving yourself enough to stand firmly in your shoes (heels) and keeping boundaries.”
And a third remarked: “Your grandfather didn’t love you as you were and tried to make you someone you’re not. Cutting him off is a natural consequence of this behaviour. He made his bed, now he gets to lie in it.”
Some Redditors were hopeful that the granddad might want to make amends Shutterstock / cmp55
However, others gently suggested that the man should still consider seeing his grandfather in case he wanted to say sorry.
“I personally would go and see him just on the off chance that he wants to apologise,” one said. “But if you don’t want to, I don’t blame you. You never [should] have to endure homophobia.”
While another commented: “[The] only reason I would suggest going is if he had specifically asked to see you, because maybe he wanted to make things right. Either way, you are well within your rights to refuse to see him.”
However, a third warned: “I notice you said it was your parents who want you to see him… they didn’t say your grandpa was asking to see you. There’s a good chance he feels exactly as you do on wanting this visit.”
The Redditor responded by saying he was still considering whether or not he would go and see his elderly relative, but stressed: “If he says something stupid im just leaving.”
He added: “It’s just hard for me to get over the things he calls me or always making dumb comments to the way I was raised.
“His political rants that always end with ‘these homos are ruining America’... I just can’t.”