Every parent wants to foster friendships between other parents and among the children in a community. While this seems like it should be an easy thing to accomplish by just being nice to each other, some parents can’t seem to maintain civility, not even for the sake of their children.
One upset dad took to Reddit and revealed that he had disinvited a 6-year-old from his daughter’s Halloween and birthday party. Why would he be so cruel? It’s more complicated than you might expect and the child’s mom deserves blame.
According to the dad on Reddit, he’d already put up with microaggressions before from a mom who didn’t seem to like him simply because he was a gay man married to another man.
While the mom had never said anything explicitly derogatory, there were signs along the way that the dad experienced that started raising some red flags. His daughter and the mom-in-question’s child both play on the same soccer team together and on few instances, she’d been rude to him.
“For example, last year I was putting my daughter’s hair up before practice, and she walked up to us and asked my daughter if she wanted a lady to do her hair,” he shared on Reddit.
While that instance wasn’t expressly homophobic, the dad felt as if the mom of his daughter’s friend was targeting him.
“Others have told me that she’s homophobic,” he wrote, “but as long as it didn’t affect me or my daughter, I didn’t waste two thoughts about it.”
As the dad was trying to go with the flow and be a good parent, he joined a Zoom call organized by parents of the children’s soccer league.
“Only four parents showed up and I was the only man/husband on the call,” the dad explained.
The Zoom call for the soccer league was when things took a sharp turn for the worse.
“First of all, the mother in question kept referring to everyone as ‘ladies,’ which I let go,” he wrote. “Then I suggested that maybe we start providing healthier snacks to fuel the kids before practice, since for the past few weeks they’ve been getting donuts and soda. I am personally vegan but my daughter and husband are not, nor did I mention any vegan snacks. However, the mother flipped out at me.”
One minute you are dreading a Zoom call about snacks, the next another parent is calling you a f—–t. This dad soon learned how deep the mother’s hate went.
“We got into an argument, and while I was arguing for the health benefits of including fruits and veggies in young diets, she made it into a personality attack,” he described. “During our argument, she called me a soyboy, f-g–t, and told me that my family were a horrible influence on the team.”
We know you’re probably stunned, dear reader, and well you should be. People tend to think 2020 is all hunkey-dorey for queer people but folks will come out of the woodwork, please trust.
“To say I was angry to holy hell is an understatement,” the dad wrote. “But I kept my outer cool.”
“I told her that she was the horrible influence and that I wouldn’t subject her or her child to my influence, so they were not coming to my daughter’s party or future events,” the dad declared.
Good for this dad who stood up for himself without getting as heated as the situation probably warranted. Thankfully, the other parents on the call later reached out and expressed their unease in what they witnessed homophobic-mom say.
“The other parents on the call have reached out with sympathy and supported my handling of the situation,” he revealed. “I reached out to the soccer league, but since it’s publicly funded, there needs to be a slow inquiry in order to remove anyone. She’s been asked to stay away from practice until it’s complete.”
The incident was horrible enough, but after the dad told his husband about it, his husband disagreed.
“He said that the 6-year-old did nothing wrong and banning her would make her more likely to believe her mom’s homophobia,” the dad explained. “I’m not saying he’s wrong, but this once I didn’t want my life to be someone else’s learning experience. It would be different if the daughter was older, but she’s 6 and if anything went wrong at the party we’d be liable for the daughter.”
The dad goes on to explain in the post that he planned to tell his daughter about it so that she understands where he’s coming from. He didn’t want to hide the fact that his friend’s mom was a homophobe and her views and treatment of him were the motivating factors for the disinvite. He planned to ensure that his child knows that hate is not welcome in their home.
As much as he feels what he did was right, his husband’s response has him second-guessing himself, which is why he took the question to the great folks on Reddit: Was he actually the one in the wrong for banning the woman’s daughter from the party?
A resounding “no” you’re not wrong is what Reddit delivered the dad, with some offering helpful suggestions for how to proceed.
“The mother of the other child is [wrong], and while I respect your husband’s opinion, I can’t see any way how a 6-year-old friend can be taken to the party without the mother being involved,” one person responded. “I’m really sorry you have to tolerate such bigotry.”
“Who is homophobic in 2020?” another commenter wrote. “Seriously people, get over it! People will love who they love and [that’s] it. If people can’t learn to accept that they can go live in some cave somewhere with people that have the same mentality, then we can seal that cave off with concrete.”
Others urged the dad to think of it as a constructive learning situation for his daughter.
“Unfortunately, your daughter has to learn sooner or later that people will hate her daddies because they’re her two daddies,” one person offered. “Because of that, these people will tell their kids to stay away from you and your daughter. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the world we live in.”
“Simply tell your daughter that her friend is welcome, but her Mom isn’t,” another suggested as a solution.
While the majority of responses were roundly in support of the dad and his decision, others had differing ideas.
“I think it was petty of you to take it out on the children,” one person burped. “A lot of people saying [you’re not wrong], but I’ll stand my ground. I can’t tell you how many times I had a friend’s parent take me to a party growing up simply because it was easier, so I guess my point is that there could have been a workaround or a compromise of sorts.”
The handful of detractors were in the minority. One response crystalized the consensus of the response:
“That mom sounds like a piece of work and maybe she’ll learn that her behavior can affect her [kid’s] friendships. It sucks that the kid can’t go to your daughter’s party, but unless her dad could take her or you’d be fine with her there without a parent, there’s really no other option other than to suffer through your own daughter’s birthday.”
Moral of the story: don’t put up with hate-filled speech. If it happens to you, call it out. If you see it happening to others, do the same. In the dad’s telling, not a single person on that Zoom call came to this dad’s defense in the moment. We have to do better when it comes to standing up for how we believe others should be treated.