Adam Dupuis's picture

My Brother Wants Me To Be His Best Man, But My Partner Is Not Allowed At Wedding

Reddit.com seems to the new Dear Abby, a sounding board for people looking for advice on the oddest things.  But this new post may be one some of our readers have actually dealt with. Posted in what seems to be a self help LGBT board, one of our fellow gay boys writes:  My brother wants me to be his best man...but won't invite my partner to his wedding

 

I'm new to Reddit, so apologies if I am not posting this in the right place/forum...

This weekend when I went home for Thanksgiving, my parents informed me that my partner was not welcome to attend my brother's wedding. This was no shock, as they have not been supportive since I came out to them 3 years ago, and rarely if ever acknowledge that my partner even exists. You could even say that this was progress for them, because they actually mentioned his name! My extended family does not know I am gay, and i really don't care to come out to them--they are all pretty redneck and not welcoming of people who are different than their narrow view of what a human should be.

Their reasons were pretty shitty--"this is your brother's day, the focus should be on him", "we don't want this to affect our personal lives", "your relatives don't know about your living situation" (as though my partner is just a roommate or something...), etc etc etc. When they asked how I felt about their decision, I asked if they had spoken to my brother about this, to which they said "we've mentioned this to him and he is okay with it." Then I just said "I really don't have anything to say to you." And left the conversation.

Fast forward to the next day--my brother awkwardly asks me to be his best man. Wtf??? I was so shocked that I just said "ummm ok." I wish that I hadn't accepted (even if it was unenthusiastic), but I was just so caught off guard after the conversation I had had with my parents the night before. He was too scared to tell me that he is not going to invite my partner to his wedding, but he wants me to be his best man???

My real dilemma is that while my family's behavior is really shitty--I also kind of don't want to effectively "out" myself to 100+ of my shitty extended family members by bringing my partner to my brothers wedding. So while my family's behavior is appalling, I also agree that I don't want to bring my partner to the wedding, albeit for very different reasons than theirs.

How would you handle this situation?

 

So Instincters, what would you do?

Head over to the Reddit post to see how others have answered.

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I would bring my man. People say that blood is thinker than water but like Ru says as gay people, we get to choose our family. 

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Ny partner and I have attended every sibling's, niece's or nephew's weddings, graduations, etc.The first few times we didn't make an issue about it, just showed up together. We are now part of each others families. After 34 years it is not an issue. I say the hell with what your family thinks. Show up with your partner and have a good time. Let them worry about what others will think or say.

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People are either in your life completely, or they're not. They don't get to edit out the parts of your life they don't "agree with," as if who you are is something to agree with or not in the first place. If your brother cannot accept who you really are, in total, then he doesn't really want you to stand up in his wedding. He wants the version of you he would rather you be. It's not fair to you, and it's not fair to your partner. You have a very grown up and painful choice to make. You can demand your family treat you as you should be treated, and if they cannot then you take your self respect and walk away, or you have to admit to yourself and your partner that you're OK with never being on equal footing with your family. You will also need to be content to be "loved" not for who you are, but for who they want you to be, and only for as long as you comply. If your choice is the latter, you have to also come to terms with the fact that your partner may ultimately choose to find another relationship...one where he is valued above someone else's bigotry. Ask yourself "how would I feel if the love of my life were OK putting his family's bigotry ahead of our relationship?" 

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I attended my sisters wedding without my partner years ago because it was easier for me and I didn't want to cause any family drama.  I felt shitty about it but eventually my family came around.  Everyone is in different stages of acceptance and these family situations are complicated.  I would use this as an opportunity to express how hurt you are that you can't share your life honestly and openly with your family.  A separate conversation with your brother should be had since you may ask him to be your best man in the future too.  How would he feel if you asked him to leave his GF, partner or wife behind?  It's awful for you to have to hide and keep parts of your life separate but use this as an opportunity for growth.  It's your brother and you should step up and be there for his wedding while using this situation to benefit your family's acceptance of you.

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I don't think that it is very fair to hijack your brothers wedding day to make room for your coming out, especially if you consider your future sister-in-law, its her day as well. That said I am not one to subscribe to the whole "coming out" thing, I believe I can and should live my life however I feel fit and anyone with an issue can say so or never talk to me again...makes no difference...and if you don't love me enough to love everything about me then your not worth my time, family or not. But again, your brothers wedding...frankly anyones wedding is not the time. Maybe bring your partner with you for a smaller, less grandiose and important, and memorable day...a birthday or some frequent family diner gathering. Baby steps, allow your family time to get to know your partner...maybe humanizing him will make it easier for them to accept.

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It would not be hijacking anything by simply attending a wedding together. People worry too much about other peoples reactions.

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apologize to your brother and be very honest with him!  If your partner is not allowed to attend then you should let them know that you won't be able to attend either!  I quit attending family gatherings because my partner was never allowed to attend them and I had no problem doing so!  Best of luck! 

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I agree with RR. This kind of conditional get togetherness will not stop at this wedding... next the cousins, then niece, then graduations, summer parties, etc. 

A moment of courage, standing proudly for yourself and the one you love, will make you strong and a better man... not something your family is embarrassed by.

It may be their day but it is your life. 

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Grow some balls, show your partner and yourself a little respect, send a memo out to all family letting them know you are in a loving relationship with another man. Then tell your brother you love him but there is no way you can attend his wedding as long as the person you love is unwelcome. The chances of there only being one gay person in your large family and attending the wedding is pretty slim. You might just help someone else in your family who lives in silence, and you'll definitely help yourself.

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Tell your brother you and partner have something planned on that date.  He should find someone else to be his bestman.

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If you really love your self and your partner you will not particpate in this wedding unless your family includes YOUR family.

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I have conservative ( "redneck"..if you like ) family myself.  Bringing your life-partner is only going to cause unnecessary attention and discomfort to the occasion. You are putting the cart before the horse by bringing him, if you haven't come out to your entire family. Either you're out or you are not. Your BROTHER'S wedding is NOT the time of place to make YOUR statement about YOUR life. Sorry...but you need to show up alone for this one.

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