Commenters in a popular internet forum supported a man who said in a now-viral post that he wants to include his “Black family” in his family wedding photos, despite his parents’ wishes.
Posting in Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) forum under a throwaway account, the man—who’s white—explained that he briefly lived with his best friend’s family, otherwise known as his “Black family,” as a teenager after his parents kicked him out.
The post has garnered more than 11,000 upvotes and over 700 comments from Redditors who argued that his best friend’s family should be included in his wedding photos, considering they were the ones who took him in after his biological family cast him out.
At the beginning of his post, the man explained that his sister “outed” him as gay to his “very wealthy, conservative parents” when he was 16.
“After a long back-and-forth between them and me, they decided to kick me out two days after my 17th birthday,” he said.
According to a 2017 study from Chapin Hall, LGBT youth are “120 percent more likely to experience homelessness than their heterosexual and cisgendered peers,” Newsweek reported.
The study found that of the U.S.’s 1.6 million homeless youth, more than 40 percent identified as LGBT. This homelessness rate, said the study, is “rooted in the lack of acceptance of LGBT youth, both in and outside their homes.”
“Most homeless LGBT people end up on the streets before their 18th birthday, and about a quarter first experience homelessness before they celebrate their sweet 16,” the study found, according to Newsweek.
Fortunately, the Redditor said his friend’s family took him in after his parents kicked him out.
“In the six months I lived there, my friend’s mom became my mom, and her dad became my dad. When my friend’s family would explain who I was to other people, they would always say they’re my Black family (or Black mom, Black dad, etc.) and say my white family was taking some time to figure things out,” he wrote.
Though he eventually moved back in with his “biological” parents, he said his best friend’s family, “never stopped being [his] family.”
Now, over a decade later, the man is getting married and his biological parents are “paying for a large portion of the wedding.” Naturally, he wants his friend’s family included in the “family-only” photos, but his biological parents are opposed to the idea.
“[My parents] say including my ‘adoptive’ family would be rubbing in their mistake from 15 years ago, and a mistake they’ve corrected,” the man told Newsweek. “They believe my second family being included detracts from them being included.”
Despite his parents’ feelings, the man said he intends to include both families in his family portraits, but he wanted to know: “AITA?”
Commenters assured the man that he was not in the wrong but encouraged him to take separate family photos.
“NTA. But personally, if I were you, I wouldn’t even want photos taken together. I would do bio family and chosen family separately. And you know what? I would only display my chosen family’s photo,” said u/columbospeugeot.
“Pay the photographer a lil extra to extend their time for you to have some shots with your other family. And make sure you hang that photo up right next to your biological parents’ photos,” commented u/shzan1. “They f**ked up big time where your other family stepped up. You want to give them the recognition they deserve, so go for it.”
Redditor u/Majestic-Chair-3401 added: “NTA. To begin with, it’s not your parents’ wedding. And they ARE your family, so if you want them at the wedding and in the pictures then they should be.”
Of course, the Redditor isn’t the first AITA poster to go viral recently. Earlier this month, a woman caught Reddit’s attention for sharing that her husband didn’t get her a Mother’s Day gift following the death of her only child. Also this month, a woman went viral after admitting that she planned on missing her best friend’s wedding “just because.”
Updated 05/17/2022, 5:16 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from the original poster.