My Gender-Curious Son Saw the Trans Porn I Jerked Off To and Now My Wife Thinks CPS Is Going to Take Our Kids

Savage Love Letter of the Day

Comments

1

So much more damage being done that kid right now from his overbearing, anxious and angry parents than any porn clip. Little kids with anxiety problems learn that shit at home. I have a good friend with young kids. When he was expecting his first, I asked him if he was freaking out. His response was... 'nah... we're going to screw a bunch of stuff up and the kid will most likely turn out fine.' He's kept that attitude, and it's such a breath of fresh air. Wish more parents were that way. LW and his wife need to practice relaxing. Like, a lot.

2

My son accidently saw his parents fucking doggy-style and he still manages to grow up ok. Your son (and mine) just saw something kinda incomprehensible for him, not something violent and/or deeply disturbing. From personal experience, I second Dan that it is traumatic for kids watching their parents (physically) fight, scream at each other, treat each other with no respect, no kindness and no love, etc. And no, it doesn't really make it better if the parents only treat each other shitty. The kid will still wonder for a long time if it is maybe the root of the problem. Trust me on this.

3

The only outrageous behavior by anyone in this play was the wife committing domestic violence by hitting the husband. Hitting a partner isn't OK, even if you are really really mad. I appreciate that Dan pointed this out, but I wonder, had it been a man hitting a woman, would he have counseled her to dump her abuser, or at least require him to seek help and counseling? "She shouldn't have done that" is an inadequate response.

On the porn situation, stop freaking out. The only damage to the kid is seeing their parents freak out, and even commit violence. Most kids are pretty sensitive to the moods of their parents, this kid maybe more than average, and I'm sure these parents are causing a lot of fear in their kid, nothing to do with the porn.

4

Agree Dan. Shut the fuck up about it. The image will just be added to his store of infantile sexual clues, LW. Your wife blew it by making such a big deal, geez, she sounds punitive.
There's nothing wrong with your attractions and your son will know soon enough what is going on re gender and you've told him anyway.
You teach him there are some girls who have a penis then get all freaked out like there's a problem with a girl having a penis.
Have a talk with him, tell him the truth about male masturbation. That it's normal and his dad does it and watches pictures while he does. No mention of video content and leave it there. And tell your wife to pull her head in.

5

LW you are the one who needs to get a divorce from your wife. She sounds like a goddamned lunatic and I wonder what will happen should she catch her teenaged kids watching porn?

Dan is right, five seconds of porn isn't going to cause a much damage as not shutting up about your kid watching five seconds of porn.

You and your wife need a sex positive marriage counselor. Let your son be a kid. And worry when you have something to worry about.

6

We live in the Internet age, and your seven year old son IS going to see things that will curl his hair sooner, rather than later. Kids (especially boys) are hardwired to share that kind of stuff with their friends as soon as they come upon it. I had a deck of playing cards with photos of people doing the horizontal bop in grade school. Moses had an engraved stone tablet with Adam fucking Eve with a snake. So, SOMEBODY is gonna say, "Hey, Billy, check this out! A girl sucking a donkey's penis! A guy sticking his thing in a pig! A boy that looks like a girl, but we know he's a boy, 'cause...whoa! Lookit the SIZE of that wanger!" Might be years from now, might not. It's never too early to have the generic conversation about "things you might see" on the Internet and in the real world, and how it might be confusing but you can always talk to mom & me about it. Let's hope you can use a little more honesty in that conversation than, "my finger lingered on the screen long enough to cause the phone to download the video"!

Oh. And, for fuck's sake, CREATE SEPARATE USERS AND PASSWORDS AND PARENTAL CONTROLS for everone in the whole family! Kids shouldn't be traipsing around in your digital territory, EVER!

7

Oh. And good luck living with your psycho wife.

8

ylene@2 ~ Little Billy saw two dogs fucking and asked his dad what they were doing. "They're making puppies" dad explained. Later that night Billy burst into his parents' and caught them in missionary flagrante delicto, and asked, "What are you & mom doing?" "Making a baby" was the response. "Well," Billy replied, "Flip her over, I'd rather have a puppy!"

9

Bravo Dan.
The kid is fine. The parents are not. When I was seven I walked right into my step-dad's morning wood. I don't remember it at all. He is still mortified to this day.

The hitting thing is something that a child does remember, however. Stop hassling the kid and get into so couples counseling.

10

Why do people marry these psycho bitches?

11

What's with the new format Dan? And who is this Sean guy who writes a million words and takes no comments. And no Sean, Paul Simon was not a worldwide star after Mrs Robinson etc, his duets. Bland singer and blander man.

12

Agree that the hitting is not OK. While there is almost always a physical power imbalance that makes this more dangerous if a man hits a woman, 'outraged slapping' is something that should be ditched along with all our other sexist cultural bs.

13

Ditto, Lava@11 ~ Combined with the no bold/italics in the comments, this place is going to hell in a handbasket!

14

I’m officially an Old at 54, growing up before online porn. I wasn’t much older than Idiot’s son when I discovered my mom’s stash of soft porn and I was totally fascinated. A lot of it was at least a bit kinky for the era. Frankly, not only did it not hurt, it gave me a healthy open mind from an early age. So in short, I agree that backing off is the best course as long as the kid knows he can come to them with any question at all.

15

DonnyKlicious @8: Haha, who doesn't? :-) Gotta remember that one! and yeah, Amen to 6 and 7. The wife is a vicious bitch and the dad an angsty doormat. Poor kid.

16

I agree with Dan that you're making too much out of this relatively minor incident, LW. The problem is, why such a tempest? I'm quite disturbed by your wife's over-reaction (hitting you and wanting a divorce, really?); also your strange acceptance of her behavior, and your overwhelming and continued guilt about this. You looked at trans porn, why is that such a big deal that there's talk about divorce and CPS? Sounds like neither you nor your wife truly believe that your attraction to transwomen and consumption of trans porn is okay and normal. You might think about going to couples counseling to work through this underlying shame (yours), and condemnation (your wife's). Maybe your wife is only jealous of you looking at another woman sexually, or maybe she is a bigot. Either way, it sounds like the problem you have is more about your marriage and your beliefs, and not so much about what your son saw!

You may say all the right things to your children about gender identity and acceptance, but if you consciously or subconsciously don't believe what you preach, your children will pick up on your beliefs - that there's something wrong with trans people and non-heterosexual relationships.

17

At age 4 or 5, I stumbled upon a Penthouse magazine while my dad was getting a haircut. I have both a memory of one photo in particular and of knowing that wasn’t supposed to be looking at such pictures. But even if I couldn’t articulate my interest in those women, I knew that I was deeply interested in them, and the only effect of that experience was that I probably developed an interest in blondes.

As @6/DonnyKlicious noted, by the time I was 7 or 8, boys would occasionally come into possession of porn and share it with their friends, but we seemed to know that was supposed to be a secret from our parents.

That was all before 1980, and porn is far more accessible today then 40 years ago. So what does IDIOT and Mrs. IDIOT think their son is going to see soon, if he hasn’t already? Better to start having conversations about sex, masturbation, porn, and how to treat people then worry about what he caught he quickly glimpsed.

18

I think this LW is giving me hang-ups. Christ!

Dan's right. Stop self-flagellating for a sec and drop it. If you MUST address with your kid, it should be something like "Some things - like that video you saw, car insurance, mortgages - they're for grownups, not kids. If you have questions, you can always ask us."

Rather than twisting yourself in knots to be accepting and sex-positive, etc, model that shit. A matter-of-fact attitude around issues of sexuality and gender is far more impactful than any capital-C Conversation.

Also the groveling, hitting, tension? That's fucked up. At that age, kids need stability and security so they can focus on learning spelling words and getting as dirty as possible. They need loving parents who are in control of themselves and firmly in charge. LW and his wife should get themselves right foremost.

Finally, that wife needs to be brought up hard for slapping LW. If that's how she handles anger, the problems are much deeper than a porn clip.

19

People who genuinely believe they deserve to be the recipients of domestic violence should not be raising children. LW, please get over that yesterday, whatever happens with Wife (and a home with a physically abusive female spouse/parent is no picnic; I can offer firsthand testimony).

20

Blah blah blah blah blah everything is fine no one got hurt

21

Hell, who doesn't wake up in the morning with a strong urge to drink coffee?

22

Yes, the physical violence is scary. And the LW thinks he deserved it. A regular form of punishment, is it? Does she hit the kids too when her temper is up?
more going on here LW than you watching a bit of trans porn. And get off the poor kids back, it's a scary world. We're all anxious. Kids are in the moment, just create a safe and loving home for them and watch what they up to outside.

23

I wanted to add a comment about the bit in which LW said his wife is afraid that the kid will get taken by CPS, grow up feeling marginalized and then have to turn to sex-work.

Um, wow. There's so much wrong here, especially coupled with her propensity for violence. Whatever goes on in her head, it sounds like she's making sure everyone gets to participate in her issues and make 'em their own.

24

I watched Ghostbusters over and over as a kid. There’s a scene where Ray is lying on his bed and a ghost undoes his belt and fly and a there’s shot of him gasping in ecstasy. I never caught on what all that meant as a kid I just watched it and forgot about it.
Sounds like your kid did the same with the coffee thing. Good that you checked in with him tho to make sure he was ok.

25

I've got a laggy phone and it all-too-often interprets a tap or a drag as a tap-and-hold. It's perfectly plausible.

@8: lmao
@21: also lmao

26

When I was a kid, I discovered my moms butt plug and bullet vibe. I discovered my dad’s erotic literature in his office. I discovered a diary from when my parents first got married where my mom talked about my dad calling a sex phone line and how it wrecked her confidence in his attraction to her. I’ve been exposed to all sorts of details about my parents sex lives and proclivities. It never fucked me up. I DO have anxiety and depression, but I’m certain that those things have been caused by genetics, not by knowing that my mom likes ass play.

27

the time has passed to talk about it until something else comes up, and maybe he'll forget maybe not, but the kid was probably lying about "drinking coffee," as kids do. the mom is not at fault for reacting to idiot keeping his habit hidden, nor his automation unawares. i remember porn i saw as a kid, starting at 8, and it has and continues to mess with me.

28

What Dan said, as usual. ALSO holy shit, if 7-year old me got a quick glimpse of something before Mom ripped it out of my hand, smacked my dad and ushered me out of the room, I WOULD MAKE IT MY LIFE GOAL TO SEE WHAT THE HELL WAS IN THAT VIDEO. This is Arc of the Covenant-level goods, I'd assume.

@21 Hahahaha

29

All children go through developmental stages. All seven year old are angst ridden, think about dying and talk about “deep things.” Then the kid turns 8 and becomes a stand up comic, loves Knock-knock jokes, sings made up songs. Please, please if you are going to parent, please educate yourself not only about children’s physical development ( when they sit up, talk, skip, can ride a bike,) but also about the psychological stages of growing up (fear of strangers, tantrums, bad dreams, etc) I promise you “Life in a Minor Key” becomes “Lively and Outgoing.” Please google & read the books in the series. Then go to therapy and deal with your issues before you Fuck up a Great Kid!

30

Was the wife aware of the husband's porn habits? If not it may explain her sudden eruption. Regardless, there is way too much drama attached to what had barely happened.

It seems like hubby is afraid of wifey’s rage more than anything else. But just in case the CPS knocks on the door, tell them the truth: you like watching those videos and you downloaded it accidentally and unknowingly. You didn’t force it on your child, it was an accident that only lasted few seconds, and steps were taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Then tell them to fuck off and mind their own business, unless you live in Texas (dear Emma Liz- I only added this part as a “conceptual continuity,” based on some recent posts and discussions we had in here.)

As for my own scavenger hunting, I once found an illustrated positions book in my parents’ bedroom that much to my dismay did not include nudity. I was already a teenager, so after the initial chuckling I remember thinking that maybe my father is not such a bore after all.
I was wrong.

31

I am not condoning the slapping but stop and think this through a sec... rather then just assuming a perfectly unknown woman is a assaulting bitch... consider - did the wife know her hubs was an admirer of the cock beyond his own? Did she even know Idiot viewed porn at all? Some men do not, or their wives don’t know they do and might consider it a form of betrayal if the man was hiding it. She may have received quite the shock, only enhanced by that shock being delivered to her through the hands of her 7 year old son by means of an even larger shock if she was not trans and cock-admiration by her hubs prepared. It’s easy to point and judge... better to have heard her version too rather than just Idiot’s. It’s always instructive to hear both sides.

32

"Does knowledge that porn exists at such a young age completely doom my kid to a lifetime of looking for it?"
No, but he will probably spend a decent part of his life looking at it anyway.
He probably won't spend too long looking for it though, because the internet exists.
One quick Google search is all it takes.

On a much more serious note, you and your wife both need to see a therapist.
Domestic violence is never okay.
She shouldn't be doing it, and you shouldn't tolerate it. The fact that you think it was okay for her to hit you and the fact that you think you deserved "worse" shows that you have as much of a problem as she does.
You should also know that your child was "maybe a little extra cuddly and lovey-dovey, if ever so subtly" because you and your wife were fighting, not because of a quick glimpse of a video.
If you're really concerned about your children's future, and I'm sure you are, this is the real problem you need to be worried about, and the problem you need to fix.
Soon.

33

LW, you deserve to be hit in the face because your son accidentally saw two seconds of porn he doesn't understand and that he forgot about two seconds later? I remember once sitting down to what I thought was my uncle's VHS copy of a Halloween movie and it cut to porn a few seconds past the intro, he had accidentally copied over it and forgot he did it. My mom just calmly said "Oops, wrong film," and then, without making it a federal case, took it out. Although I recall knowing in my pre-10 mind that it was porn, nobody mentioned anything, and it never turned into anything but a memory of how to handle this: calmly and without a huge fuss. Thank you, mom, for modeling how not to freak out. It was just an accident, nothing malicious, and it was never treated as a big deal, because it wasn't a big deal. Nobody got hurt, nobody did anything worth being slapped over, and we went on with our lives. For the record, it was straight porn, and I turned out to be anything but straight. So much for the monstrous impact of that earth-shattering primal scene on my developing young psyche.

You, LW, are a nervous wreck because oh no, your son saw your porn for two seconds. It's the end of the world, your son saw a woman with a penis for long enough to be like "eh," might as well just give up on your marriage and children now! Shit happens. Your wife had you in the doghouse probably more for the porn than for anything else. Yeah, you screwed up but jesus, "I deserve this, I deserve to suffer! I'm an idiot, I'm so dumb, boo hoo, why am I such a horrible monster?" for looking at trans porn on your phone on accident is nothing but melodramatic self-pity. If you deserve a smack, it's for being a drama queen.

As for your child's gender, let's face it, you don't have a clue what that's going to turn out to be, it is way, way, way too early for you to make any calls about that and two seconds of seeing your porn won't do anything at all, any more than me seeing two seconds of my uncle's porn way back when did to me, which was nothing. Get over it.

@1 is spot on about this. Jesus, take a breather once in a while.

34

Thank you Dan for the link to Richard Spencer getting king hit - it never gets old, nor fails to make me smile.

35

Imagine if people freaked out this much when their kid accidentally sees a clip of a guy getting cut up with a chainsaw in Scarface, or men chopped in half in Saving Private Ryan. Sex is sooooooooo damaging but our society is so steeped in violence we never even think about it.

36
  1. You're not an IDIOT, stop trash talking yourself. You're obviously very smart and conscientious. And stop justifying your wife's abusive tendencies. You and SHE need to work on this explosive anger/codependent dynamic because that's what's really the problem here.

  2. On the one hand you don't want to fuck up your kid's sense of gender by being proscriptive, that's very progressive...but you seem to have no problem fucking up his sense of sexuality by COMPLETELY LOSING YOUR SHIT over a little porn? I know people with deep-seated sexual self hatred because their parents would approach any mention of sex with a face like {:[

  3. "Mom what's a vagina"--ok so, probably around 11 and a half is when he might start really remembering the physical specifics and about when he might even begin to need guidance about adult feelings like lust. Chill out! It took me till I was 13 to find my dad's porno and it was overwhelming and fascinating, but the real thing that freaked me out was the parental freakout I expected if my folks ever found me snooping. I never worried "Are all men pigs? Am I destined 2 be a fuck toy? Does my dad having a sex life degrade my humanity?"--THAT came from listening to Tom Leykis! Your kid will be fine, and honestly, more likely to be turned on by slapping, now? Work out your priorities (NO SLAPPING, FEWER SHAME K-HOLES), and forgive yourself as much as you can for merely-dumbass porn-mishaps. You're a fine dad.

37

True @36, he does sound like a fine dad, if a little overinvested. Yes as parents we have to watch kids to make sure they are happy and being safe, we also need to back off a bit and let their inner lives develop, which is what happened in the fifties when I grew up, parents let us be. My mother knew nothing of what I got up to as a kid, and that suited me fine. Later, when she got it in her mind to control, it was too late.
And kids find out about sex and have sexual feelings a lot younger than eleven. I was in a caravan with a couple who were my parents' friends, and I woke to them fucking in the night. I was five. Then the first boy I went to a school dance with, again about five, I had a mad crush on him. Though I'd fallen over the day before and had a huge egg on my forehead.

38

What a fuss over nothing except the part about his wife hitting him. That's the worst bit.

39

I almost missed the part where the LW actually thinks his kid will develop sexual fetishes in an "unnatural" way, that was worth a laugh. LW, when I first learned what I liked, I didn't know any porn of it existed. At least, I didn't yet know how to really search for it. Tell your kid to invest some academic time and effort in library science, they will thank you! However, I had this thing called an imagination that can actually produce its own porn. If I recall correctly, that porn wasn't very good--ham acting, bad storylines, and the crossdressing on my imaginary partners was tasteless--but I didn't know it at time. It was not any better than being on the internet looking at it, and every kid knows straight porn exists. Every kid past a certain age knows by osmosis that this stuff is out there.

The only natural method for your child to develop a sexuality is for your child to do this on their own, in other words, leave this issue the fuck alone. Don't--DON'T--try now to guide the rudder of this future child's tastes or else you will for sure act like some freaked-out goofus who in trying to be 'natural' flips his lid about everything.
"Hey dad can you pass the sa--"
"SONIMSORRYILOOKEDATTRANSPORNWHENYOUWEREYOUNGERPLEASEDONTGROWUPTOLIKEPORNORIFYOUDOPLEASEDOITNATURALLY!"
"What?"

40

I wasn’t going to post about this- but I can’t stand reading the comments anymore. About half the posters think the LW is lying to put himself in the best light re “accidentally” downloading the video. However no one seems to have any issues with taking his comments about his wife at face value and jumping on a misogynistic bandwagon about divorcing her or accusing her of domestic abuse. While it’s clear that tensions between these two parents are unfortunately boiling over in front of the kids- we have no idea why his wife is so upset. Perhaps there is more going on here. Lies may have been told, promises broken. It’s a difficult situation being irrevocably tied to another individual through sharing a young child especially if he entered into this relationship under false pretexts. We really don’t know the whole story and should withhold judgement based on this one sided account.

41

Much Ado About Nothing.

I agree. The stress, frustration, angst, and self loathing IDIOT and his wife are currently going through are much more detrimental to the kid than that video will ever be.
I’m not in the domestic violence camp with regards to the wife’s slap across IDIOT’s face, but I do find her outburst to be the most problematic part of the letter. A momentary burst of anger? Comprehensible. A slap, even? Debatable. Outright asking for a divorce because your husband was the unwilling cause of your 7 yo seeing 5 seconds of porn involving his own genitals? Not exactly what I would expect from a loving spouse in a “monogamous, committed LTR with reasonably good heads on the shoulders of both partners”.

In a union so defined, I wouldn’t expect “divorce” to be a common word being thrown around in anger. And neither would I expect the word to be spoken by a “decently good, loving, supportive parent” right after a young child has been made to exit the room after seemingly being found doing something inappropriate. Five seconds of porn might not shock a 7 yo. Overhearing your mother talking about divorce right after having the impression of being caught doing something wrong most certainly will.
That she’d even go there suggests to me that there’s a lot being left unspoken, either in the letter or between husband and wife, with regards to his sexual preferences and “me time” routine and/or Alan’s sexuality and identification. Especially since she’s so certain that either thing is so obviously perceived as bad by society that CPS would be all over them in no time if the story circulated.

On the plus side, I really enjoy e reading the letter. Very well written!

42

CMD, In Texas, when I was about the age of the kid in this letter, a group of kids and I were walking home from school and happened past a field where a bull was fucking a cow. We all stood at the fence and watched. I had no idea what was going on. An older kid said, "this is what your dad does to you mom at night". That made no sense to me since my parents don't have four legs. So I laughed, picturing them alone in their rooms, crawling around on four legs, pretending to be cows.

To the LW...

Let the very minor incident with the porn aside and let aside also the much more serious incident with the wife flying into a rage and being abusive. This child is growing up in a household in which every single thing he does and says is over-analyzed and discussed. I don't think this is good for anyone. Not surprising that it would cause anxiety- if you are under constant focus and minor things you do could cause blow ups and days of "are you ok" conversations including with specialists, you might find that nerve wracking. That a glimpse of porn could cause this much of a freak out, it makes me wonder about the "gender curious" stuff. The kid is at the age where he's wondering where babies come from and what body parts are like. That's normal. I wonder if he just asked a bunch of perfectly normal questions about bodies and how people act, and then his well-intentioned but totally insane parents overanalyzed it in this same way then concluded the kid must be gender curious and might be trans so let's make sure we treat him in this or that way and discuss it with therapists etc. And anxiety kicked in a few years ago? This is a seven year old. So he had an anxiety disorder as a toddler? Preschooler? I'd say pull way back and stop freaking out in general. Stop over analyzing yourself as well and stop blaming yourself and beating yourself up for perfectly normal things. And stop thinking that every single decision you make or totally minor occurrence in your household is going to have lifelong impacts on your kids. Even if that's true (and it's not) then it's true in the reverse too- so just let shit go. And calm the fuck down.

It's unfortunate that the child caught a glimpse of your porn even though you've tried to be responsible and keep it away from him. But it's fucking hilarious that his 7 year old explanation for what he saw was a woman drinking coffee. And if you want to be overly analytical, then you can interpret this in two ways. One is that that's really what he remembers seeing- it's how his baby brain lodged the memory. The other is that he's trying to avoid a long drawn-out discussion with you or your wife either because he's smart feel that talking about porn with parents isn't something anyone wants to do or because he's learning how to avoid being drawn into these overly analytical conversations with you.

43

I remember seeing a skit on SNL when I was a kid that I just didn't get. It was about a woman trying to get a job as a house cleaner. The punchline was "And I don't do windows!". And, it wasn't funny at all (not that that's too surprising). Of course, what I didn't appreciate was that the woman was in a sexy outfit entirely inappropriate to house cleaning. What makes it come to mind is that I remember it being an example of a skit where I knew there was a joke, but I just couldn't figure out what it was because I was too young to think in those terms. Women wear weird clothes sometimes.

44

Centercity@40 ~ “...(we) should withhold judgement based on this one sided account...”

You’re missing the whole way a comment section works. We never have all the information. Facts not in evidence may be speculated on, but the endless possibilities can drive you crazy if you let them. I approach the letters as a one-sided version of the truth and go from there. Passing judgement is fair game, as is trying to be helpful. In fact, I think in many cases, passing judgement IS helpful. If the whole world tells you you are an asshole, you might want to think about that.

45

Donny I agree with you entirely, but I think 40's point was that commenters are happy to speculate that he's misrepresenting the situation in regards to how the porn ended up on his phone but they are unwilling to speculate that he's likewise misrepresenting the situation regarding his wife's response. In your approach to speculation, you have to decide that you think he's an unreliable narrator or he's not.

Could someone who says he's finger just lingered a little too long on and oops downloaded porn not also exaggerate his wife's response?

For myself, I choose to believe him on both accounts- I have accidentally downloaded porn that I just thought I was viewing and I don't see anything unbelievable about his description of his wife's abusive behavior. But also I could see that someone who has so internalized all this guilt and shame and worry might also lie about downloading porn but not lie about abuse because he honestly believes he deserves it. So I don't agree with Centercity's conclusions, but I do see the point they are making.

46

The more I think about it I suspect the wife didn’t know about husband’s porn habit. It was his shameful secret, which may explain his guilt. It may also explain (not justify) her violent reaction, as well as his acceptance of it as a punishment he deserves.
I also suspect this dynamic has been going on for some time before husband’s secret was reveled, and probably reviled.
I’m a suspicious person. I also suspect I may be projecting.

47

Cringing, angsting, and blaming everything on yourself can also be signs of a battered spouse or partner. I wonder if his wife's violent reaction to finding his porn was an isolated incident, or an ongoing pattern of behavior.

48

The fact that he says she called him over, shouted at him, smacked his face, said she wanted a divorce, etc and then did not qualify it with "nothing like this has ever happened before" is conspicuous. Instead he says "I deserved it".

49

No one deserves to be hit in the face.
No asterisk.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Isaac Asimov

50

@46 Maybe, sure. It does make me wonder the same since she did it immediately following discovering that. He calls himself an oaf, too, and I'm inclined to believe him if he's both neurotic and bungling. She's not necessarily any better, but leaving parenting aside, we never hear if she knew he was a kinsey "1.5," these are the kinds of people who never leave the closet because to them, guys and transwomen are never more than a fetish.

51

I found my stepdad'a pile of Playboy magazines when I was a kid. When I looked at the photos it made me tingly down below. I grew up to be a straight cis woman, totally attracted to men. The kid is fine. The parents are train wrecks.

52

Kudos to Dan on correcting this IDIOT's assertion that he "deserved to be hit in the face", in a great reply. I was surprised that a letter that long kept me engaged, and that the LW was generally sympathetic.

Off topic, as an IT pro I must caution against a good backup solution (which Google Photos probably ought to be part of) being abandoned as the easy solution, because when one decides to not back up data, one is deciding to lose it (sooner or later).

I suggest that IDIOT reconfigure his sharing somehow so that Alan only sees the part of his Google Photos that IDIOT actively chooses.

(I don't use a smartphone myself, but googling tells me that one can share only specific albums. I'm assuming that some configuration of user accounts and/or Google Photos for the father and son will allow the adult to monitor all his son's photos, but for the son to only see what the father actively chooses for him to.)

53

idiot did everything right, he's open-minded and a great father, and he didn't do anything wrong at all (just ask him) he just forgot about automation that one time, so he deserved it and there's nothing else going on here, he's definitely not looking for a 3rd party to confirm he's a good guy and not a disingenuous sleeze let alone a gaslighter. can't a guy catch a break in this workaday world?

54

Further supporting #48: Data point 1: the first-grader has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which is a little more than just being angsty. Data point 2: the kid's mother reacted to a video that first-grader didn't understand by shouting at his dad, hitting his dad in the face, and threatening his dad with divorce, which his father took in stride as something he deserved. But hey, I'm sure she lowered her voice when she made that threat, and I'm sure the kid wasn't listening at the door: no kid would ever do that when their parents are having a fight resulting from something the kid did. And since then the kid has been maybe, subtly, a little extra cuddly. No shit. You know, if this is part of an ongoing pattern, it just might be an explanation why the kid has an anxiety disorder.

55

Old Crow’s comment @54 made me realize...

Might it be that Alan’s female-identifying period came right after the birth of a sister? Who, as all newborns, suddenly took a lot of attention away from him when the only distinction he could make between the two of them was gender... so he maybe possibly started presenting himself as a girl just to “fit back in” in a way?

I have no training or experience in this. I don’t even know if this can even be a thing. I’m just going on a limb here. But since these parents seem to make mountains out of molehills in an attempt to be great, supportive parents, they might just have taken their son’s very basic request for attention as a super modern OMG-speshul gender queerness. Until the Brangelinas made headlines for this, I doubt anyone would have ever suspected a kid playing with pronouns to be undergoing any major life definyning moments (not more life defunding that anything toddlers do and discover, at least).

56

*defining

57

@53 we are totally on the same page here

58

Reading the letter, I was thinking the problem was a pair of helicopter parents, hovering over the child and reading too much into the moment. But then I came upon the statement about the wife hitting him and demanding a divorce. That came across to me as the real problem in this picture. It's just as wrong for a woman to hit a man as it is for a man to hit a woman. That the writer seems to think it was his fault that he got hit makes me think this may not have been the first instance of it happening. Seek professional help man, for both of you. Frankly, I think your (both of you) hovering and questioning of the child the following several days over the incident won't help him any but might make him feel there was something wrong with what he saw. But seeing a parent screaming and hitting their partner is damaging to the child (children). Chill out about the glimpse of the video and focus on the actual problem...the domestic violence. One time or one hundred times, it's still wrong and no one 'deserves' it.

59

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