I've Upset the Vegans



Lobsters are the cockroaches of the sea. Isn't eating bugs a sustainable way to live?


Vegans - because getting to be upset all the time is worth eating tofu all the time.


You've upset one vegan. The ones riding high horses have not been vegan for long (and probably wont be).


David @ 2 - It's the causal relationship that they won't admit: eating tofu all the time makes you angry all the time.

Hey! Can't believe it, but it appears that something fun happened in the Montreal metro!!!


Oh Lawsy! The F word!! * clutches pearls *


It’s not that hard to upset vegans.


"Bring home the baked goods" is a fed horse we need to stop feeding.


First vegan writer: I think you meant “sentient,” not “sentiment” beings (although I’m willing to blame autocorrect for that one, since it just tried to do the same thing to me). The problem with that argument is, there is absolutely zero evidence that lobsters are sentient. None. Nada. Zilch.

And why even bring sentience into it? Very few species are mentally complex enough to be capable of it (if any are; some scientists don’t even think we humans are, so our ability to judge that in another species may be severely flawed). And almost no possibly sentient species are on the list of things most humans will eat, anyway (notable exceptions are dolphins and whales). So, if you’re trying to protect all of the species that we DO eat, and which almost no scientist will argue are capable of sentience, you need to drop that part of the argument and walk away.

Of course, then I start to wonder why y’all think it’s okay to eat plants (some of which have shown a lot more signs of self-awareness than lobsters, incidentally), but that’s an argument for another day.


The 'reader-advice-roundup' columns are rarely the highpoint of the week.


I wish that asshole DGBIL had checked in about something more central to his letter.


Right? Like, whether BIL is gay or bi was the least important thing about that letter.


FWIW, I will always be in favor of telling sanctimonious vegans to fuck off. These lectures are like religious proselytizing or sending dick pics: fine to enjoy privately and with like-minded others, but unless someone asks, keep it to yourself.


Is there anything more predictable or tedious than an outraged vegan?


This Sendler article was super fascinating -- https://gizmodo.com/the-fake-sex-doctor-who-conned-the-media-into-publicizi-1832711205 -- I hope that Dan talks a little about it on his podcast or in the column.


@14: Interviewed the author for next week's podcast.


Fans obsessed with Suzanne Vega can be absolutely brutal.


@1, No, prawns are the cockroaches of the sea.


Yeah... gonna disagree with what that DGBIL-clone LW said. It's no longer just "your truth" when it starts affecting the people around you. You took a big steaming shit on your wedding vows, but hey, the bad actor is your wife for not covering for you after you betrayed her? No. Everyone around you is not obligated to bend over backwards so that a cheater can present himself in his favorite light, in his own good time.

And it's not bad-mouthing either. Bad-mouthing your ex to the kids is an obvious no-no, but bad-mouthing is basically all opinion. The fact that you're divorcing because you got caught cheating on your wife with a man is a fact.

The only person who benefits from keeping this secret is the cheater, and his need to maintain a false image to his kids and the world in general doesn't negate his kids' need not to feel gaslit by a bunch of lies about how "well, we just grew apart," or his wife's need to not have to cover for him any more.

Also, that "the sister was so horrible that BIL finally gave up and sought comfort in the arms of another" is a load of self-serving crap. If she was that bad, he could have left. You chose to stay and cheat because you want to have your respectable wifey and dick on the side, and once all your lying comes out, no one's obligated to cover for you any more.


Obviously the only ethical thing for us all to do is starve to death.


Now I want a fucking steak.


Dear Dan: Please tell more sanctimonious vegans to fuck off. I enjoyed it immensely. Signed, a longtime reader and fan


If one is OK with saying there's no God (which I am), how is it not OK to express reasonable concerns about eating other animals? Sure there are differences, but there are also solid similarities.


@22- I'm a little bit lost as to the similarities between "saying there is no God" and being concerned about eating animals.


@23 dvs99
I can see that; I mean as far as the substance of the two things they /are/ quite different.

Both things profoundly question and upset those they're directed towards. They're statements likely to be as deeply important to those saying them as they are infuriating to those who don't agree with them. And while pretty unlikely to result in changing anyone's mind, I think justifiable to be said because neither of the two things are trivial matters.

On the one hand you have the question of whether or not people are believing in a supreme being that exists or not (not long ago I used Jefferson's words here to speak for me that I think religious and cult indoctrination is a "form of tyranny over the mind of man"). On the other hand, you have the questions around eating other beings. As I said, I think neither involve trivial matters, and both are very unwelcome.

It is in this that it seems to me consistent to either welcome, or oppose, both practices.


I'm a long time vegetarian and even if I wasn't I really don't care for lobster. Yet it would never occur to me to be offended by a lobster-eating analogy.


Oh, so your ex was "a real peach"? You think maybe she was justifiably pissed off about you fucking around behind her back for four years? You weren't the victim in that situation, buddy.


See, I objected to the extra lobster analogy for the opposite reason- I think lobster is delicious, and don't necessarily want to associate it with other people's kinky sex. So please, do consider the seafood lovers.


@Dan the Man, I absolutely adore you for pissing off sanctimonious vegans as well as RepubliKKKans. Keep it up!


I’ve expressed my support for the original fuck off in the past and find no reason to change my position.
TheLastComment @25 saved me the explanation.

Ricardo @ 4
Please elaborate on the Montreal metro fun. My short research was inconclusive and no pants ride occurred some 6 weeks ago.

Rafi @ 27 “I think lobster is delicious, and don't necessarily want to associate it with other people's kinky sex”
Why not associate it with your very own kinky sex?

The booty video at the end is even better when viewed on the instagram loop, let alone after a strong brew and some recently legalized.


@10. curious. There's evidence of his talking more with his sister, though. I'll row back on some of what I implied about his being on a high horse and disconnected from his family. I don't like the idea of some bi people being in denial of their fundamental gayness.

I suspect that veganism is Puritanism-adjacent, to use a modish word. The reason people don't like the thought of eating lobster--lobster, for heaven's sake; not even farmed salmon--is that they're squicked by it. To me, not liking lobster is like not liking being rimmed. It’s hard for me to get my head round. For someone to come out with the public pronouncement that they don't like lobster / rimjobs is much more comprehensible; it's a different kind of urge.


And there I thought it was just feminists who didn’t have a sense of humor.


Why do people always add the disclaimer "amazing" when they talk about their kids? It always smells fishy to me. Especially since, in this case, the kids weren't amazing enough for this guy to keep his dick in his pants at least long enough to come up with an amicable solution to his quandary.


Oh FFS. This mostly-vegetarian and staunch vegan sympathiser thought Dan's response to a ridiculous complaint was funny.

Glad the extra evidence supported my theory that BIL may in fact be gay, despite the four heterosexually produced kids; the new evidence does appear to rule out bi. We exist, but BIL is apparently not among us.

Coffee @6: It's not that hard to upset anyone, just mock something they feel strongly about. Vegans are just an easy target. I will always defend them because they are ethically far better people than I am, and if I'm too selfish to join them I will at least speak up against anyone who's unfairly insulting them. Dan's "fuck off" was fair, because vegans are one thing, sanctimonious jerks are another. Sanctimonious vegans, sanctimonious Christians, sanctimonious atheists all deserve the fuck-off treatment.

Curious @9-@10: Agreed on both counts.

Traffic @18: Yeah, I gotta agree with you. The ex-wife is "a real peach"? OP, you hid your orientation from her and cheated on her. 20 years of her life were a sham thanks to you. She kinda has a right to be pissed off, don't you think? I get it, it's hard to be out, yadda yadda. But your timeline suggests you got married in the 90s, and it was perfectly okay to be gay then, so your excuse is pretty flimsy. Being outed on Facebook sounds like just deserts to me.

Rafi @27: LOL, exactly! I was thinking similar things about some of the suggestions. Let's keep lobsters out of sex unless you yourself are a lobster.


I hope these preachy vegans never go in cars or trains or buses or planes. So many bugs and birds murdered if they do.
The new info does change the situation re DGBIL. Eight years without sex, so the children would have been in late childhood. How sad that they kept the pretense up for all those years.
The LW’s sister would have been early forties, and to sacrifice her needs all that time, when it probably would have been better for all that the truth was out then. Tragic waste of time.


I think what bugged me about the letter was how disproportionate it was to what Dan did. I'm going to use an imperfect gay rights analogy. I came out in the mid 1970s and was involved with various gay groups.

At the time, if someone came back from the future to tell us that one of our issues will be that there are only gay superheroes on TV and not in movies, and they only show gay romance in Star Trek, not Star Wars I'd have laughed myself silly before asking what Star Wars is.

If you're a vegan (I'm not), or if you care about the planet (well, sometimes), there are just SO many important life and death issues related to meat that we haven't made a dent on that it seems inconceivable to get upset over something so utterly tangential to the cause.

Especially something that, with no disrespect intended to Dan, is not likely to go viral. It's nice and it's cute and it's a good metaphor (or simile, it's too early) but it doesn't have the added cachet of publicly humiliating someone who deserves far, far worse.


P.S. About that guy who called his ex "a real peach" - why couldn't he have called her a real lobster so he and the preachy vegan could go off and fight it out somewhere?


Lavagirl @34. Agreed. I'm always baffled at the "I cheated because it was for the best" types who behave as if they were God's gift to the poor unworthy chump of a spouse, so really, it's a kindness to lie to the spouse and screw around behind their backs, because it's the only way the glorious cheater can still bestow the precious gift of their company onto the wretched gremlin spouse who would be so alone and bereft otherwise.

Truth is, the spouse would probably be far better off if given the chance to find someone else, or alone but not constantly deceived and gaslit - and maybe the cheater isn't the prize catch they think they are. Maybe, if the cheater is being honest with themselves, they're staying in the relationship because they're getting a lot from it, and their lives would be a lot worse without the faithful spouse.


@33 BiDanFan
"...unless you yourself are a lobster"

Wait. Everyone here who is a lobster, please raise your hands.
(Thank you; may I now please introduce you to some butter?)

@30 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes
"There's evidence of his talking more with his sister, though."

Well maybe since we did see more information...but maybe it's just that he didn't tell us that info he already knew when writing the original letter, so I can't help being concerned that by

"events are moving fast"

the asshole meant he went ahead and ignored advice not to himself talk to the teenagers.

@18 Traffic Spiral
"It's no longer just "your truth" when it starts affecting the people around you...The fact that you're divorcing because you got caught cheating on your wife with a man is a fact."

While I think it would be wrong right now, I'd be orders of magnitude more understanding of the sister revealing to the kids that the BIL cheated(1) period, than if she added that it was with a man. I don't see how that it was with a man is the sister's information to share with the kids, or needed right now by the kids unless the /BIL/ wants to tell them that right now (and that would I think be great!).

(1) If he did cheat; we (and as far as we know the LW) may have no idea if the BIL's relationship with a man was cheating (perhaps sister was informed in advance and agreed). (I say "may have no idea" because given the LW's communication skills and behavior, I am reluctant to make too much of the phrase "caught with" in the asshole's followup.)


Eugene, OR ~ "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
Double fuck!"

World didn't end. Heads didn't explode. It's JUST a word, Sticks and stones. you know?


Given this new info, curious@38, the arsewipe in this story is the soon to be ex-husband.
The LW is concerned for his sister, and though it isn’t right for him to disclose to the children who their father has been, a deceitful person who has lied to himself and forced his wife to live that lie with him, I’m not sure why you paint the LW as the bad guy.
It’s a mess the LW should stay mute about, when talking with the children. They will need him as a support while it all unravels.


Thanks to LW for additional information, which at least covers the present. I was going to post that I'm still inclined to hope that BIL was bi at least for part of the marriage so that the picture would be just a tiny bit less joyless, but then it occurred to me to wonder which a jilted spouse would prefer. One could have a positive or a negative reaction either way around.

To the assembled company: if incompatible sexuality/orientation caused one's relationship to break down, would it be preferable for the incompatibility always to have existed, or for what had originally been at least partial compatibility to have worn away? I shall hope that any responses are theoretical, as I'd not wish such a partnership on anyone (except perhaps a straight-chaser, who'd be getting exactly what [s]he wanted).


@40 LavaGirl
"...forced his wife to live that lie with him..."

That's assuming facts not even asserted by our unreliable LW. Who said she was forced? We /still/ have no idea what the couple's 'arrangement' might have been.

I continue to be bugged by the LW because he has too little info to give us (or himself) enough to go on, and at best is wasting everyone's time.

And even if he had told us enough, I don't trust him. His original letter demonstrated he didn't know when he didn't know enough to butt into something that was thus none of his business, and about which (even if he were to have been fully informed about the situation) he didn't know what should and shouldn't be done.

Now I certainly see why my not trusting words he's written leads one to be "[un]sure why [I] paint the LW as the bad guy". (In this I've sorta gone 'off the reservation'.)
It's just that additional words from someone I don't trust/believe don't mean much to me. I'm afraid I'm beyond the point at which anything he might say will dissuade me from wanting him to fuck the fuck off.

If the LW's sister had written us, my take would be 99% different. I'd have loved to help and support her. But unfortunately we have a third party outside the couple here, not either member the couple. I just don't feel like dignifying the LW by trying to help his sister through him because I don't trust him enough not to do far more harm than good.


There is never any good reason to out someone else. No one's kids deserve to know the most intimate sexual details of their parents' marriage or divorce. It will probably come out that DGBIL's soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law was having an affair, and if he and his boyfriend start behaving as a couple in public, the young-adult kids will probably figure out with whom.

Whether he is gay or bi is beside the point, from the wife's, the kids', and the BIL's perspective. The point is the marriage is breaking up due to infidelity which is likely the result of sexual incompatibility. If he's gay, the reason for the incompatibility is obvious, but if it wouldn't be appropriate to say to one's young-adult children or nephews, "your mom and dad are divorcing because dad likes to be flogged and pissed on when he has sex, and mom isn't into that and couldn't bring herself to do it," or "mom likes to have sex much more often than dad," then it's equally inappropriate to go into the details of what the nature of this incompatibility is. Kids aren't entitled to know the details of their parents' marriage or divorce, but they usually get whiffs of the reason. If Dad comes out and starts living as an out gay man, it will be obvious. And then the kids may have some questions--for their PARENTS, not their uncle.

The ex-wife should seek out a supportive environment like the Straight Spouse Network (straightspouse.org) (https://www.npr.org/2015/09/16/440909117/a-place-for-straight-spouses-after-their-mate-comes-out-of-the-closet).

It may make her feel a bit better to realize that it's not HER that her ex-husband rejected; that there was literally nothing she could have done differently; that perhaps he loves her so much he tried to suppress his sexual orientation, but that ultimately, he needed to be with someone of the gender he's attracted to. Perhaps they can salvage a friendship and a sense of family, especially as parents of much-loved children.

In any case, there is no reason for DGBIL to be involved in anything more than the usual way when a sibling goes through a divorce.


I always like your neologisms. I also like your snarky replies. I remember there was a Vegan Posters here years ago, who was interesting but a bit insufferable. I think "Extra Lobster" is a great phrase. I like how these sensitive Vegans are up in arms with "Extra Lobster", but I don't see them doing a sit in at Arby's..


The majority of the vegans I know are not sanctimonious and do not lecture other people about the evils of dietary meats. Some have admitted to having once gone through a "Come to Jesus" phase, but they're well over it now. We don't hear from them unless we ask them for information about being vegan. I'm always happy to share a table with them, and to make sure they have food they can enjoy, in an environment that's pleasant for them, if they come over for dinner. I'm an omnivore, but I don't expect everyone else to follow my eating preferences.

As for the sanctimonious ones - you guys ignore the mounting evidence that most plants take immediate, strong steps to repel any animal which starts to eat them, and send messages to the surrounding plants to warn them that a predator is present. They obviously are NOT meant for your table if you claim that you don't eat the unwilling, you are mercilessly ripping them from the earth or stripping them from their parent plants with no regard for their right to live in peace.

Just because they are distant relatives, not close relatives with similar physiologies, you think it's just fine to gobble them down, no matter how strong their efforts to repel you.

Just because they can't scream, you claim they're fair game.

Well, you are ignorant fucking hypocrites if you don't restrict yourselves to fruits and berries, the only parts of any living thing which evolved specifically to be eaten. And you need to process those fruits and berries so that their seeds can still germinate after you shit them out - no blender blades, no stewing into compote.


About the DGBIL situation..

The Divorced Couple should tell their kids about the situation. This seems to be the main reason for the divorce. It sounds like the kids or either adults or close to adults. They are going to find out one way or another. Either Parent should tell the children, but I think it is important that both tell them together. It is better for the parents to get ahead of the situation.

Many marriage fall apart, it happens, it is life. However, the children should be told the truth, in a tough and confusing time for them, as much as their parents are going through confusion and lots of pain. No one else should tell the children about this, and I do think it is important for both parents to tell the children together..


Marty @ 32
Yes, kids are always “amazing.” My favorite is the generic, “I really love my wonderful spouse and we have great relationship," then follow with a long rant that is anything but.

nocute @ 43
Great analysis and advice.

ECarpenter @ 45
Fruits and berries are seeds for new plants, ensuring the species continuity rather than providing food for others. I’m not saying we shouldn’t eat them though.


@43 nocutename
I agree with every word, and applaud you for saying it so much better than I did.


@47 Fruits and berries are meant to be eaten - the fruit and berries evolved to be tasty and tempting to animals, and the seeds evolved to pass through animal intestines undamaged, and then to germinate when they've been shat out. This ensures that the seeds are dispersed more widely, and that they have fertilizer to grow in, both of which are beneficial to the plant. No plant uses it's defensive systems to prevent animals from eating it's fruit or berries.

So yes, you can eat fruit and berries, and no, you shouldn't cook them or otherwise damage the seeds if you're morally committed to not eating things which actively protest being eaten.


She is his sister, curious, he feels concern for her. True, it’s not for him to tell the children.
As Fan pointed out about the other letter, twenty years ago people didn’t have to hide, didn’t have to pretend to be straight when they were gay. Doing it and ruining the partner’s chance of having a family with someone who is attracted to them, that is mean and selfish as. The LW, to me, is rightfully angry for his sister’s sake.


"She is his sister, curious, he feels concern for her."

Yes I understand that's why at https://www.thestranger.com/savage-love/2019/02/26/39304204/savage-love/comments/8 I wrote "LW, I know you're mad at your BIL for divorcing your sister, but you're out of line...".

I'd be a lot less pissed off at him had his lame followup demonstrated any realization that he was out of line.


Good reference nocute, I hope the sister does seek out a support group.
She has known for many years who her husband is, and has been burdened by his secret, now she can work it thru if she has told no one else till now. Once the children find out, they might need some therapeutic help as well.
Lies. As someone who has learnt of significant lies re my family of origin, only recently, I hope the children find out before they make important life decisions.


vennominon @41: I could live with the idea that someone fell out of love with me, or lost sexual attraction for me. Knowing that every single sexual moment we had was actually just something they coldbloodedly did to perpetuate a necessary lie... yeah, that one would sting a bit more.

Someone falls out of love with you, sure, it hurts but it's not like they had a choice, so it's not really a thing that needs forgiving. What I would never forgive was someone who knew they would never love me romantically, but instead of just pursuing an honest friendship, deceived me into entering a romantic relationship, someone who never respected me enough to tell me the truth, because I could be Of Use to them as a respectable beard. That's not something you do to someone you truly love.

You can't choose to be gay, but you can choose not to spend months or years lying to someone in order to marry them on false pretenses.


@41 (vennominon) & 53 (Traffic Spiral): One thing I've learned as I age is that I really don't how how I'd react to almost anything until it actually happens to me. There are so many variables.
I don't blame or judge anyone for reacting to big news about a partner in whatever way they do (unless the response is enacted maliciously. Maybe I should have said I don't judge anyone's feelings in reaction to learning something bombshell-like and hitherto unsuspected or unknown regarding their partner).

I THINK (but can't know for sure) that it would depend on the motive I was convinced my gay spouse had in marrying me; if I thought that he really WANTED to be sexually attracted to me, or really wished to be straight and that he hoped that in marrying me, whom he presumably loves in so many, many ways, he would be able to somehow turn straight, I would be far less upset than if I thought that he was callously and intentionally using me as a beard. I suspect that when most gay men marry straight women and keep them ignorant of their (the husbands') gayness, it's a mixture of the two.

And that would make me sad because while I could understand that attitude in the 1940s or 50s or something, it would hurt that someone was still so unhappy with who he was today (or in the 1980s, 90s, or early 2000s, if that was when we got married) that he would do that. It would signify such a deeply-internalized homophobia, and while that's sad in itself in general, it would be even worse thinking that my husband--someone I'd love deeply--had that much self-loathing and fear.

But there are so many factors that affect the way I'd react. How did I find out? How much had I already suspected? How old I was when I found out, what our financial situation was, whether I thought I had been humiliated in some way, whether or not my husband and I had drifted significantly apart by the time the revelation came. And on and on.


Or nocute, how many children need rearing.


To me, that’s the rub here. Whenever the sister found out, it was no doubt after her boys had been born and she then had the choice to stay mute and carry on, or leave and have four young kids to rear as a single parent, with changed circumstances.
He caught her and trapped her and like Traffic Spiral has said, this was not showing love. I would find it hard to forgive someone who had stolen my chances for real love and an honest family life.


@55: LavaGirl: yes, that, too.


@54 nocutename
"...I really don't how how I'd react to almost anything until it actually happens to me."

Reactions are best when informed by, and fully present in, the moment.


CMD @ 29 - The short video was filmed in the Montreal metro, most probably the green line (unless there's an absolutely identical metro system with absolutely identical trains and absolutely identical stations somewhere in the world).

BDF @ 33 - "We exist, but BIL is apparently not among us"

Indeed. Sorry to have doubted your wisdom.


Venn @41: I speculate that some jilted spouses would prefer to learn their spouse was gay, then it would be clear that they bore zero blame for the failed relationship. Of course the flip side is learning that their spouse had faked all attraction to them, so perhaps "I was bi when we got together but now I'm gay" would be more merciful. But then again, the spouse might blame themself for putting their partner off people of their gender permanently. I guess there is just no way to have a happy ending, unless perhaps both spouses discover they are gay...
Non-theoretical answer, I did date a bi-identified woman for a couple of months who broke up with me upon realising she was straight. "I turned someone straight" isn't great for the ego ;)

Curious @42, it seems reasonable to conclude that Sister believed her husband to be straight, or at least into women, at the point when they got married and had kids, from the secondhand information DGBIL has given us. If she were aware and approving all along, they'd be divorcing amicably, no? DGBIL is overstepping, sure, but I doubt he made up the facts of his sister's anger and his BIL's deception. If he knows details like their not having had sex in eight years, it seems reasonable to conclude that Sister confides in him and tells him her truth.

ECarpenter @45: Agree 100% with your first paragraph. It's funny that whenever vegans mention anything about what they eat, they're "preaching," but omnivores post photos of their burgers and other meat meals on Instagram and that's not "preaching"? Hmm.


@60: BiDanFan, do you think it's substantially different to be the spouse left because your partner comes out as being attracted to the opposite of whatever gender you are, or to be the spouse left because your partner, while remaining steadfast in his/her orientation, has lost all attraction/sexual interest in you, or to to be the spouse left because your parter, while remaining steadfast in his/her sexual orientation, claims to have never been sexually attracted in you from the beginning?

I ask because I think all of these are devastating in what I think is ultimately a very similar way. In all cases, the dumped partner must feel betrayed and angry and it can't be anything but a huge blow to the ego.


@60 BiDanFan
"...they'd be divorcing amicably, no?"

Where in either the original letter or the followup do you see that the divorce is not amicable? Is that being inferred from that "SHE...filed for divorce" (instead of 'they')? Or maybe that she's "awfully fragile right now"?

It drives me crazy that yet again I re-read DGBIL's words to try to understand where y'all are coming from about the married couple. But I'm glad I did, I'm reminded she did something she was wrong to do, that no one has a right to do, outing her husband to "...our parents and me...".

I agree that the followup does include one detail of substance we should presume correct (the 8 years; but let's not pretend that the BIL is the only one who contributed to that, she could have filed for divorce a bit prior to now).

As for the other info in the followup I'm not so sure I presume it correct:

"...demonstrated no attraction to any other woman, has only been caught with..."gay stuff"..."

That in no way proves he had none, since absence of "demonstrated" and "caught with" both prove little.

"... his only other serious prior-to-my sister girlfriend dumped him because he refused to have sex with her..."

Without knowing how in heck either sister or DGBIL could know this, I don't trust it. Because by the sister outing BIL, and by DGBIL wanting BIL outed further, neither of these two people have demonstrated honor and integrity.

Back to BIL: Yes, everyone is right, he sucks too (for example, for his role in the 8 years). At first maybe he had his reasons, and maybe for all we know his wife the sister was cool about the reasons once she learned (I'm /not/ saying 'caught him' because to me that assumes too much and trusts untrustworthy people too much). But 8 years is way past my feeling BIL wasn't wrong.

All 3 of them are wrong, I don't like or trust any of them, and I'm just not that inclined to help any of them. The kids are the only ones I want to help; but even then I feel we're too handicapped because we're not dealing with either parent. I'd feel more inclined to work with the LW if it had gotten through to him that he was out of line, but on the contrary his latest "I'll follow your advice as best I'm able (events are moving fast)." doesn't reassure me. At all. What a mucking fess.


You go to lunch at two vegan places per day?


@60 BiDanFan: By that logic, you'd bear no blame if your spouse was a sleeper soviet agent who only married you for a cover and access to some secrets related to your job. You're still stuck with the issue of your married life being a lie that your spouse tricked you into for his/her own benefit.


If you can’t trust the LW, curious, then we have a problem, because it’s all we got. Last time you birthed and reared four children was when? The sister’s anger, resentment and sense of betrayal is probably deep.
Your animosity towards this man is bizarre, and the sister had every right to disclose to her family why things have gone wrong in her marriage. At last she can finally speak the truth of her life to those closest to her.


The sister didn’t act sooner because children, curious, young boys who she believed needed their father around daily. Now they are late teens, the bulk of rearing them is done.
Do you now understand?
I’d check your projection with this one. It’s got way too personal, and has impaired your impartial judgement. Not what Dan pays us for. If he paid us.


@65 LavaGirl
"If you can’t trust the LW, curious, then we have a problem, because it’s all we got."

Yes /we/ do have a problem. That's what I meant @42 that "In this I've sorta gone 'off the reservation'". I guess I could engage in trying to help based upon trust simply so I can continue to engage, but I don't want to trust just so I can take part.

"Last time you birthed and reared four children was when?"

Convince me there was a point to that question and maybe I'll respond.

"Your animosity towards this man is bizarre"

I don't find it endearing when people want do the wrong thing, particularly when it's none of their business. That doesn't sound "bizarre" to me.

"...the sister had every right to disclose to her family why things have gone wrong in her marriage."

She had every right to tell them everything (for example, if it's true, that he cheated without her knowledge) /except/ to out the BIL. Please tell us why it was necessary and relevant and honorable for the sister to include the fact that the extramarital activity was same-sex; in other words, please defend her outing him as not-straight unnecessarily.

More generally, one doesn't have to permit closet-cases to remain in one's life, but one's honorable alternative is get them out of one's life, not to out them. Outing is not OK, regardless of the sister's feelings. If it's what you'd do in her shoes, then yes I'm saying you'd be wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

@66 LavaGirl
"Do you now understand?"

Please don't ask me that again. I'm plenty smart enough to understand whatever anyone else does, so it pisses me off to hear those words.


@37 p.s.
Please understand that the point of
"If it's what you'd do in her shoes, then yes I'm saying you'd be wrong. Wrong wrong wrong."
is that I'm feeling like you're hounding me because I'm saying something you'd in her shoes do is wrong.

If that's the case, that's OK, let's just agree to disagree and not escalate this further.


@67 p.s.
Please understand that the point of
"If it's what you'd do in her shoes, then yes I'm saying you'd be wrong. Wrong wrong wrong."
is that I'm feeling like you're hounding me because I'm saying something you'd do is wrong.

If that's the case, that's OK, let's just agree to disagree and not escalate this further.


ooops, sorry for the dupe, the system was down so I didn't think the 1st one worked


ECarpenter @ 40
The fruit is mostly protection and later food starter for the seed once it falls on the ground. Quite a few berries bushes have all kind of protection like thorny branches.

If avocados, apricots, and many other crops may suggest, not all seeds were made to go through an animal digestive system.

Ricardo @ 59
Thanks, finally put it all together.


Some people may be fully aware of their soon to be spouses’ past experiences yet one or both honestly believe this will go away after marriage, child/ren, etc. Speaking of children, if indeed four boys it is also possible that one or both parents wanted a daughter, hence the number.

Religion may also play a part in the late coming out. Was there a church attempt to “cure” the father while urging them to remain married? Did the counsel suggest having more children “to increase the bonding?”

It is also possible that homosexuality was no more than videos in the past, yet evolved over the years and once there was a physical connection the need for a different emotional one kicked in as well.


BiDanFan @60: If omnivores (or carnivores) post photos of their burgers and other meat meals on Instagram, they're probably "preaching to the converted".

You don't see placard-wielding carnivorous assholes blocking the doors to vegan restaurants, screaming "where's the beef?".

Science seems to be pointing toward less meat for health and the environment. The vegans make it hard to listen to that.


Submitted for your consideration: I posted three comments all numbered "68".
Like I said, I got errors when trying to post the first one saying the system was down; that was probably it. Probably the universe wasn't conspiring to keep the reward for a comment #69 from me.


CMD; a double @69. Wow. You have hit the jackpot. Congratulations.
oh; curious. You did score three @68, gotta be some prize for that.
I’ll check with Grizelda.


Aw, in this of all threads I don't deserve a prize. I've basically been on strike.


For the record: I did hire Russian hackers to make sure there are no 68 duplicate cheaters. The Brezhnevwannabees, as they call themselves, were instructed to scribble some additional pseudo-philosophical notes to ensure a dp.


Nocute @61: I agree completely with you that we can't really generalise. Person A would be more hurt by "he likes women, he just doesn't like me" and Person B by "he was living a lie this whole time." Having one's heart broken is painful no matter what the reason.

Curious @62: Yes, that's "she's awfully fragile right now" and that she considers it a "terrible secret." Those are indeed DGBIL's words, but I can't see that he would consider it as such if he wasn't following her lead. I don't think she was wrong for "outing" her husband to the people she is closest to; one needs to be able to talk about one's own relationship issues! So which is it, a "terrible secret" she shouldn't have told anyone, or not a big deal that she's not affected by?
"Without knowing how in heck either sister or DGBIL could know this" -- because BIL told Sister during their "I'm gay" chats? Or, slim chance, she knows the ex-girlfriend and they compared notes? Why would either Sister or BIL make something like that up? I agree that both BIL and DGBIL are jerks; I don't agree that Sister is a jerk for confiding in people about her marriage woes.

Traffic @64: I don't understand the point you're trying to make. What I meant was that an "it's not you, it's me" would be 100% believable if the "it's me" issue were "I am not even attracted to people of your gender."

Lava @65: "If you can’t trust the LW, curious, then we have a problem, because it’s all we got." Exactly. A few rare letters reek of BS but this one did not, and again, it's a completely believable (if exaggerated for effect) scenario so why would he be making any of it up?

Fubar @70: Are you kidding? I see omnivores saying "bacon" to vegans and vegetarians all the time. And Instagram is for everyone, hello, not just omnivores. I see stomach-turning photos and descriptions of roast dinners going by on my Facebook feed all the time. And I recently saw someone re-post a meme saying that if a vegan asked them not to eat meat in front of them, they'd host a hot-dog eating contest on that person's front lawn. Yet someone mentions a new vegan restaurant in town or posts a link to one of these scientific articles you speak of and they're "preaching." Double standards abound.


I was heading into the station to catch the train home, and a cattle train went thru. I felt guilty, and held my nose.
It’s the bees which are the worry. Bees go and we aren’t far behind. How quickly our ‘progressive culture’ has fucked up the planet.


I see you Emily Fart, and I love you!!!!!


emilia fart. Omg my bad


@75 BiDanFan
"... that she considers it a "terrible secret." Those are indeed DGBIL's words..."

OMG I /hate/ to think the sister /too/ considers not being straight "a "terrible secret""!

"I don't think she was wrong for "outing" her husband to the people she is closest to; one needs to be able to talk about one's own relationship issues!"

Hmmm. Maybe issues /are/ only with the LW (and of course BIL). Because unlike DGBIL, the parents didn't write to Dan wanting the outing to spread. And maybe the sister didn't know that the LW would want that; in which case I would agree with you (and LavaGirl etc.) that she's blameless. (Speaking of the LW wanting that, I wouldn't be surprised if their parents want that too.)

""Without knowing how in heck either sister or DGBIL could know this""

Yes those are reasonable answers. Particularly "BIL told Sister during their "I'm gay" chats" since BIL could expect that that news would help her through this. (And presumably if BIL had told her prior to the wedding, it wouldn't have occurred.)

I'm afraid that the messenger being outside the couple, I'd have never chosen this letter in the first place, because 2nd and 3rd hand information coming out of the mouth of (quoting you) a "jerk" requires an awful lot of speculation. (For example, even agreeing with you above required speculation ["...in which case I would agree that she's blameless"].) Way too much speculation to seem to me to be well-advised. So much that the endeavor to me is painful; I like simplicity, and this is like three-dimensional chess, which is just not my game. And even if it were, this isn't a game, these are real people; real children our LW wants their dad (also a real person) to be involuntarily routed to. I can't stand it.

I believe this is why I (apologize that) I couldn't see that the sister is blameless (er, naturally I need to qualify that with some speculation: provided she /doesn't/ think that not being straight is "a "terrible secret" and didn't know that her confidantes would want her husband outed to her kids [which I fear may have already lead to them doing so]).


@79 corrections:
"Maybe issues /are/" should be "Maybe MY issues /are/"

"involuntarily routed to" should be "involuntarily OUTED to"
(My fingers sometimes type the wrong word, which Chrome's spellcheck is powerless over.)


Where did EmmaLiz go?


You know, I don't think you have the obligation to protect the privacy of someone who forcibly made their private life your problem. Like, revenge porn is generally wrong, but if someone sends you a dick pic without your consent, you aren't obligated to keep that private.

Similarly, outing someone is generally wrong, but if someone tricks you into the position of being their beard and then cheats on you with their preferred gender, you aren't obligated to keep that a secret. You did not consent to being their secret-keeper for this - they forced it on you, and you don't owe them discretion.


Curious @79: If the sister were intent on revenge-outing, surely she'd have told her kids, and there wouldn't have been a letter from DGBIL? Anyway, glad I could help you see this a different way.


@82 Traffic Spiral
So acting honorable is something one only does towards people who behave honorably themselves?

(While I think the phrase "two wrongs don't make a right" is simple-minded, because yes sometimes they do...) it seems like you don't appreciate that doing the right thing is a thing in itself from not necessarily changed by others' bad actions. In other words, wrong can still be wrong when someone else has done wrong. Jesus-y people do right only because God; do you hold 'doing wrong' as leverage over others' behavior, 'doing right' only as manipulation?


More on DGBIL. I still find his strident tone about uncovering the TRUTH to be like Inspector Jalvert's obsession with Jean Valjean: relentless and OTT.

What few have considered is whether the LW's sister is a reliable narrator. Is she telling him "everything" or is she editing the narrative so that she will always be seen in a positive light by the younger brother who has now cast himself as the male protector of his sister's virtue (as the party presumably without any blame).

DGBIL has way too many intimate details of his sister's marriage and sex life. Better she should have confided in a therapist who would keep her intimate details private and possibly have given her options for coping and moving forward with her life..

But, as I said in comparing him to a punitive authority figure, DGBIL just wants to topple BIL and he'll do it in any way he can, no matter how much pain he causes, especially to the kids.

Just for the record, for those saying there's no reason for anyone to have hidden their SS attractions 20 years ago (and married OS partners), even TODAY there's no guarantee that one won't be hounded (by family, religion, or society) to conform to heteronormative expectations ... that one won't be called "selfish" for wanting to live one's life honestly ... or that one won't be attacked. Or murdered.


BiDanFan @75: I have zero experience with omnivores saying "bacon" to vegans and vegetarians, but I have seen vegans blockading newly-opened meat-themed restaurants in my neighbourhood. One of them, a burger joint, added "vegan coleslaw" to the menu as a nod to the free publicity. We also have posters of kittens and puppies "as food" splattered around the city by a vegan group. That's what I mean by preaching.

And while my Facebook feed is full of meat pictures (mostly from the "low-carb lifestyle" evangelists), I generally call out or block people who are being assholes or trolls, which is what you describe from your Facebook friend.

Not a double standard, but regardless, your experience as a vegan/vegetarian is no doubt quite different than mine as an omnivore, and I should have said "some vegans make it hard to listen".


curious2 @84: What is "honorable" changes with the circumstances. It may be honorable to hit someone in defense of self or others, but not honorable to hit someone out of boredom or anger. It's honorable to keep an eye on the kid you're babysitting, and creepy to stalk a random stranger's kid. Same with secrets. There are times it is honorable to keep them, times it is honorable to tell them, and times where you simply have no obligation to do either. For non-consenting beards, it's the last category.

Being gay doesn't absolve you of responsibility to treat others well, or give you a special pass from accountability. You can't treat a romantic partner badly and then be like "well, I'm gay, so you have to continue to help maintain my reputation and can't tell anyone about the shitty stuff I did to you." It's especially shitty to do it to a beard, because you're forcing them to continue in their role as beard - a role you cast them in without their consent or knowledge.


@87 Traffic Spiral
You keep using the word "obligation" (by which I assume you even mean /to/ a particular being). I don't think that's the definition of what's right to do or not. I think that thinking it is could be the start of traffic spiraling down the ethical drain.

I do salute your point that "It's especially shitty to do it to a beard, because you're forcing them to continue in their role as beard", that /does/ make the 1st wrong worse. But I still don't think it makes a 2nd wrong be right.

Sister knew she was a beard a loooooong time ago; I don't think she needs to rush to tell her children. Somebody suggested giving BIL a time limit like 'tell them before the youngest child reaches 18 or I will'. Perhaps that would be (would have been?) best for everyone involved.

I very much liked the post @85 by Helenka (also a Canuck). Not a great idea for the sister to trust good ol' DGBIL (he who things not-straight is a "terrible secret") with this. I agree better someone who can't do the wrong thing with the info such as (legally) a therapist or (logistically) someone whose orbit never crosses that of the children. That reminds me,

@55 BiDanFan wrote
"I don't think she was wrong for "outing" her husband to the people she is closest to; one needs to be able to talk about one's own relationship issues!"

Why do we think the parents and sister are "the people she is closest to"? We have no idea how widely the sister has disseminated this information.


The wife/sister (I was going to write "sister/wife" but that sounded like sister-wife; though "wife/sister" kind of reminds me of the end of "Chinatown:" [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IBZocFkXGY]--and seriously, no one would make a movie today where the protagonist throws a woman across a room like that, but times have changed), may be allowed to talk about her personal life to a trusted friend or family member, but the BIL is seriously over-stepping his boundaries and his position. This is none of his business. Period. End of story.

The reasons for a marriage's success or failure belong to the two people in it to share or withhold. While it would be wrong and shitty for the wife to out her husband or ex-husband to the world at large, I can understand her telling someone close to her of her frustration within her marriage and her decision to end it. But there is no need whatsoever for anyone else to interfere.

I wish Dan hadn't started the whole "gay or bi?" thing, as that is nothing but a red herring. The main fact is that the marriage has been sexless for some time and the wife is unhappy. The secondary fact is that the husband has been unfaithful, and the tertiary fact is that the cheating husband has a boyfriend (that it's a boyfriend, rather than a girlfriend is really not that germane, at least for the purposes of anyone other than the wife).

DGBIL can hate his BIL all he wants for hurting DGBIL's sister and for being a closeted gay man, but it isn't his place or his right to out him. To anyone. It also isn't his place to tell him to "gay man up" or he'll expose him.
Holding the knowledge of someone's sexual behavior or orientation as a blackmail tool is morally reprehensible.


@69 You're free to disagree with the conclusions of evolutionary biologists and the observations of animals in the wild, of course. Most knowledgeable people, however, are convinced of the role of animals in spreading seeds for the benefit of the plants who provide fruit and berries. My central point, however, was that no plant defensive systems have been detected so far that defend fruits and berries from being eaten. The rest of the plant, yes - but not the fruit and berries. Your mention of thorns is interesting, but the thorns are not on the fruit, they're on other parts of the plant - parts which the plant needs to preserve. When you've seen birds gorging on sweet, flavorful fruit or berries while ignoring the surrounding bitter thorns, it's clear that natural selection has treated the fruit or berries differently from the rest of the plant when it's ancestors' defenses evolved.

So to those who claim that they only eat things which are willing to be eaten, or that they don't eat things which protest against being eaten, your diet has to be restricted to fruits and berries if you're going to avoid hypocrisy. Both evolutionary biology and current plant studies seem to agree that those are the only human accessible foods (besides microscopic living things) which meet your ethical criteria.

Myself, I eat meat from well treated animals, eggs from free range chickens, and organically grown vegetables when I can, and I accept that other living things have to die so I can live.


ECarp @ 90 - "When you've seen birds gorging on sweet, flavorful fruit or berries while ignoring the surrounding bitter thorns, it's clear that natural selection has treated the fruit or berries differently from the rest of the plant when it's ancestors' defenses evolved"

I would say that this is an exemple of natural selection having treated birds differently: they've evolved to figure out which part of the plant is edible and not dangerous to them (they could be poisonous to other species).


nocute @ 89
Interesting how directors who come up with icky plots like Roman, characters attracted to young women in Woody’s, and subtly yet constantly putting women down like Alfred have all proved to outlive their own movies.

I also agree that BIL should stay away, just want to point out that for whatever reasons in some cases the ex/spouse of a “deviant” may be even more ashamed of such behavior than the person involved.

EC @ 90
“You’re free to disagree with the conclusions of evolutionary biologists” and “most knowledgeable people, however, are convinced…” are very powerful lines indeed.
I still think there are plenty in-betweens and it’s far from a one-plot fits all. Back to berries, thorns may do better to fend off bears and foxes. That birds manage to find their own way is great, and I still wonder what most knowledgeable people say about avocados and apricots.


@91 Evolution acts on all living things, so the birds are affected as well as the plants. The whole system, including the microorganisms in all of the macro sized participants as well as the animals who are excluded from this particular food source / food consumer system, is the current result of evolution working on all of the participants and their interactions. No living thing is exempt from natural selection, and natural selection operates within the constraints of the entire local ecosystem on every living member of the local ecosystem.

And - the birds are eating the edible parts of the plant, not the parts which have less nutrition for birds, and which usually contain toxic chemicals to make them taste bad to those species or have thorns, thick skins or other mechanical features to prevent or at least deter potential attackers. The fruit and berries, the seeds of which the animals disperse and fertilize, are unprotected from those specific bird species. The ancestors of both the plant and the animal participated, through natural selection, in developing the tasty fruit that current members of the system produce and eat.


That was one heavy and intense movie eh, nocute@ 89. Chinatown.
I think we all agree the LW has no right to out his BIL. It’s amusing though to read all the moralising about his moralising.
If I was the sister/ wife, I’d insist ex and I went to a sex positive therapist together and work out how to tell our children re the truth of their family life. The kids would have picked up the dead sexual energy between their parents, kids know these things emotionally. They have a right to know, so they don’t believe hetro marriages are all like their parents one was.
The LW is correct in one sense, the air needs clearing so the way forward doesn’t stay a muddy mess. The woman in this, the sister/ wife, I feel she needs a clear future, one where she no longer has to lie about her past to anyone. She’s had to do enough of that.
Again, if I was she, I’d insist on her ex finding a way soon to tell their children. There is no shame in his orientation, and obviously this family isn’t anti gay, as the LW is gay.
Time’s up BIL. Time the woman was let free of all his fears and self loathing. She’s still young enough to find a partner who does like being with women. And the children will go on into their adult lives, knowing their parents are human and like the rest of us, prone to making shitty decisions.


@ 93 - I'm aware of how evolution works - I've read quite a lot on the subject. I was just being a tad sarcastic, because when you say something like "it's clear that natural selection has treated the fruit or berries differently from the rest of the plant", you seem to imply that natural selection had some sort of intention. Which, as you should know, it doesn't.


@95 I wasn't personifying natural selection - just pointing out that fruit and berries have been responses to different constraints, internal and external, than the rest of the plant, so yes, the environment has treated them differently. They are currently generated to be eaten, unlike the rest of the plant. That was not anything's intent, but it is their current state.


@curious2: What are you talking about? Discussing what you're morally obligated to do is not separate from morality. And "traffic spiraling down the ethical drain?" Don't try to be witty. You're bad at it. Also "two wrongs don't make a right" is irrelevant when discussing if the circumstances of a situation make a certain action wrong. It's not wrong for her to tell the truth about her marriage in this situation, therefore your preschool teacher's favorite saying is inapplicable.