Teen refuses her stepmom's ask to avoid 'gay' content.
I'm a 16-year-old (16m) and my dad is 40. His parental rights were terminated due to abandonment. He didn't pay child support and didn't contact me for over a year, explaining that he didn't want me to see him at his worst, struggling with alcoholism. He recently started going to alcohol rehab, and as a result, my mom began taking me to visit him on weekends.
Initially, these visits were going fine, though a bit awkward as we got to know each other again. However, my dad's new wife and I had an argument.
One day, my mom decided that I should spend the night at my dad's place. I brought a book with me, and my dad's wife (28) saw it. She told me I should not read that book because the protagonist is bisexual and it includes LGBT themes (for context, it's book two of The Trials of Apollo series).
I told her that she can't dictate what I read because I'm not a child, and she's not my mom. My dad quickly came to her defense, reminding me that she is still his wife and that I shouldn't be rude to her in her home. In response, I said, 'Fine. I'm not staying then,' and I left, returning home.
My mom assured me that I don't have to go back there if I don't want to. So, when my dad called later, I told him that unless he talks to his wife and makes it clear that she can't censor my reading choices, I won't be returning. He interpreted my words as a threat.
OP gave us an update.
Update: I recently had a conversation with my dad. He mentioned that his wife was trying to do what she believed was best for me. The issue, according to him, is that her idea of what's best differs from mine. My dad suggested I consider her perspective and even humor her by giving up those books, as she's becoming a new parental figure for me during these visits.
I asked if he expected me to follow her wishes, even when I'm not at their house, and he reluctantly admitted that he did. Consequently, I informed him that I won't be visiting again, thereby avoiding having to deal with her.
Here are the top comments:
NTA (Not the A%#hole). He was on thin ice and took a hammer to it for his wife. He's shown where his priorities lie, they aren't in a relationship with you.
The only reason his wife would know the LGBT themes is if she'd read the book or researched it, I've read the back cover on Goodreads and it doesn't even allude to LGBT. It's more about hyping that old characters from the Percy Jacksonverse are coming back and reinterating the premise of the Trials of Apollo series.
Your update cements it. He’s very presumptuous to think your relationship is strong enough with him to continue visits when he failed the trial run by throwing you under the bus to keep good with his wife.
NTA. She's not your mom, and he lost his legal rights. "He said what I said was threatening him." Don't let him play the victim. This isn't a threat as no harm will come to him regardless of the outcome.
His wife is displaying bigoted behavior, stick to your guns. All she has to do is say nothing about your book. Should be easy enough.
You're 16. If you were 11 and understood the vocabulary in the book, I'd say the same thing: Its a book. No one has the right to put braces on your brain NTA.
Some 16-year-olds go to college. So, yes. You most certainly are entitled to select your own leisure reading material. Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies and Song of Solomon are typical required reading for high school sophomores. What on earth does your father's wife think your should be reading? Dr. Seuss?
NTA - Your father abandoned you. Sounds like it’s time to reciprocate. Your dad’s wife has absolutely no rights or say in this matter. Stay with mom and enjoy your book.
NTA. You did nothing wrong. He has no parental rights and she has less than none. This is literally like me trying to tell you what you can read.
What do you think? Was OP right to not let his dad's wife tell him what he can read?