Wayne, thanks for all your tireless and important work.
Maybe you can answer a question that I have asked MANY times but no one seems to know the answer.
Why are discussions about gay spouses and the spouses that they betray, take advantage of, lie to, devastate, degrade, etc. ALWAYS, 100% of the time, about gay men and their victim wives. Why do we NEVER, EVER hear people talking about married lesbians and the husbands that they betray, take advantage of, lie to, devastate, degrade etc.? Lesbians marry men just as much as gay men marry women but yet they are NEVER discussed in the same visceral judgemental terms that are used speak of gay men.
Is it that we, as much as we claim to hate gender biases and gender roles, hate to see men, particularly straight men, as victims and we hate, or refuse to acknowlege that women can be victimizers?
Virtually every divorced gay man I know (and I know quite a few) gave up EVERYTHING in their divorce out of guilt yet I don't know a single divorced lesbian (and again I know quite a few) who lost her kids, her house and paid child support and alimony to their ex-husbands or for one moment felt that they should out of a sense of guilt; in fact I don't know a divorced lesbian that didn't take her kids, the house, alimony and/or child support, yet all we ever hear about are the "selfish" men. Why is that?
I also hear a lot of anger and judgement directed at these formerly closeted gay men because they weren't honest with their wives. How can we expect a man who lies to HIMSELF, and denies himself his very nature (for 25 years) to be honest and open with another person about the thing that he can't bring himself to be honest with himself about? There seems to be a lot of blaming of the men for what they did to the women but not much talk about what the men did to themselves because of what they were brainwashed to believe.
I certainly don't condone what these men have done (or what their unmentioned, and seemingly unnoticed, female counterparts have done) but I think we have to handle this in a more thoughtful way. Beating people down who are already about as down as a person can be, cannot be a productive way to handle this.
I also think we need to have a thoughtful discussion about why we see this, or at least act as if this, is an exclusively male villain, female victim problem.
Thank you to these woman and coming forward to share their experiences. Thank you Wayne for sharing such a powerful message.
After having gone thru the ex-gay therapy myself, my marriage of 21 years ended and I came out. I realize how devastating this was to my wife whom I loved. I would never encourage anyone questioning their sexual orientation to marry and be the "normal" person that the church, family, or society tells them they should be.
Time has healed some hurts and wounds. We still remain good friends today and have been apart since 2002. Once you have loved someone and shared so much of your life, you can't just turn that off. We are both better people today.
posted by Mark Hufford, at
10/12/2007 7:19 PM