Three years ago, my sisters and I found out my father is gay, but not because he came out and told us. My youngest sister (11 at the time) found some incriminating evidence, and put the pieces together. Since then, there has been a mutual understanding between my mother and father, and my father and us, that he is gay, but our family will remain intact. We have never sat down together to actually discuss the situation, we all just know it’s there, but don’t discuss it. It seems to work for us, but being 25 years old, now living in a different city and looking back at the situation, I see how it may be affecting myself and my sisters.
I have always had some issues with trust, but since finding out my father is gay, they have only gotten worse. At first I thought it was simply finding out that this male figure in my life had a totally different life, but now, I’m realizing it may also be about my parents staying in a marriage that is so clearly not working, all the while giving the illusion that nothing is wrong.
My impressions of true love, marriage, and truly trusting someone have been rocked to the core. I am still close to both my parents and love them very much, but can’t help thinking they’d be happier separate. It also seems that my father is seeing other people (men) on the side, but my mom is entirely devoted to him and would never cheat while still married.
So my questions are these: Is my parents’ “elephant in the room” marriage healthy for me and my sisters (ages 18 and 15)? Do many families do this? How can I examine my own trust issues and figure out how to come to terms with not only my father’s orientation, but my parents’ denial?
Yes, some married couples stay together when one of them comes out. Just how many, we have no way of knowing. I can only say anecdotally that I hear from plenty of straight wives trying to “make it work” with their gay husbands, but I can only think of a handful of straight men who have wanted to stay married to his wife after finding out she was lesbian.
You might never know why your parents have decided to stay together, or what arrangements they have worked out regarding relationships outside of the marriage. There really isn’t much you can do to improve their situation.
You can only say your piece with no expectations. You might say something like this: “Mom, Dad, I love you very much. And even though we have never talked about it, I know Dad is gay. The silence hurts me. I need to talk about it. If you are staying together for the sake of your children, I want you to know you’re not doing us any favors by pretending everything is fine when we know you are unhappy together.”
They will probably get defensive and tell you that it is none of your business. And technically, they’d be right. But there’s no denying their choices affect your life profoundly. (I’m often told my opinion on this topic is harsh.) If they challenge what their marriage has to do with you, ask them to describe what kind of relationships they hope their daughters will find. Do they want you and your sisters to follow in their footsteps? Will they be proud of the values they passed on to you if you end up marrying a closeted gay man and you stay with him no matter how miserable you feel?
Say what you need to say — just once — and then leave it alone unless they bring it up again.
As for your sisters, you don’t need your parents’ approval to speak openly with them. Share your feelings with them and let them know you are open to talking to them about your family. Model specific and respectful language, so they will know how to talk about it if/when they want to. (Example: “I know we all know Dad is gay” instead of “I know we all know about the stuff Mom and Dad are dealing with.”)
Your own questions about intimacy and trust won’t be answered right way. Find an understanding counselor who will allow you to explore issues related to your father’s sexuality without insisting that you fixate on that single issue.
The biggest hurdle in sorting through everything is denial. You’ve jumped that hurdle by being honest with yourself. That’s a great start.
41 thoughts on “Her father’s sexual orientation is the “elephant in the livingroom.””
My sisters and I are going through the exact same thing now. There are three of us and recently two of us moved back home. We found incriminating evidence that our dad is gay. We have been noticing that are parents’ relationship seems strained and recently talked to our mom about it and she said that marriage is important and she is just “sticking it out”. We either think our mom is in denial or she just doesn’t know. Our Dad has no idea that we think he is gay.
I wanted to know how this situation was handled. It may give us some insight into how to handle our situation.
I appreciate any thoughts or comments on this issue. :)
Abigail, I agree with your advice that the children speak their own truth. Where I think you cross the line (and where you advise them to do the same) is when you tell them to say “we know you are unhappy together.”
Sometimes people stay married because they really love each other, despite sexual incompatibility. Perhaps they are good companions. Perhaps they are helping each other through a transition to each being with someone different. It wouldn’t be my choice, and it isn’t the likely explanation, but striding into someone else’s marriage–even one’s parents’–and telling them they’re unhappy and ought to split up is seldom a good idea.
And every child has to learn that her parents’ model for marriage may not be the one she wants to adopt for herself. I would applaud these young women if they told their parents, as you advise, that living in denial is not good role-modeling for them; I would applaud them further if they recognized that their parents may choose a path that they themselves will not want to take. This applies to all children of all parents regardless of sexual orientation issues.
BTW, two months shy of becoming a queer parent myself, I’ve just discovered your blog and book and am thrilled. Thanks for the good work.
Interesting read. I am a straight husband in a MOM. My wife is gay, although we still have a sexual relationship. I stay (13 years of marriage) because I am in love with her and her being gay doesn’t change that. Thankfully she is just as in love with me. We worked things out so that we are both getting what we need. It can and does happen.
Don’t worry, my mother confessed to me that my father is gay, and i’m only 12! I hate it cause he wants to be with his little boyfriends, but I still love him to death.
Interesting to see what you say, but young love doesn’t bear much resemblence in my opinion to mature love.
I love my husband and would never leave him regardless of his sexuality. Companionship and common interests are more important than what goes on in bed.When your children are grown up there comes a point for many that it isn’t going to happen anyway!When you’re young you can’t imagine this and you think you need a sex life to be happy.
If your parents have nothing in common and are truly unhappy, I agree they shouldn’t stay together in preference to having to answer awkward questions about why they are splitting, but don’t assume that because your Dad is gay that your mother doesn’t want to be with him.
As a divorced mother of a 17 yr old son who just found out his dad(my ex) is gay, I will tell you that what we as adults think is livable or acceptable is negatively affecting our children tremendously.it is not ok to marry and have children knowing you are gay. if a gay person marries a straight person without their knowledge, leaving them at some point to decide whether to stay or go is not ok. taking it to another step and having a child is really not ok. i was not aware that my husband was gay, however something was certainly wrong, and i ended my marriage after only 4 yrs. however the baby we did have is now a full grown straight teenage boy who’s world has been completely shadowed by a deep dark secret. although he did not know his dad was gay either, he certainly grew up learning to hide emotions. Being close to his dad, he knew deep down inside, but tried for years to hide his feelings and then one day, he accidentally found out in a way he could no longer hide. he came to me as a broken child and he told me everything. to say this rocked his world is an understatement. my end-all-answer to all of the gay and straight partners in the world with children is this:”what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.” Based on just the simple deception, you are destroying your children in sooooo many ways.
I am a straight husband of a lebian and have been married to her for over 20 years. We have two wonderful boys who are, as best we can tell, healthy and happy. THey are active in sports, doing well in school and seem to have a good social life. I hope that when they are older, the thought that we stayed in a horrible marriage “for them” will not cross their minds. After all, we are not staying for them. We are staying for us. I hope that instead of looking at us and assuming that there is no love, they will look at us and think “Wow! Isn’t it great that love can be so powerful in a relationship that it leads two people to choose to stay together despite being confronted with incredible odds against success compounded by a world that presumes their marriage is some sort of fraud. “
I am the mother of a 13 year old daughter. Her father and I divorced 9 years ago because he is gay. He recently told our daughter and now I’m trying to figure out how to put the pieces back together. My daughter lives with me and sees her dad once a month (he lives 4 hours away). She is not comfortable talking about his sexuality with me or him and it’s causing a huge gap in their relationship.
Does anyone know of any books, resources, etc. that are available for a young teen with a gay parent?
I found out my father is gay by accident also, and it was really hurtful for me. I was not upset that he was gay but I was upset that we were lied to our whole lives. My mom doesn’t really know and I don’t know what to do.. I don’t know if I should tell her or if she does actually know and is staying in the marriage for appriences. I’m very confused right now, but I have a loving husband, but its hard for me to trust people now.. I’m always on edge.
allie i read ur comment and i know how you feel im only 19 but i found out about 5 years ago that my dad was having another relationship with a man and believe me the best thing u can do is tell your mom he has no right to lie to her my dad did exactly the same thing i knew for years and i never had the guts to tell my mom..she finally figured it out about 2 months ago and i cant tell how devestated she is. believe me if i could turn back time i would have told her a long time to avoid what is happening now. people tell me that i will affect my relationships in the long run because i will have trouble trusting people but fortuantly my current boyfriend has known everything because i would tell him when we were younger so it isnt really a big deal and i dont let it bother me because truthfully you just have to think NOT ALL guys are the same because they really arent
i found out my dad was gay about half a year ago since then life has not been the same. my dad has started to have a boyfriend. i think he is being very unfair towards my mother and is moving on too quickly. he seems to be the only one who has completely moved on. my parents still see each other and are great frineds i have found myself to be very lucky in that other divorced parents have many fights. my dad has not been thinkuing about only himself and not the rest of the family. the rest of the family is majorly suffering and me as only a 13 year old i find myslef to be growing up way too fast. What should i do?
my husband has just told me he is bisexual and has moved out for some thinking space. Speaking to him i hold no hope for our relationship anymore as i can sense that his gay desires are winning through! The problem with all this is that we have been married almost 13 years, together for 16 and have two children of 8 and 11! He has told me that he always knew that he was bisexual from his teens but has never been with a man and now he cant get the feelings out of his mind! So why oh why did he not tell me this important piece of information before we actually got together. I thought I was marrying my soulmate, lover and best friend – we both declared that we wanted to spend our lives together.
Now I am faced with so much uncertainty. Whilst I am waiting for him to make his decision, I cant eat or sleep and am so worried that if he does decide to go and explore that side of his sexuality, I am the one left to pick up the pieces with the kids. I know that we will have to tell them one day before they find out from someone else but what do you say? How do you tell a child that the daddy she adores is now gay? I know it is not a disease and I have gay and lesbian friends – do not know anyone apart from my husband who is bisexual. I have always regarded bisexual people as quite selfish, wanting the best of both, instead of making a choice or admitting to themselves their true sexual orientation. Maybe if my husband had have been man enough to do that years ago I wouldnt be in this predicament now.
In the meantime, while he is making his decision, I am the one left at home in a state of confusion trying to be strong for two terribly upset little girls who cant understand why dad has gone. Its not as though we had a bad life together either, we had loads of fun, got on like a house on fire, were just comfortable in each others company. Even our sex life was good although maybe not as frequent as I would like! Everyone describes us as the ideal couple and friends who know we are on ‘a break’ are convinced he will see sense and come back. But obviously they dont know the real reason and this infuriates me aswell that i cannot just tell them but in truth i am too embarassed of the whole situation and am living in fear of one day having to break this shocking news to my beautiful kids. I just dont know what to do for the best. I am hoping that he will come back but then am i right to? Will this rear its ugly head again as the feelings will always be there.
Hello out there!
My father is gay. I’ve known this for more than three years and it didn’t change anything between us, but recently I’ve noticed I’m not as easy about the subject as I thought I was. I am 23 years old and consider myself a well-educated, tolerant person with no prejudicies against homosexuals. But nevertheless I am not able to talk about my father’s sexuality. I can’t explain what the problem is, but I definitely have some kind of problem admitting my father is gay. My parents now are divorced and my father has his first stable relationship with a man after having many one night stands with men he contacted through the internet. I really like that man, too, but still it makes me feel awkward and I don’t know how to talk about the issue with friends, I don’t know what to answer when they ask me if my father has got a new girlfriend. I just can’t figure out how to introduce the subject, although on the other hand I’d really wish everyone knew about it, so I wouldn’t have to tell them. I would just like to know from some of you how they actually went ahead. Is it really necessary for us to inform our friends? I actually feel like my gay father makes me having to “come out” in front of friends and colleagues . And another point is that I haven’t spoken to my brothers about this. We only commented on my father’S partner, saying we all liked him, but I don’t know how to talk to them, they seem to take things far easier as me although they’re only 12 and 14 years old. It makes me feel so bad having these difficulties in accepting my father being gay. I mean, I accept he’s gay, but I’d prefer not to talk about it… That’s crazy, isn’t it?
I am only 11 and i found out my dad was gay a couple weeks ago..
I need help with all this very much..
He has had this seacret for over 27 years and he just told me last week.
I am mad that he diddnt tell me sooner but i understand why he diddnt..
I have to make the short story long: for years, my father has been an alchoholic, and as a result-frequently absent form home at night, sice he had been drinking with his buddies. A few months ago, he did have quite an embarrassing episode while being drunk, which became a turning point and he abruptly stopped drinking. He began staying at home every night, and to my and my mom’s surprise, he managed to stay sober without any kind of crisis. A bliss, isn’t it?
Staying home also means that an elderly man can discover the internet in all it’s glory, and that he can spend nights surfing porn, instead of drinking. I accidentally found that out, and to my surprise, saw that it was gay porn he was watching.
So, what does one do in a situation like this? Generally, I should be happy he is living a healthy life, not drinking. But, instead, I feel weird. Not because of the fact he is gay, but because he is a stated homophobic who has been keeping a huge secret for many many years. Do I talk to him about it? What do I say? That I’ve been spying on his net actions for months? That it’s ok, and that I won’t tell my mom? And, do I tell my mom? So far I haven’t shared this with anyone except my bf, who thinks that I’m crazy for keeping this a secret and not confronting dad with it.
Still, I don’t know what to do, who to talk to and what to say…especially ’cause I don’t want to chase my father away and back to the bottle. Advice anyone?
I can relate totally. My new wife and I came back to run the family business a number of years ago. I was never that close with my mother or father growing up. Always felt a a strange distance from them and a strange stress I couldn’t put my finger on. Well, one day in the office, it became apparent that my father had just come back from a trip(business trip) which was really a trip with his lover (male) and was showing the pic’s in the office……he must’ve felt we were so stupid we couldn’t see what was going on, or wanted to be caught.
Well, it all came out and shocked the entire family. My mother who came across as shocked, I think really knew the truth whole time but they had cut some type of deal and now she was helping influence his outing because she was pissed at him about this new lover whom he actually cared about. It was a terrible time. My sisters marriage exploded under the pressure and mine took a beating that I am not sure we’ve ever recovered from. EAch and everyday my parents would air their dirty laundry to us and then my father would say he was going to start living with his lover but did not want a divorce from my mother. My mom said she’d leave him and things began to get better and she was going to church and finding strength; but as soon as she was getting on her feet; my dad swooped in and said he couldn’t live without her but wanted to have his cake and eat it to. Well, they decided to continue their marriage and my mom has allowed my dad to continue to travel weekly and meet up with his lover or lovers as he pleases. My father dumped all is sexual stuff on my sister; which I felt was completely out of line and destructive and she is anorexic and has started cutting herself as well…..not a good situation. Their relationship is so toxic, my wife and I consider ourselves born again christians and they have done everything in their power to defame my wife for no reason that we can understand. Have made up lies and talk behind our backs. Neither I nor my wife judged my mom or dad in this, we were supportive, but they bring a toxic brew everywhere they go; the tension and stress is unbearable. I think they’re OK with it since my dad travels and is gone about 6 out of every 7 days so they are only together a handful of days per month and even then my mother complains and so does my dad. But, they have both clearly decided to stay married and act as if all is OK and on they march……it is tough.
Just another note……don’t put yourself in a situation where you become the person “hiding the secret”…..this is not your place. If, like my father, the truth is that he has chosen to live a gay life openly in front of my mother and the world…..I choose to live in the real world and speak in truth and love. By talking openly that you mom or dad is gay is not a bad thing; it is more factual. Feeling like you have to harbor something will only eat you up in side and hurt you more….set yourself free from that bondage…it’s not yours, let it go.
I have a 24 year old daughter, who has known, I think, that her dad is gay or bisexual. She is in a relationship, and a church going woman at that. I think the reality of what her father is doing, has really hit her, since we have recently been talking, just the “talking” of separation! Part of her wants this to go away, and pretend that it isn’t real, and the other part, so painful to be around, she wants to go with me, her mother.
Right now, she is very angry at her dad. That is very understandable. For me, and my husband, we are trying to deal with this as well as we can. It is a moment, by moment, process! I don’t think that everyone comes to terms with such a thing in the same way. However, it is good to have some support from people who love both parents equally, which we have. Be careful, in whom you use as a confidant. You will get people who don’t know how to deal with such matters as these, or this. They may tell you, “your dad is a jerk!” or “it is in God’s hands,” which doesn’t do anything but stress you and your family out more!
At the end of the day, when my husband and I actually have two different homes, which is our goal, he is still her father. Good, bad, or indifferent, she will have to come to terms with this. It may take years, but hopefully, she will.
No one wins! That is for darn sure!
I’m having the same kind of dilema. I have SO much proof that my dad is gay and I told my mom when I was really little. But she just said ‘If your dad was gay he wouldn’t have married me.’ And I feel if I showed her anything incriminating that they would divorce, and I don’t want to be responsible for that. I feel like I’m backed into a corner, I’ve got to keep quiet or something bad will happen. But he’s always bringing his ‘friends’ over. I even found an IM with him and another guy telling the guy to come over and not to worry because I was asleep still!! It breaks my heart..it makes me want to hate him, but I can’t. I’m closer to my dad than I am my mom. And, I just don’t know what to do..it doesn’t seem fair.
The best outcome to the scenario is that they divorce, find loving partners and remain very close friends. It doesn’t make the whole relationship a lie, as they will have shared so much and loved each other – the only reason for them not to be friends is if one of them is bitter and hateful.
I was spared this situation because my boyfriend came out to me. He didn’t want to cheat on me with a man so we broke up. I still love him very very much and would love to have children with him still in a friend capacity. I’m very proud of him for being true to himself and only feel sorry for men whom it takes 25 years. I have supported him all the way, although it hurts, I know it is the fault of neither of us.
i’m 20, i have an older sister 22 and younger brother, 18. and we all just recently found out that my Father is gay. My dad decided to tell me on new year’s, before he told anyone else. while him and my mom are still married, they sleep in different parts of the house, and he is always gone on long trips to see his boyfriend. My dad doesn’t see that what he is doing is hurting our family tremendously, but he wont talk about it. My mom and dad are staying together for all the wrong reasons, and i just want them to move on with their lives.
My dad is gay, but now that he has told me everything, it makes sense and i can carry on with my life.
I always knew that my father was gay, since I was a youth. I remember catching him and his male “live in friend” during one of my parents separations, hugging and kissing around 5-6 years old. I was reprimanded when making a big deal of it, only to be told “we were wrestling”. My father has male friends who visits the house in my mothers absence out of town and, often when she is here. The irony of this is, “We don’t know these individuals”. I come from a African American family and, there are several variables at play, contributing to my frustration. Day by day, I lose a tremendous amount of respect for him. He does not know that I know this information about him. This website is very cathartic and I appreciate this constructive forum to vent my frustrations.
I found out about my dad being gay a few years ago. I am extremely hurt to know that he has denied this for years. I have tried to accept the situation but I can’t help it. I am so hurt inside to know that he was married to my mom for 25 years and did this. If you are a gay man, don’t marry a woman! All you will do is hurt your family!!
I never really thought about it, but not until about 18 months ago did I find out that my dad may have had homosexual feelings all along. I never confronted him with what I suspected and found out, but this piece of information certainly helped me deal with the past. My dad was always very strict and almost obsessive-compulsive in his conviction to make me ‘a real man’ … and he’s always somewhat intrigued by anything gay-related, whether it be on my parents’ travels, or about where I like to go out (yes, I’m gay myself!), about gay tv shows. I don’t think my mom knows, cause she found ‘strange videos’ on their computer (which were promos of gay porn movies), but my mom somehow still thinks they’re mine! I don’t feel I can confront my dad, but I don’t think it’s fair to all of us.
My dad is also gay, they split up four years ago when I was 12… This is probably different to a lot of the stories above – mum was definitely abused emotionally and psychologically by my dad. It shattered her whole self-identity. She doubts herself way too much.
I believe dad’s mistake was keeping up this facade and hurting mum for 30 years in a marriage that was never going to work. I can forgive my dad for leaving us but will never forgive what he did to mum. she torments herself about what she was doing wrong and how she could solve it..running around in circles..it has definitely mentally scarred her.
I don’t tell friends or anyone about my dad. people are too soon to judge these days and i don’t want to have messy questions afterwards..it’s not mine to tell.. this is the first time i’ve mentioned this to ANYONE in the whole world…
I learned my dad was gay at the same time I learned he was dying from AIDS. (I had wondered for years but never had the nerve to confront my Dad.) My family had a couple of days in the hospital to talk with my dad about it but he died soon after with my mom and my brother by his side. I still have a lot of questions but I know I will never get them answered now. If you are a gay person and are hiding behind a “normal” lifestyle, come out before it is too late. My Dad’s orientation will never change my love for him. I miss you Dad!
As a gay oldest son, I was inherently aware of my father being gay, more understood after my own journey toward self acceptance which continues to this day. For my father it was an element of shame that he spent his whole life trying to suppress. I was driven to be a father in many ways to correct his failings, only to see me accomplish that but to leave a broken family. Marrying a woman was my only option to becoming a Dad, and I practiced the same denial mechanisms that many have posted here. My father grew increasingly more estranged over the years, and rather than confront him, I let him go, honoring his wish for secrecy, which he took to his grave. I am out to my own children, with whom I enjoy completely loving relationships.
I got confirmation about 3 weeks ago that my dad is gay, but I’ve known since I was around 15 (I’m 28 now). He’s embarrassed and ashamed, and I only got confirmation after finally having a conversation with my mom where she essentially forced me to say it to her. They are trying the MOM as well for a number of reasons – my parents still love each other, and at this point, after 31 years of marriage, I don’t think either of them want to start over. My mom told my dad that I know, and he’s ok with it, but doesn’t want to talk with me about it, so now it’s like we’ve all acknowledged that the elephant is in the room, but we’re letting it just sit there. I know it is their relationship, but it’s our family, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
I’m in my 30’s, have always known on some level my dad is gay, only got it confirmed by my mum recently, they’re finally splitting up. I’m so confused as to how to be around them both now. She knows i know, but he doesn’t know i know, and i can’t see myself saying anything to him.
He has been so angry and sad and frustrated for as long as i’ve known him and I just don’t know how to be around either of them.
I’m so stressed, sad, upset, I just want them to die and leave me in peace and i feel so awful saying that but I can’t see any other way out of this situation.
I just want us all to have some peace.
I’m seeing a therapist but i don’t even know how to discuss it with her!
Seriously, you couldn’t make it up.
17yo, I am one of four siblings, and became aware of my father’s sexual orientation two years ago.
Mixed Orientation Marriages do not work. My parents tried to rekindle what they may have once had, but realised they merely loved each other, but were not ‘in’ love. As much as I love my dad, I resent that he lived two lives for so long.
Today, Mum is single, has become an independent business woman and shares a new found confidence with the world. Dad has a steady relationship with a man whom I not only consider to be a friend, but a part of the family.
I do wish all the so-called “straight” (as opposed to what? Crooked?) people stop behaving like being gay was so weird/wrong/bad/shameful/sinful/whatever, e.g. talking about “incriminating evidence”.. I mean what the heck? He’s not a criminal for God’s sake! If this pure-hearted “normal” society of ours would just accept gays, then they wouldn’t be forced to remain in a closet or get married to conform in the first place.
This also happend to me a few weeks ago, I found some evidence on my dads account and on his phone (by accident). I can’t tell anybody as i live in a small village and anonymity is not a big thing (everybody knows everybody therefore rumours spread fast) I feel alone and i have problems trusting people any help would be welcome :)
Maybe there would be no need for “incriminating evidence” if gay husbands and wives would simply be honest with their families and not lie, cheat and deceive. As a “straight” wife, I have no problem accepting gays who live their lives authentically and don’t hide behind unsuspecting wives and husbands. That is patently unfair to the spouses and children that these individuals use as “covers.”
My wife knew I was openly gay before we got married. We have 3 great kids. 11, 14 and 15. We were married 10 years faithfully before we decided to call it quits. That was 7 years ago. I told all three of my children I was gay shortly after we separated. I didn’t want them hearing it from someone else. My kids are accepting of it and it is just normal to them now. I also got HIV about two years ago and told my children shortly after I found out. I use age appropriate explanation for them regarding me being gay and HIV positive. I guess I think of it this way if I want them to be honest with me about things in their lives then I need to be the example and be honest with them about things in my life. My kids know they can come to me and talk about anything that is going on in their lives. And the things I have shared with them are great life lessons for them. They are very accepting and compassionate kids. They don’t see me as gay they see me as dad.
I’m 11 and my mum is gay and I love her very much and she has got a partner, but I can’t get over it and I don’t know why.
Also I don’t want to know what my Parents do in their Bed Rooms, that’s none of my business, just like it’s none of their Business what I do in mine, Loving a Parent regardless whether their GAY, STRAIGHT, BI, isn’t that what’s important ?
Personally I think that the straight person in any relationship with someone who is gay is cheating themselves. I don’t see how it is possible to love someone completly when you have desires for someone else. Also I feel that the gay in the relationship is cheating themselves because the desires they have at their core. These relationships may work, but truly is anyone happy?
By the way Rylie it is not fair!
Vivek, what you are saying I am very resentful for. I feel like you are justifing gays in straight marriage, what ever society has done or is doing (which is changing rapidly) is no excuse for someone to be lied to and wake up one day and find that their whole life has been a big lie because a choice someone made to stay in the closet!!!!
All I can say is, thank you for this post and all the comments. I don’t even agree with everything that’s written here, but I don’t care; it’s just so affirming to know that there are other people going through this.
In my case, I am a 28-year-old woman with a gay dad and a straight mom. My brother is also gay, my sister is married to a somewhat genderqueer man, and I identify as queer myself. I love my family’s queerness! What’s painful is the secrecy and lies.
My parents divorced about 5 years ago (my mom left my dad, but because their relationship wasn’t working for either of them and hadn’t been for years. She was doing the whole “sticking it out for the kids” thing.) After that, my dad came out. The thing that hurts me is *not* his being gay, it’s having grown up steeped in secrecy and untruth. He has even said that he wanted to stay married to my mom his whole life, even though both of them seemed unhappy to me.
Homophobia being what it is, I understand and empathize with why he would choose to be closeted (and of course, I am most upset with homophobia in our culture that would lead a person to live a lie like that), but at the same time, it has been very painful that he hasn’t been able to understand and empathize with growing up in a family that isn’t honest has been hurtful to me.