Monday, January 5, 2009

Leading others astray?

I should not have railed against "anonymous." (I will call her L) I found her on facebook, and have apologized for calling her a dingbat. I really am sorry, because that was mean on my part. She and I see the situation very differently (as well as a whole lot of things that I've read on her blog) and are each walking our own path.

One comment/question L made was good, and I'll take a stab at answering here, because I think it is important.

L wrote:

It upset me so much because of the number of people that you stand to take down with you, due to your prominence. Think about that: if you are wrong, you may very well open the door for many more women to go through what you went through because the more acceptable homosexuality is, the more likely a struggler is to not even consider that there could be other options.


For the first part, I never asked for "prominence." I don't have any kind of promotion to garner attention to myself. Whatever "prominence" I have is miniscule, and unsought on my part. Yes, I admit that I was married to someone who was popular, and I received the benefits of that, but I now stand alone. No staff, a handful of friends, and the fact that I used to be married to someone very talented. However, my story as a woman, married to a popular Christian singer who has now come out as gay, makes a "hot item" of gossip. People might want to hear what I have to say. His and my stories intertwine and overlap, and some people might be interested, so I blog.


Now I come more to answering the question from L, where she wants to know ...
if you are wrong, you may very well open the door for many more women to go through what you went through because the more acceptable homosexuality is, the more likely a struggler is to not even consider that there could be other options.


Personally, I have found myself in a situation where the man I loved suffered severely from depression, and he would have died rather than tell the truth that he was gay. I did not cause that. I could do nothing to "fix" it. Although some people work out different solutions, ours was to separate our homes, our finances, and our personal lives. All of that amounts to divorce, a legal distinction. I don't try to set any rule to say anyone else should follow. It is what we needed to do.

As humans, we all want to fit in. We all want love and family, and we desire to have community around us that welcomes us. We tend to pattern ourselves into that to which we are accustomed. In church, the pattern is for a spouse and a family. Extended families are shown in our media, and we aspire to that. James Dobson has built an empire by focusing on family (another topic altogether!)

When a young person realizes they are not straight, they have options. One, they can hide this about themselves, and follow the pattern that we have set, which is to "find the right girl/guy and get married." A second option is that they can be honest with themselves and still seek a family of their own. In the case of glbt individuals, it is not honest or fair to a straight partner to pretend sexual attraction. I not only object, but want to scream from the rooftops: DON'T DO IT!

So I answer this question to L, or others who think I'm leading other wives, with these basic points:
1- I didn't cause this.
2- Ray did what the church taught him to do, which was to "find the right girl...get married." (And I might add, he found a good one!)
3- After 30+ years, the solution was to be honest with me. I came to accept him, support him, and we divorced.
4- I implore young people: Don't marry someone of the opposite sex if you are gay!

For other wives married to gay men, I don't try to be an example. My only example is that we all try to walk humbly and love each other. Ray and I talked many times, and still do, about how our personal lives affect others. This is not an issue for the greater public to decide how he and I live our lives! It happened to ME, and I'm doing the best I can with a difficult situation.

5 comments:

hillsideslide said...

I believe that I've been "led astray" by being given the message that homosexuality is a Sin (capital S) and that those who "struggle" with it can change.

You've said it before... it's not what you do, it's who you are. It's how you LOVE.

Trying to make gay people struggle against their sexuality blows up in everybody's face.

And, the sooner we accept that, the sooner gay people will:
1. stop trying to force themselves into a mold that they are not meant for (aka: marrying a straight person)
2. have peace about the love that they do find

I'm so sorry for your pain, Carol.

Thanks for speaking up and sharing your story!

Rob said...

What about the Christians who make Gays and Lesbians feel as if they are not good enough for God's Love, and they push them away from the Church and God.

The judgement of sin in the end is left up to God, not Man or his Doctrine.

Emily said...

"4- I implore young people: Don't marry someone of the opposite sex if you are gay!"

This is a side of the whole "ex-gay" thing that I think is often missed. Not only do they insist that we not be gay, but that we try to be straight. Though they often claim the opposite, my experience has been that the measure of success in such programs is finding an opposite-sexed mate and marrying. Nevermind how that affects the relationship. Nevermind what that does to the gay spouse who is desperately trying to be acceptable. And nevermind what it does to the straight spouse who can never be what the other wants and feels unloved, unwanted, and all the other things that go with that.

People who believe differently on any issue, especially one they feel strongly about are of course going to worry that people who believe differently will "take people down with them."

you make such good points Carol. Sorry I rambled (again)

Kat said...

Maybe it's just because I'm a bit cranky and depressed at the moment, but I don't think you owed her an apology. I think she owes you one. I haven't heard of you before today, but am attending a conference this weekend where Ray will be singing. You are a blessing!

Matt Algren said...

I agree with Kat. Doesn't matter how warm-hearted the commenter was trying to sound, she was still a) using your blog for her own goals, and b) preaching hate.

Plus, she pulled out the "What if you're wrong" line, which is just a brain turner-offer.