It's been nearly four and a half years since my then-husband came out to me and our four kids. The shock and awe I felt was beyond words, but I did a couple things right away. One of them was to read the book, "Stranger at the Gate," and I googled the name of the author, Mel White. In my searches I found Straight Spouse Network,and I read the book by Amity Pierce Buxton, "The Other Side of the Closet." I found the blog of Peterson Toscano, and I began to glimpse something other than what I'd been taught in church: gay and Christian were not impossible! Peterson teamed with Christine Bakke to start the online support called BEYOND EX-GAY.
All these resources were critical in my finding my way out of the incorrect view that being gay was a choice. I'm still not sure which ones had the most influence, but I appreciate and value each one.
Recently I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of Soulforce, and I gladly accepted. This organization was co-founded by Mel White and Gary Nixon. The mission of Soulforce is to work through nonviolent direct action to bring about the end of religious and political oppression of GLBTQ people. I'm proud of the work they are doing, and I'm very pleased to come alongside so many committed people to bring about important change.
While I was in Austin recently, for my first meeting with the Board, I got an e-mail from Janet at Straight Spouse Network, informing me that I'd been added on their blogroll. Their blog was launched about the same time as I started this one, and it's really fantastic. Ms. Buxton (Amity) has studied and influenced so many who find themselves in mixed-orientation marriages, and she's tirelessly (well, she probably does get tired, but she keeps going!) works to bring attention to these straight spouses. I'm honored that Janet added my blog to their list.
If you are a straight spouse of a gay or lesbian person, I urge you to try to get informed. There are helps out there, and I am so happy to support both Straight Spouse Network, Soulforce, and Beyond Ex-gay. Check them out.