Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boltz story carried in The New York Times

A few weeks ago, an e-mail came to the website, and the result is an article by Sam Freedman of The New York Times which appeared Friday online.  Saturday morning (May 15, 2010) there will be a version of it in the print version. Both Ray and myself were interviewed for this article, and I want to share it. 

Two years ago, about this time of year, my ex-husband and I were deciding when and how to open up with the public about him being gay.  I was ready, and I was tired of keeping secrets about why we divorced.  But one of the reasons Ray HAD to "come out" was so that he could continue his gift of sharing his new songs and his voice with the public.  He didn't want to hide behind any false assumptions that he is straight, and he needed to be honest.

Somehow I had emerged from the emotional trauma of being the straight wife of a loving but gay man, and I became an advocate for equal rights and acceptance of all LGBTQ people.  I knew that if anyone could have "changed" from gay to straight, it would have been my (ex-)husband.  And because of that, I came to realize that other straight individuals shouldn't unknowingly marry someone who can never be fully intimate with them, no matter how much they intend to be so.  I decided to say as often as I need to say it:  God makes people, and we are made as sexual beings.  Some of us are straight, and some are gay.

I'm not sure there can be any more hurt when a beloved spouse reveals to his or her mate that they are gay.  Somehow it seems worse than "just" having an affair, because there is nothing that can solve the problem.  No amount of prayer, counseling, or trying can change one's sexual orientation.  Confronting this truth made me even doubt that any love God has for me must surely be shown in strange ways, since this isn't the life I expected when I said, "I do."  Other women and men shouldn't have to experience this "discovery," nor the pain of such a hopeless secret that has no fix.

So, is there a solution?  I think there is.  The solution is to accept ALL people, and to realize that gay people should not have to pretend to be straight, and should not marry straight ones without FULL information and consent.  My hope is that just like it helps other closeted gay people when someone comes out, I need to be "out" as a straight spouse.  I have nothing to hide, and I'm not ashamed.  Sharing my story?  I'm OUT, I'm proud, and I'm honest.


Birdie said...

This is a great article, bringing an important story to the masses. I am absolutely convinced that telling our stories is the way to the heart of people who simply don't know. The great majority of people just are not aware, and your story (and others like it) are key to changing hearts. Thank you for your honesty, courage, and faith.

Anonymous said...

As another straight wife, but one whose bound by a non disclosure clause in my divorce settlement, I have to say a big AMEN. Honesty in every aspect of this is the only solution. I can't fault my husband for being gay, but I can surely fault him for being a promiscuous whore whose irresponsible behavior left him with Hep B and HIV.

I'm praying for the day when maybe this non disclosure mess will go away and I can help other straight women who find themselves in this situation.

Bless you, Carol and Ray, for being such wonderful examples of real Christian love.

Doorman-Priest said...

There needs to be more honesty like this Carol. You have been given an important ministry. It may not have been of your choosing but surely it is from God. May he bless your endeavours!

Anonymous said...

"I need to be 'out' as a straight spouse... " ... ugh ... more on that please. My wife has come out to me and a few of her/our close friends. But I still feel like >I'm< walking around with a giant secret.

Anonymous said...

Do you post any opposing points of view?

I for one am open-minded enough that I can accept Ray's story that he made every effort to change and could not.

I am also open-minded enough to believe the testimonies of those who testify that they in fact have experienced a fundamental change in orientation is also true.

Why can we not be open-minded enough to give EVERYONE the benefit of the doubt? Gays get attacked and themselves attack ex-Gays. I know many people who have experienced things in the Lord that I have not, and vice versa. I know people personally who have received miraculous physical healing while I myself have needed physical healing for 45 years.

I would not dare say that physical healing is not God's will just because I myself have not experienced it despite zealously striving for it for 26 years.

Seems like there is plenty of hypocrisy to go around.

I can love and support Ray AND love and support ex-Gays and rejoice for both their happiness. I don't think it was necessary for Ray to spend one day hating himself, as he said, whether he was pursuing change or not.

Carol said...

5/21/10 at 2:34 Anonymous:

Pretty much, no, I don't post what you are calling "opposing viewpoints." On this blog I don't want people given the false hope of "change," because it is generally (close to 100%) true that those who claim it are still hoping that change will come. Yes, one can live pretending, or what you'd call "by faith" but I've seen that kind of faith kill. I've been part of churches where faith is held so high that one's "confession" ignores the facts. I've known of pregnant women who hemorrhage "in faith" believing that they are going to stop bleeding. Some died. I've know of people who "believed" that their own children were going to be healed of cancer, so, without treatment, they died. I've known others who have thrown away insulin "by faith" and died. I stood by and said nothing. I now see gay Christians, and have testimony that they prayed, believed, and acted straight, and as change did NOT come, they wanted to commit suicide. Rather than stand idly by now and say nothing, I will NOT allow "opposing viewpoints" that reinforce that "change is possible" because I don't see it and have not seen it, and most people have not experienced it. I know of no one for whom it has happenED.

Looking at that, it is not wrong for others to be honest and say, "Change doesn't happen."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting and dialoguing with me. I agree with everything that you have said, ironic as it may seem. I generally feel that there is a lot of "presumption" that masquerades as faith even by the most well-intentioned people. I generally feel that "faith" is a response to something that God has actually said to an individual rather than something we claim as a generality.

Ray was and is one of my favorite artists. His voice is a real gift and one of the best albums that I have ever owned is his aptly titled "Concert of a Lifetime"!

I think the only difference that you and I have is that I don't think that it can be definitively stated that change is a "false hope" for everyone. Given the testimonies I have seen, I would have to call some folks out and out liars who claim to have found what they sought.

I am not prepared to do that because only God ultimately knows who's testimonies are true and false. It may be that the complexity of the issue means that a "one size fits all" approach on both sides is the biggest problem, which usually happens when something is politicized. Maybe the answer and the experience varies for different people and it is not an issue of failure on anyone's part.

I also think the fundamental issue, as you state, is total and complete honesty. I can only imagine the pain of losing companionship based upon a perceived misrepresentation and the sense of loss, and perhaps de fact betrayal, associated with it. It reminds me of Job.

I love you because I can relate to your pain and sense of injustice. I love Ray for the same reasons and because of his music and the joy it has brought me. I do not mean to be combative in any sense. I just think Ray can be true to himself, as can you, without presuming to invalidate others' testimony across the board.

Everyone deserves to find their happiness, and some find it successfully in the pursuit of change. Even if there are some lingering unresolved struggles for some. Others do not find happiness there.

Either way, I wish happiness and peace for you, Ray, your children and all those dealing with the fallout from this situation. May you all find yourselves commended by the Lord and standing in His grace, as I hope also for me and my loved ones. Amen. God bless.


Anonymous said...

When responding to Jim, you said
"I now see gay Christians, and have testimony that they prayed, believed, and acted straight, and as change did NOT come, they wanted to commit suicide."
This really hits home for me, because my dearest friend Jonathan did commit suicide on May 10, 2010 for this very reason. His parents could not accept him for who he was and he felt so guilty. He was extremely talented, and played piano for a local church and he was always so worried they would find out. I am heartbroken that our world is so cruel for people who just want to live their lives and be happy. Just a few weeks before he died he wrote me saying that he hoped Ray's story would help other Christians. I'm just so sad that he couldn't take it any longer.

Stuff From the Bunker said...

Carol, I am so glad I found your blog and I totally agree with what you are saying and thank God you have the courage to say it.

I have had you and Ray in my prayers for some time now and wondered how you both were doing. My newphew Nick went to school with your daughter and on a Mission trip to Mexico with her. I remember how much you and Ray did for the kids.

Rays music gives me such peace, it made me angry after Ray "came out" (I don't like thet term) I would go to the thrift stores and see so many of his CD's that good "christians" had gotten rid of. Who were they to say his music was any less a wonderful ministry for God.

Didn't mean to run on but I am just so thrilled to know you are not staying quiet, what a strong woman you are and you and the family will remain in my thoughts and prayers, don't ever stop saying what needs said.

Carol said...

Dear "Stuff..."

Thanks for the prayers and encouragement. Who is your nephew? (You can e-mail me the name if you don't want to put it on here.)

to Anonymous on June 1, I'm so sorry about Jonathan. I wish families would realize how much more they should listen to their gay family members, than to church dogma and what others think. I'm sure God welcomed Jonathan, albeit early, into peace. My thoughts are with you.


Shane Phoenix said...

Dear Carol,
I am DJ Shane Phoenix, my lover Rick and I host the Q's In The Biz Radio Show. and We have become close friends of Ray's and Franco. First let me say how blessed we are by that friendship, and secondly how blessed Ray is to have you in his life. I met Ray to do nothing more than a interview for or show. I heard his story before but not from him, his love for his family and you was what hit me the most. Most "Straight to Gay" men I have met have had several gay encounters as they were married and cared little of the impact it caused to their family or loved ones. What streagnth it must have taken to not only hear and listen to Ray, but to carry your love on in a diffrent way. I have heard the horror stories to often of what some have said and the hate they have spewed. I would just like to say thank you. for what you have done and for what you do. Ray is a great man, I know personaly and proffesionaly what he has done to help others, and because of you and your family's streagnth courage and grace, he has found the will to continue to help others. Again thank you so much for showing that God's love is shared in all of us, and that we can share that love with Everyone.

Shane Phoenix