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.