As the hype around the TLC show My Husband's Not Gay begins to wane, I find it a shame that there has been little attention paid to the perspectives of straight women who have experienced being in a mixed-orientation marriage, where one spouse is gay and the other is straight.
Jennifer discovered from her husband Tom's emails that he was meeting Brad for sex. She came to see me, heartbroken, sure that her marriage to her "gay" husband was doomed. But when I examined Tom, I discovered he wasn't gay.
Rick, do you ever wonder what happens to gay men and women when they try to force themselves to live a lie? Well Rick, I've got news for you. Most mixed orientation marriages end catastrophically, with both partners greatly damaged. I was in one of those marriages.
Three years ago Xiao Qiong married the love of her life, but she has never slept with him. They've never even kissed. Her husband is gay, and she's known it from the start. Xiao Qiong is what's known as a "tongqi," which translates as "wife of a homosexual."
Our gay husbands or lesbian wives loved us, yes, but they also felt pressured to follow the one-man/one-woman definition of marriage endorsed by society and, for many, their faith communities. Ultimately, most of our marriages ended in divorce.
Tucked in a corner of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender closet is a little-known group: straight women and men in heterosexual marriages whose husbands or wives come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender after marrying them as "the right thing to do."