Hi, I’m Greg, and this is my blog. Thanks for reading! I promise I’ll try to make it worth your while.
So who am I? Well, I’m a husband (my wife and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary), a father, a brother, and a son. I’m a college professor who loves everything I teach, and (almost) everyone I teach. I’m a techie, an athlete, a DIY-er, an avid reader, and a polyglot. I love to laugh out loud; I sing when I’m alone in the car (and even sometimes when I’m not alone); I’ve been fortunate in my life to have a few cherished and profound friendships. And I’m gay.
“Whoa there Greg — back up. Gay?!? Didn’t you say you’re married 20 years and a father of four?”
Yep, that’s right. It turns out that it’s not that uncommon — there’s even a special term for such relationships: mixed-orientation marriages. Where one partner is straight and the other gay or bisexual.
“OK, but father of four — then don’t you mean you’re bisexual?”
Well, I don’t want to get bogged down with labels right now, so I’ll save that discussion for a future post. In the past, for a variety of reasons that will become clear, I have at one time or another self-identified as straight or bisexual. But for now, I’ll stick with gay. Gay, but not yet out — or at least, not totally out. There are people with whom I have shared at least some of the details of my same-sex attraction — those few cherished and profound friends I mentioned above. Shall I elaborate the list?
- First, my wife. Before we even started dating, while we were just beginning our friendship, I confided in her that I was attracted to guys. At the time I would have used the phrasing “struggling with homosexual temptation” — phrasing that now drives me crazy. But in any case, I shared with her my then-understanding of my same-sex attraction. Her response was kind, compassionate, and loving — one of the first glimmers of hope that my life might not end in tragedy (more on that too, in a later post).
- A youth leader. The first person I ever shared it with was the staff worker for a Christian group I was part of in college. Such boldness I had — my method of disclosure was to highlight relevant portions of a book I had read called Eros Defiled, and then I gave it to him to read. He too responded with understanding and support, reassuring me that it didn’t make a difference to him; that I wasn’t terrible; and that I was still loved by God.
- My sister and her husband. I shared it with them in my early twenties, though not in graphic detail. Their love and support has never wavered, and to this day they are two of the dearest friends to my wife and me.
- An ex-girlfriend. I think I told her in hopes of breaking up. Her hesitation at the news made it easy to proceed, but when she came around a short time later and was willing to explore moving forward in her relationship, I had already moved on. She dodged a bullet, I think.
- My parents. What’s astounding to me is that I don’t actually recall the conversation in which I came out to my parents; I only recall that they knew. They knew, and they so respected my response to “homosexual temptation” that, when my brother came out in his mixed-orientation marriage, they asked me to meet with him in hopes that I could “steer him straight.”
- My brother. I did have that conversation with him, but it didn’t work. He and his wife separated; she remarried and he found a long-term partner. Perhaps it would have saved many people pain if he had instead “steered me gay.”
- My dear friend and his wife. In graduate school, I had a wonderful buddy with whom I could and did share almost everything. He was married, and when my sharing with him turned into sharing with his wife, they both responded with the most amazing love and acceptance and support. When I felt guilty for indulging my gay porn habit, I could turn to him to confess and for accountability.
- Numerous other people — all trusted friends — who all responded with sensitivity, empathy, and continued friendship. Thanks to all of them.
- You, dear reader. Yes, now you are part of this inner circle of friends who know my deepest and darkest secret. A secret that I’m increasingly convinced should be neither deep nor dark. It’s just who I am.
So why write this blog? Two reasons come to mind:
- first, so that I can express in writing thoughts and feelings that I’ve stuffed, ignored, or denied for most of my 48 years. These thoughts are elusive, erratic, untrustworthy. I’m likely to put down thoughts that are wrong and express feelings that change as soon as I hit “send.” So be it.
- And second, so that you, dear reader, might come to understand a little better the incomprehensible world of a gay man in a mixed-orientation marriage in a straight world. There’s the risk that increased knowledge and understanding with confirm for you my depravity and dysfunction; or perhaps it will plant a seed of compassion. I sincerely hope the latter.