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“Truth Wins Out” Videos for National Coming Out Day

Jim Burroway

October 11th, 2007

October 11 is National Coming Out day. And to commemorate this great day, Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out has released a video featuring four women who married closeted gay men:

While ex-gay organizations, such as Exodus and Focus on the Family, love to show the wedding pictures, they never show you the divorce papers. This video is a powerful reality check and a warning for those who would marry thinking that it will help them go from gay to straight.

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T. Trist
October 11th, 2007 | LINK

Jim – HAPPY NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY!

Here’s a great contribution from two lesbian women to commemorate the National Coming Out Day :
Coming Out in an Evangelical Church – Wow!

You can also go directly to FaithoftheAbomination.com. Their story will be told in a documentary film. I feel this will be groundbreaking for the GLBT community.

Alan Chambers
October 16th, 2007 | LINK

So Jim, Were these women married to men who had been honest about their same sex attractions? Had they attempted to get help? Were their wives aware of their struggles going into the marriages?

These women seemed to be talking about gay men they married not men who had sought help.

Blaming Exodus and other organizations for failed marriages and men who commit adultery with other men while married to women is blame shifting. Exodus is very clear about marriage not being a cure and steer people away from even dating relationships if they are not sure of their sexuality.

I feel sorry for these women and their kids. Sadly, it is their gay husbands that ruined their lives and destroyed their families, not Exodus, not Focus,not Courage.

And, very sadly, it is Wayne Besen that is using them to further his cause.

grantdale
October 16th, 2007 | LINK

Alan — you need not be so insulting to these four women.

As long time activists with “Straight Spouse Network” or “StraightWives” — and having been witness to the destruction wrought on thousands of lives by such sham marriages — these are four women who are well able to determine what they will get involved in and who they collaborate with.

They are not pawns of Besen, and you should apologise for even suggesting that they are.

If you are genuinely interested in their stories why don’t you email Nancy, Tracy, Bonnie or Carol? I’m sure they’ll be capable of a reply even without a puppeteer’s hand up their back.

John
October 16th, 2007 | LINK

Jim,

I am glad that you and Wayne are calling attention to the collateral damage that getting married while living in the closet or taking the ex-gay route can cause. I don’t think that enough attention is paid to this.

I think that Exodus and Love Won Out parading ex-gays who are married and have children in front of vulnerable people who desperately wish they weren’t gay is irresponsible.

It is sad enough that the same sex attracted person is miserable, but there is no reason to compound that misery by dragging a spouse (and possibly children) into the mess.

Ben in oakland
October 16th, 2007 | LINK

Mr. Chambers: you are quite right as to where the ultimate responsibility of these failed marriages lies. We are all quite responsible for the cohices we make.

But it is disingenuous to claim the Exodus bears no responsibility. just like the NRA opposing any piece of responsible gun ocntrol legislation and then claiming that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

You yourself has stated that you struggle, yet you are married. you also have a well paying job and a lot of praise and attention for your ex-gay business ventures. your organizaiton puts a tremendous value of “being straight” or at least on “not-being gay.” You peddle a particular brand of delusuion to the poor suckers who hate and/or fear themselves (or at least fear their imaginary father figure in heaven) sufficiently to buy it. Marriage is the ultimate prize– “See everyone? See self? See God? See society? See religion that teaches me to destroy myself? See all of you? I got the prize. I’m straight! I’m married.”

And then you claim no responsbility?
Please.

As I said to one nice Christian lady. “Of course you don’t hate gay people. you allow others todo the hating. you just get to follow along.”

Ben in oakland
October 16th, 2007 | LINK

Sorry. i left this out.

But it is disingenuous to claim the Exodus bears no responsibility. just like the NRA opposing any piece of responsible gun ocntrol legislation and then claiming that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Your version is: “Ex-gays don’t break up families. Gay people break up families.”

The “family values” crowd is the most anti-family group around.

Ben in oakland
October 16th, 2007 | LINK

And i left this out:

You accuse Wayne Besen of using these poor suckers to further his cause. and what are YOU doing with them?

It is certainly a case of the Melmac calling the Fiesta Ware lavender.

Zeke
October 19th, 2007 | LINK

I have YET to see a video, or even hear a discussion about, the damage done to men and the families of closeted lesbians who marry men. I find that odd. I wonder why that is especially when you consider that most men married to lesbians suffer not only the indignity of being deceived and used in the marriage but the added insult and injury of having this person who deceived them take their kids from them, take their house from them and take them to the cleaners in the divorce; something that NO gay man who marries a woman EVER does.

I think it is shameful that we look at this issue through such sexist and gender biased lenses.

Amazingly when I bring up this extremely obvious bias I am confronted with denial, defensiveness and hostility rather than consideration; especially from gay MEN. I also wonder why that is.

Zeke
October 19th, 2007 | LINK

Oh, and Mr. Chambers, you know exactly what you’re doing and you know in your heart that you are a fraud who is causing immeasurable harm and dispair to thousands of gay men and lesbians.

Of course you have to promote shame and dispair as a means of job security because you know as well as I do that it isn’t a person’s homosexuality that causes them shame and dispair but rather the homophobia of others mixed with the deeply instilled homophobia of the person resulting from a lifetime of constant bigotry and oppression directed at the GLBT community.

It shameful and disgusting that you promote this INDUSTRY of dispair. It is more shameful and disgusting still that you do it in the name of Jesus/God.

The day that you submit to and pass a “no-lie MRI” will be the day I believe you. So, how’s about it? You could set the record “straight” once and for all, and give Exodus invaluable credibility and free advertisement, just by publicly submitting to a scientific test of your truthfulness. Will you do that?

Jim Burroway
October 19th, 2007 | LINK

Zeke,

I think you raise a very good point. There has been no discussion that I’m aware of about men who had been married to closeted lesbians. I suspect its simply because there have been very few spouses come forward to date — it’s often a very difficult subject to talk about.

I don’t think the bias is necessarily completely intentional — not in my experience at least, although I wouldn’t presume to dispute yours. But I think you bring up a good point about sexism and gender biases. Men often don’t make good “victims,” no matter how badly they may have been hurt. And that’s a terrible shame.

I think my first exposure to this problem goes back to when I was still in college an working at a co-op job in the Washington DC area. A co-worker was going through a divorce after his wife had endured a nervous breakdown over conflicts with her sexuality. She finally left him, an experience that he took with great bitterness and pain.

I’m very sorry that you’ve experienced such denial and hostility when you brought the subject up. (You don’t say so directly, but I presume you were the straight spouse of a lesbian.) But I encourage you to talk about your experiences whenever you can. Your visibility is very important.

One excellent resource for that is an organization called Beyond Ex-Gay. And another organization which comes highly recommended is the Straight Spouse Network.

Ben in oakland
October 19th, 2007 | LINK

Not necessary, Zeke. He’s already indicated that he “struggles.” He’s justthe same big ‘mo he’s always been, except that he has learned how to earn a living out of it.

Zeke
October 19th, 2007 | LINK

Thank you so much Jim. You are the first person to ever respond to my concern in such an thoughtful and considerate way.

I am actually a gay man who has never been married to a woman. I married my husband in Toronto in 2003 after 12 years together. We had a son (my biological) in 1994. In 2002 I started a support group for gay dads to network with and support other gay fathers in light of our, what I thought at the time was, unique struggles in a society that is not only homophobic but also all too often unsupportive of fathers and fatherhood; especially divorced, single or gay fathers.

I soon realized that a lot of our issues and struggles were NOT exclusive to GAY fathers but were common across lines of fatherhood. I opened up my support group to single fathers, divorced fathers and non-custodial fathers.

It was through this intimate environment where men pour out their souls in ways that men seldom do that I discovered just how badly abused men and fathers can be by gender roles, gender biases, popular “man’s world” myths and the family court system in this country.

The story that you shared above is not at all uncommon.

I have heard horror stories that it seems no one wants to hear and even when people hear them they seem unconcerned or skeptical if the victim is male.

When I hear discussion after discussion about the evil gay men who marry these poor straight women my heart goes out to the women but I wonder why no one seems to want to talk about one of my friends who’s closeted lesbian wife started a relationship with a woman while still married to him; blamed him for the failure of their marriage; took his kids, the house and more than half of his assets and left him paying alimony and child support to the very person who deceived him, broke his heart and threw him away like yesterday’s trash.

She now lives with the woman she cheated on him with. He will have to continue paying her alimony because she won’t be able to marry her girlfriend. She never misses an opportunity to rub that in his face. Talk about adding insult to injury. If that isn’t enough; the woman’s girlfriend is ALSO getting a monthly alimony check from the husband she left.

This is why I get so angry and frustrated when I hear these ad nauseam one sided, sexist and gender biased discussions. I think you’re right that it isn’t intentional but it does show how deeply ingrained our gender biases and gender myths are, especially when confronted with the possibility that a man can be a victim and a woman can be a victimizer.

I shared my concern about the lack of the male spouse voice with MY HERO Wayne Bessen after I saw the videos on his site. All I got in return was a defensive email and a scolding for, according to him, not feeling badly enough for the women in the videos. I DO feel bad for them but that doesn’t negate my concerns.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on and on.

I just want to thank you again for your thoughtful consideration and response.

I recently found your wonderful site. It’s already become one of my favorites.

Ben in Oakland, I think you’re right but I’d still like to see him undergo the no-lie MRI. I think he owes it to the poor souls that he recruits into his scam but I’m certainly not going to hold my breath!

Zeke
October 19th, 2007 | LINK

To be fair to Mr. Besen, who is still a major hero of mine, he did offer to make a video of a spurned male spouse if I would send him the contact information for one. I didn’t mean to leave the impression that he was being a jerk. He wasn’t.

I did feel that he dismissed my questions about why there seems to be no discussion about closeted lesbians who marry men.

Ben in oakland
October 20th, 2007 | LINK

Zeke– he won’t do it, but then, we all know why he won’t. I notice that he did not respond to my post, but then, his living depends on it.

Regarding Wayne Besen. I don’t know him. I think he is a lot angrier than the guys here at BTB. I recognize it, because I have been ‘chided’ a bit about letting my anger get the better of me, and letting my occasionally sharp wit get expressed with no brakes applied. (And no, I’m not complaining about the chiding. The ‘chider’ was quite right). That may have been what you were hearing from him.

Your point about the women is quite well made. The two women now together and living off their ex-husbands sound like they are not all that great to begin with as people. I’ve heard that story before. It’s one thing to say “OK, I’m gay. I can’t do this any more.” It is quite another thing to screw over your ex-husband because of your own choices. Good for you that you are standing up for the men as well.

It all underlines the tremendous amount of damage that the family-values crowd does to actual families. All of these bloggers do great work in exposing the lies, the hatred, and the stupidity of the right wingers.

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