10 responses

  1. John
    April 26, 2010

    Michael,

    I don’t want to appear to be attacking you, because I really appreciate the work that you have been doing since leaving Exodus.

    However, when these men were asking you about your own marriage, they were really asking you on some level, if your marriage was working for you. On the one hand, one’s marriage (and it’s difficulties) is a very private matter. Yet, your marriage was clearly a factor in decisions that these men were making. For you to say, “Only get married if you are sure,” implies that Michael Bussee was sure, and if you are as sure as Michael Bussee was (which he really wasn’t at the time), then it is okay.

    Even while discouraging these men from getting married with your words, you actions (which really do speak louder than words) was giving the opposite message.

  2. John
    April 26, 2010

    I do not even know how to talk about this. On the one hand it makes me very angry because of what this does to the gay person, their spouse and family. On the other hand I’m sympathetic because I recall having similiar thoughts about marrying and that my becoming straight would follow. I can only shake my head and think “there but for the grace of God…” as well as thank God I never did this.

  3. Timothy Kincaid
    April 26, 2010

    To John and John and other folk who use only their first name: maybe it would be clearer if you used some comment identity that was a bit more distinct. Two back to back comments from different folks by the same name can be confusing.

    Perhaps it would be better to use John J. or John in Missoula or John the Pianoman.

  4. Paul in Canada
    April 26, 2010

    I’m sure there are thousands of us who got married hoping that it would ‘bend’ us straight, only to find out it didn’t – and endure the impact of that decision not only on our own lives but our wives, children and families.

    I have often wondered if I could go back in time………

    …but the past is the past. We must encourage anyone who has any misgivings about marriage, regardless of the underlying reason(s), to STOP. The impacts are life-changing/altering and can never be undone!

  5. John in the Bay Area
    April 26, 2010

    Timothy,

    It is interesting that with a name like John, this has only come up recently.

    Based on this very post, I too was thinking that I needed to pick something that more clearly indentified me from others posting under the same name.

    So now, Ben in Oakland is joined by John in the Bay Area (hopefully, I can hold onto that moniker for a while).

  6. Stone
    April 26, 2010

    I think what should “come to an end” is the foolsihness of the so called “ex gays” trying to sell something that everyone knows is a facade. How many individuals, gay or straight, believe that once a man has been with another man in the “carnal sense”, he won’t act on it again? Almost none. With the expception of the very young who are in their experimental stages, you can wash as much as you want, you won’t wash away the truth of who you are. I use the word wah not to imply that being gay is something dirty. I felt I had to clarify that. It’s just the portrayal that “ex gays” would like others to believe. So to anyone reading on this site… as Shakespeare said ” To thine own self be true”. The rest will come.

  7. Ray
    April 26, 2010

    Bussee’s story is the story of my life, too. I did exactly what he did but it was of my own design since there was no such thing as an ex-gay movement in my generation. My marriage was a disaster in terms of my being unable to be what my wife needed. I love being a parent and I’m lucky that when I divorced I was able to keep my daughter and raise her with the help of my husband. But I’d say all the emotional baggage was the same. Like Bussee, I was honest with my wife and both of our families about being gay and they laid the guilt trips on me; the “turn it over to the Lord” and the “you are not praying enough/believing enough/praying correctly, blah, blah, blah.

    It’s hard to revisit this even with Michael as a proxy. But I can testify as to the truth of what he says. It’s the complete, unvarnished reality.

  8. Richard Rush
    April 26, 2010

    This post highlights an unfortunate fact of life that straights need to be educated about prior to the next gay-rights voter referendum. I’ve always thought we need to provide voters with reasons why full equality is also good for straights, and this subject should be more persuasive than any other, it seems to me. I don’t think straights are aware yet of how common these marriages have been. I think if voters were more educated, most would recognize how marginalization of gays harms all of society.

    My head nearly explodes when I hear someone say, “Gays already have equal rights. Like everyone, they have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex” The first question I would ask is: How would you feel about your daughter marrying a homosexual who is desperately trying to believe he is straight, or marrying a “former homosexual” (exgay)? And if not okay for your daughter, would it be okay for someone else’s daughter? It’s a fact that, to avoid being social outcasts, homosexuals have been trying to pass as heterosexuals for eons. How does society benefit by promoting the conditions that produce dysfunctional marriages?

    I have personally seen the results of these dysfunctional marriages, and they are not pretty (my experience involves gay men, not women). The most common result I see is divorce after many years of marriage. One divorced friend was married for about 24 years and produced six children. That example may be the most extreme, but not by much. Surely, there are more of these divorces nowadays than in the past due to increased social acceptance of being gay. But, to those who long for the good old days, I would ask, how did society benefit from people suffering through these pathetic marriages?

    Another common situation is gay spouses secretly having regular same-sex encounters while being married. Gay people who cruise places other than gay bars know that there are lots of married men out looking for homosex on the side. While society may be inclined to label and dismiss these people as immoral adulterous lowlifes, society is culpable for creating the conditions whereby homosexuals have been virtually forced into inappropriate marriages in order to gain social acceptance and avoid persecution.

    A vote to deny full social acceptance of gays is, in fact, a vote to produce more dysfunctional marriages.

  9. CAfurrball
    April 26, 2010

    Sadly, it is difficult to read articles such as this one and NOT think “I am sooooo glad I didn’t get married,” as I also believed the attraction to other guys would pass during those uncertain years of teenage angst. I dated a girl in high school who later tried to “seduce” me, and I was having none of it. Later, I broke it off and never saw her again, after she and her family moved to another city. And, frankly, I was so absolutely shocked that SHE tried to put the make on me that I was instantly turned “off”!!!

    In addition to that, all the men I know who find other men attractive [some also find women attractive and may be true "bi"] have wound up getting divorced, so I am only able to look at the stuff I did back then and realize I am glad I did not do that, and did not drag someone else through the experiences I had. Frankly, I am fairly certain it would have only made matters worse, had I married the girl. And now, at the age of 55, it turns out to be something I don’t have “regrets” over having done [I already have enough regrets, otherwise!].

  10. Mudduck
    April 27, 2010

    Back in the 1960s, the conventional wisdom was that you had to marry and have a family in order to be mature; single people were resisting growing up. My wife and I wanted to join the club. I told her when we met that I had “homosexual tendencies,” but we had many common interests including church. We hoped that faith and friendship would carry us through if the sex thing didn’t work out. (St. Paul said that married people should live as brother and sister as far as possible.)

    We had about a dozen good (or plausible) years, and three children, but we were discovering that marriage and friendship are not the same things. There was nobody else, but there was not “us,” either. After eighteen years, with the support of a gutsy little woman therapist, my wife said, “This isn’t a marriage and I don’t want the kids to think that it is. We’re both reasonable people but we’re not good for each other. Let’s try living separately and see what happens.”

    I came out, joined a church-based gay organization, and met a young man the next year. We clicked — no effort, no trauma, we just joined. I’d always thought “gay” was about sex; I found it was love and relationship. Twenty-seven years later, sex indeed doesn’t seem that important, but “sleeping together” keeps me whole. We married in Canada five years ago.

    My former wife continues happily single, with a circle of women friends. Only one of my kids has married, but they’re all amazingly close, in view of how they fought growing up. I’m nearing 80, my husband is only 50, still gorgeous. It would have been nice to grow old with my mate, instead of having him watch me grow old, but there are advantages to having a young husband to keep up with the pills and medical insurance.

    And nowadays, you’re whatever age you can get by with — no more nonsense about having to play certain social roles to be thought mature.

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