Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Survey

How many of the gay married men out there were products of a divorced home? I'm wondering because one of the reasons Chris had such a hard time accepting himself as gay, even though he didn't come from any kind of conservative or religious home, but had totally liberal parents, was that he was determined to have a better family than the one he came from, and didn't see how he could do this as gay. He felt like the divorce of his parents put pressure on him to form a perfect family. I've noticed that several other of you gay married bloggers also came from divorced parents. Is this a trend? Just wondering...

14 comments:

Drew said...

Not me -- my parents are still married. And, btw, I am the oldest boy in my family too.

Anonymous said...

Divorce? That's two steps back from genetics.

Chris said...

KK is not suggesting that divorce makes one gay. She is wondering if divorce makes self acceptance as gay more difficult for homosexual men who marry women.

Paul said...

Neither my parents, my grand parents on either side, nor any aunts and uncles are/have been divorced. Want to know why many of us got married? See Sh-out's blog -- July 18, 2006.

Chris said...

Paul, thanks for pointing us to Bea's post. I hadn't seen it with all the travel/vacation time I've been engaged in.

For those who are interested, here's the link: http://sh-out.blogspot.com/2006/07/gay-husbands-tell-all.html

Beck said...

No divorce in my family line as far back as I know. And, I'm the only boy in my immediate family. Does that mean anything?

Another Other said...

My parents are happily married and have been for 27 years. And I'm the oldest in my family, too, incidentally, though you weren't really asking about that. :-)

KK said...

Okay, I guess no one really got my point. Gay is gay-- I'm really not interested in anything, genetic or otherwise, that "makes" people gay. It doesn't matter to me. What I AM interested in is the closet-- why you were in, what made you stay there, what made you come out. It was partially Bea's question posted on Sh-out that made me wonder-- many of you had religious reasons to not want to be gay, but Chris was raised in a totally non-religious household with liberal parents and I wondered what other factors there are in trying to be straight. Chris has said to me in the past that pressure to form a better, more lasting family than his divorced parents provided was a factor in his deciding to deny his sexuality. I wondered if any of you had the same experience. That's all!

Another Other said...

Don't worry, KK, I think most of us understood your point. It's an intriguing question. I know in my case it wasn't really a factor, but by the same token, my Dad who is a child of divorce (but is not gay, so it's not applicable) did want to construct a solid family unit in response to his own upbringing. So, it's not uncommon. It seems to me though, that in relation to gays staying married, especially LDS gays who statistically probably more likely come from homes without divorced parents, it's probably not a huge determining factor. Of the seven married gays I can think of that I personally know, in fact, only one has divorced parents.

A Troll At Sea said...

C/KK:

My parents separated when I was six months old, so I was technically a child of divorce, but never felt like one. And I fell in love when my mother remarried, which probably DOES have more to do with becoming gay, although obviously there was something there that set THAT up.

I actually wanted to have the kind of relationship that my parents and grandparents DID have. And I wanted to be a parent and more especially a grandparent.

My great-grandparents on my mother's mother's side did divorce in the early 20's, after long years of separation, when "nobody" did it.

I think that a DESIRE for a certain kind of home, whether it is what you knew or what you wanted instead of what you knew, is certainly a factor.

T@C

Chris said...

I think that a DESIRE for a certain kind of home, whether it is what you knew or what you wanted instead of what you knew, is certainly a factor.

This makes sense to me and is perhaps a better way of framing it.

I have a friend who comes from a very loving family and resisted accepting himself as gay because he feared it would mean he would never be able to have the kind of loving family that he grew up in. (Hed did not, however, go so far as to get married. He still wants a family, and he is now content with the idea that it will be an unconventional one.)

Anonymous said...

My soon-to-be-ex-husband, who is gay, is an only child of divorced parents, and grew up envying his LDS friends' apparently perfect families. I think the combination of his own less-than-ideal situation, and his embrace of the LDS shiny-polished-perfect family ideal both contributed a great deal to his decision to marry, despite his suspicions about his orientation.

Uncle D. said...

My former roommate, a return-missionary who was born in the Church to lifetime Church members, came out when he was 40 years old, even though he had left the Church some 15 years beforehand. He dated women all that time, slept with them, and even got engaged for a time. I often defended his heterosexuality to others, saying "if he's gay, what's stopping him?" The truth is, he wasn't ready to come out, even though living in a very forgiving place (New York) and working in a very forgiving field (musical theater).

Coming out involves much more than a public declaration of one's sexual preference. It actually involves convincing yourself that it's OK to feel that way, and some people have an easier time of this than others, regardless of their parents, Church affiliation, friends, or any other external factors.

Coming out is internally motivated.

Chris said...

Coming out involves much more than a public declaration of one's sexual preference. It actually involves convincing yourself that it's OK to feel that way...

Yes.