Oakland, CA – To proudly announce to the people you love the truth of who you really are can only be seen as a triumph, but there is, sadly, another side of the closet: the untold chapter of gay liberation.
Lingering prejudices and the prevailing belief that marriage is between a man and a woman have compelled many gays and lesbians to enter heterosexual marriages and even start families. For many of these individuals living an incongruent life has become unsustainable and ultimately reveal to their spouse the truth about their sexuality.
When revelations such as these occur within committed relationships, the consequence is often one of utter devastation for the straight spouse; it’s a combination of shock, disbelief, rejection, betrayal, and above all confusion. The trauma is only amplified when there are children who will be affected.
“Of course these individuals should be applauded for coming out, but when they do, their straight spouse go into their own closet,” says Dr. Amity Pierce Buxton author of The Other Side of the Closet: A Coming Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families and founder of the Straight Spouse Network. “Their moral compass has been shattered. They can’t trust their own judgment anymore. They need a whole new belief system that will give them meaning and purpose for living.”
The Straight Spouse Network is a non-profit, worldwide organization that provides support and research-based information to men and women whose spouses have revealed they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
“It’s a period of mourning for who they were and how they identified themselves in relation to another person,” says Dr. Buxton. “They need to know they’re not alone and they can get through it. We can listen to you as a person that’s hurt.”
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