Monday, August 11, 2014

To The Lesbian Who Plans to Marry a Straight Man Later this Week...

I really don't get my fellow gay Christians sometimes. I know that there is a wide spectrum of religious beliefs and life experiences out there and that they don't jive with mine, but I really get upset when I learn of young gay and lesbian folks who are so fearful of their non-heterosexuality that they succumb to pressure and marry heterosexually.

This topic just came up again over at the GCN boards. Ironically, the wedding announcement (scheduled for later this week) was shared on a private board for people struggling with "mixed-orientation marriages." In other words, the board is filled with stories of people who are married heterosexually and who are barely hanging on. It also contains bitter posts from a couple straight spouses whose marriages were wrecked when their gay spouse finally came out or was outed. Of course, there are a couple who are successfully maintaining their mixed-orientation marriages. But these few are the exceptions.

This young twentysomething lesbian posted a thread announcing that she is getting married later this week. She is seeking prayers -- and everyone is wishing her well. Because, no doubt, she will be one of the very few who makes her mixed-orientation marriage turn out just fine.

I don't dare write what I think of this woman's choices on that board, given its nature and my perspective. But why drag a husband and eventually kids into your sexual/religious confusion? And the others who have actually walked in the shoes -- as well as those who've had their lives shattered when they later learned that they married a gay or lesbian spouse... I really don't get why they just offer hopeful platitudes. There isn't even a tiny bit of opposition, push back, or challenge. And that's really sad.

If you are an LGBT person who is struggling with reconciling your sexual identity with your religious identity, please don't try to fix things by getting married! It might seem like an ideal solution, but it just turns a difficult situation into a messy complication.

I've been around long enough to personally know gay people who've been pushed into mixed-orientation marriages because of religious beliefs and I've seen the horrible emotional fall-out of the straight spouse and their kids after the divorces. It's not pretty.

This response might seem contradictory given this blog post from earlier this month, but celibacy is a much better response to conflicting sexual and religious identities than mixed-orientation marriages. IMHO, as always!

1 comment:

Donny Jacobs said...

What I have to say about this, Jon: It is a coerced marriage, coerced by the Fundie church and perhaps this woman's militantly heterosexist friends and relatives. Anyone who would applaud such a union has a twisted interpretation of the Scriptures. Celibacy is fine, as long as it's not the I-can't-have-sex-because-it-would-be-sinful variety. That is also coerced.