A Secret Gay Affair
I have been married for over 20 years to the same woman and have had a secret relationship with a guy for almost 10 years. My wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I want to tell her, but I am afraid to destroy a woman I still have much love for. What would you do?
Many of us stay in the closet from the deep fear of hurting or losing those we love. While I want to support you because I recognize the complexities of coming out, I can't overlook the weight of your betrayal. Sometimes we think that if we end something right it can change everything bad that's come before it. But you've been deceiving an innocent person you love for 20 years. How come you want to tell her the truth now? Telling her at this point may clear your conscience, but what's it going to do to her? Would you want this news in your last days?
It's not telling her that will destroy her. It's the destructive deceit. It would have been brave to tell her years ago, but it's cowardly to do so now.
She's dying - and you want her to know that her whole life with you - as she's known it - is based on a lie. That's a cruel, almost unfathomable, realization for anyone to have - that someone they love and trusted has duped them - and now they may be out of time.
Use your love for her to make thisending all about her needs - not about yours. She may die without knowing you, but she never really knew you. You already chose in life with regards to her. You chose to deny her the freedom to choose for herself whether to love you or not for who you really were. And you chose to deny yourself the freedom to live your truth.
Hey Angelo. I'm a black gay man and I think the gay community can be racist. How can this be?
Signed, White Boys Only
Dear White Boys Only,
You would think that since gay people are discriminated against, that they would be the first to be accepting of others. But many gay people who are also members of other minority groups - African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Transgender Persons - the list goes on - tell me they are treatedworse by gays than straights.
How come this is true? Gay persons are injured by society because we are told that what we are is unacceptable. From this we carry a core wound of "not belonging." But we need to feel like we are acceptable again. We want to fit in and belong. So to heal this wound, there are parts of the gay community that seek to be just like everyone else. Blending in helps some of us to feel like we're not all that different. Like we don't stick out so much. This leads to everybody trying to fit into "the majority" of the gay mainstream - which is a "mini-me" of the American mainstream. If you dont fit themold, you can be rejected. Since we're all gay,ourrejection of each other can be based more onvisible differences: race, ethnicity, fitness, age, beauty, masculinity. We forget that being different is the very reason we were all rejected from the mainstream in the first place.
Instead we must turn toward each other with acceptance, compassion and love. Our sameness is our difference.
Concentrate on the many gays out there who specifically seek men of color, other ethnic/racial minorities and other differences. Stay out and proud. Focus your personal relationships on the more evolved spirits out there. Challenge discrimination whenever you run into it. Prejudice of any kind - from anyone - is wrong.
The Gay Man's Therapist
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