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The Gay Divorcee

The Gay Divorcee

I got married a few years ago. Not so big a deal and a big deal at the same time. Lots of people get married, but not lots of gay people…at least to someone of the same sex.

Did I fail myself or did I fail my community? 

Along with the joy, hope and anticipation of wedded bliss there comes an added emotional state or state of mind when in a same sex marriage: the responsibility to the LGBT community who fought long and hard for this basic right. So what happens when the much-hailed same-sex marriage falls apart? The same pain, fear and alienation as befall any relationship that fractures. However, there’s an added sense of failure that with all the ballyhoo about same-sex marriage, we can’t all make it work, either.

Did I fail myself or did I fail my community? Heavy questions and a heavy emotional burden. The first question is asked by anyone in a relationship that breaks up. The latter is one that may be self-imposed. But is it valid or merely additional self-inflicted punishment? Are same-sex marriages doomed to fail or are gay people just trying to hitch their wagon to a train that’s already going off the tracks?

I’m sure that most people experiencing divorce have spent many a “dark night of the soul” staring at the ceiling, wondering what exactly went wrong, how they could have changed it or whether or not they are making the right decision. Chances are, straight people aren’t also thinking that on some level, on some graph or stats sheet, they have let down their community. I did.

You’d be amazed at the crazy shit that flies through your mind at 3am

Maybe I was just a sucker for punishment, but it was a thought that plagued me for months. The rational, intellectual side of me kept saying I was wrong and that I am no more responsible to a demographic when it comes to this situation than anyone else. However, my emotional side (where part of my internal social activist resides) kept poking me, telling me that I failed in the infancy of the queer community’s local and global battle for equal rights. I would be part of a statistic that would be waved around by our opponents as proof that “gays are destroying marriage”. Sound preposterous, but at 3am you’d be amazed the crazy shit that flies through your mind.

Through talking with friends, I eventually abandoned the idea that I failed as a gay man. I accepted the end of my marriage and eventually landed in a place that allowed me to move forward. I’m not thrilled to be divorced. However, when weighing that against the idea of staying in a marriage that wasn’t working, it was the lesser of two evils.

Same sex couples are no more or less predisposed to divorce than anyone else. The challenge is that this is a new opportunity and—like with any couple—it should be entered into with sober contemplation. This is marriage. This is for life. Not just for now.

Through this experience, I’ve learned what it is I want and expect in a relationship. I now have a better understanding of who I am. I also do not feel the need to jump into another relationship unless I feel it’s worth landing in. The silver lining is, I have another chance to start again with someone new and possibly take those vows once more—or not. I haven’t decided yet.


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One Comment

  1. great article there jiffer!




  1. Unvailed: The 2011 Hot List | Unvailed - [...] Same sex marriage has been a contentious issue for years. Much has been said about gay people getting married.…

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