As the straight spouse in a mixed orientation marriage, I have learned a lot about the LGBT community in the past few years. My husband is bisexual and was deeply closeted his entire adult life until he came out to me after 30+ years of marriage.

  • The funny thing is that when he came out to me, I immediately went into my own closet. Initially there was no one with whom I could talk and share this information. I felt isolated and very lonely but I developed a small sense of what it feels like to be closeted.
  • Fast forward a couple years. My husband and I have been working on our MOM and are now out to our children, close family members, and a few selected friends. What I discovered is that “coming out” is a very big deal. As we prepared, we rehearsed our “coming out” speeches; dealt with fear and anxiety about how others would respond to us; and anticipated various reactions and how we would reply. For the most part, people were very loving and accepting of us. Admittedly, there were a few encounters that left us feeling sad and disappointed.
  • We found this TED talk by Ash Beckham to be helpful and inspiring. Her “Three Pancake Girl Principles” are about having the easiest hard conversation in your life. And we fully agree with Ash that “a closet is no place for a person to live.”

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