One of the great things about being part of an international organization that supports straight spouses is that we get to keep up with the television and movies that aren’t available in all areas. Straight spouses in the UK started 2010 watching an elaborate wedding staged between a closeted gay man and a clueless woman on EastEnders , one of the most watched soap operas in the entire world. Oh, the drama.
It seems there’s been this torrid homosexual affair going on between Syed, the modern, westernized, highly educated son of a Moslem family in the catering business, and Christian, a partner in the business. Fans of EastEnders have been treated to passionate, secretive, wall slamming kiss scenes between the two men. And guess what? Syed loves Amira, and wants to marry her. Amira has a father in prison for shady financial dealings, and she appears to be the only person in the entire cast who does not know or suspect something is up. We’re sure that will change.
On New Year’s Day, the traditional Muslim Pakistani wedding of Syed and Amira was telecast, in all its elaborate and eye popping splendor. Amid the glamour, Christian kept popping up and glaring at Syed, who was clearly rattled. Oh, and Christian also outed Syed to Zainab, Syed’s pregnant mom. Zainab told Christian he was a pervert and he had lost because now Syed was going to do things the right way by marrying Amira. Zainab had pushed for the wedding to take place, not wanting the disgrace between families of the wedding being called off because of “perversion”. Syed has admitted to his mom that he’s gay, but agreed to go ahead with the wedding.
Hmm. Straight spouses all across the globe, doesn’t some of this sound familiar? A bit over the top maybe, but familiar, yes?
We’re depending on the UK straights to keep us updated on these developments. EastEnders is seen all over the world, but current episodes outside the UK are only seen on Pay Per View. (This of course costs much more than the average subscription to the BBC). In the United States, prior seasons of EastEnders can be seen on select public television stations.
Poor Amira. Here she is, a smart girl with what appears to be a fabulous future, the handsomest husband in London, a mother in law from hell, and she’s the last one to know he’s gay. We’re sure she’ll find out soon, and it won’t be kind. Perhaps Christian will confront her in a jealous rage. Perhaps like many of her real counterparts, she won’t believe him. Perhaps she’ll find Syed and Christian in the act. When she does, the story can take several realistic turns.
She might become angry,and keep the secret to herself, resulting in depression and suicidal behavior. Her mother in law might cover up her own knowledge of the affair by telling Amira that she just isn’t a good enough wife to turn this around. Somehow, Amira will wind up taking blame for being stupid, for knowing anyway and pretending to be all innocent, or for not being a good enough wife. Maybe Amira’s dad will order a hit on Syed from prison to spare her the disgrace of a divorce from a homosexual. Under Islamic law, Amira is entitled to a divorce if Syed is unfaithful, whether this is with a man or woman. Many western courts have not caught up with this idea, and consider infidelity to only involve another person of the opposite sex. Sadly, this is true in England, and most parts of the USA.
Or maybe, just MAYBE, Amira will find the support of other straight spouses in the UK. Maybe she’ll visit the UK’s only face-to-face support service at www.straightpartnersanonymous.co.uk. She’ll learn that she is not alone. She’ll begin the intense journey toward healing herself and recovering from the devastation that such a deep deception inflicts on her. We might see something like the Straight Partners group turn up in the East End. Wow! Then other East Enders and Londoners might start actually looking for the support they didn’t know existed!