By Kathy Callori
Executive Director, Straight Spouse Network
Three straight spouses from the Mahwah face to face group had a second visit with the Gay Dads of NYC group. There were about 16 dads there and we talked about them and their children. The leader for the evening talked to us before and expressed that the dads would like to ask questions about how the coming out affected our children so it led into a wonderful almost 2 hour discussion.
They had children ranging from 2 – 39 so was a wide range including one dad who was not ever married, but a dad to 3 children by surrogate with 2 lesbian couples and they all live together. That was an interesting story. They all seem to get along – he said one of the lesbian’s partner gave him a hard time about his involvement with her partner’s child.. but it seems to be working.
They also asked questions about what to do about their spouses who were still “angry” about their coming out – we directed them to give their wives our brochure; we will keep watch to see if we hear from any of those wives.
They asked about appropriate time to tell their children and how to do that.
One man said he and his wife are divorced, but the kids don’t know why (14 and 17), they split their time staying at the house where the children live- the rest of their time they live with their new partners. When they are with the kids, the “partner” is not present (since the kids don’t know either of them have new partners). We told him it was time for “truth” before the kids heard from others and also assured him they most likely know in their own ways.
I did meet the husband of our newest facilitator who started her group last night on Long Island. He was very pleasant and happy to meet us and did thank us for helping her get to the point she is at. One of the first things I talked about was to let them know that SSN was started because the San Francisco Gay Dads asked Amity to do so. They seemed to like that piece of info.
At the end of the night , many of them came up to us to thank us and to say they could see that we and the Straight Spouse Network are supportive of the LGBT community. Mission Accomplished!