Straight spouses are developing support networks around the world. As technology driven media makes it easier to share information, many people living in countries where homosexuality is not even discussed are able to ask and answer their questions online, and connect with support groups.
Being a straight spouse is not confined to just one country, continent, or group of people. Just as homosexuality is global, so are the incidents of gay and lesbian people marrying a heterosexual person, for a variety of reasons.
International straight spouses face different obstacles. In some parts of the world, it is not only taboo to discuss or acknowledge homosexuality, but it is also frowned upon for women to speak of sex at all. In some places, homosexuals are targeted for prosecution, persecution, and death. Spouses, family, and children may also share in the social condemnation.
When a marriage is arranged or the result of two families coming to an agreement, finding out that a spouse is gay can have serious consequences beyond the marriage. We have known of straight spouses who were pressured into silence, or discredited and disgraced for proceeding with divorce in situations where marriage is a contract between famiies.
We know of groups that meet in Australia, New Zealand,India,the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe, and Canada. We’d like to hear from straight spouses in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central America. Our communication is always confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.
We invite anyone, male or female, who is married to or divorced from a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender spouse to get in touch with us. Our services are free and confidential. Fill out the form in the Find Support tab, and we will respond. If there is a contact in your country who has been vetted by us, we will advise you and let them know too. If not, then you can explore the online support systems we have.
Yes, there is life after the experience that many straight spouses call “The Gay Thing”. There is a happily ever after, and some straight spouses manage to find it together with each other.
Take a look at Hannah and Michael in Australia. In fact, if you live IN Australia, you can take a look at them on the show “Big” on Channel Nine every Wednesday.
Both Hannah and Michael contacted the Straight Spouse Network when their marriages to gay and lesbian spouses broke up. At that time, there were no face to face support groups in Australia, although there were several spouses throughout the country who had connected with us. Hannah and Michael connected online, and together started face to face support groups in Australia.
Of course along with the blooming of a healthy romance, family life, and new friendships came the realization that they had to do something healthy for themselves. Hannah was the first to have gastric sleeve surgery, and has lost a tremendous amount of weight. Michael took it a step further, changing his life on television. Yes, diet, exercise, surgery, and..marriage! Definitely something to live for.
Those of us who attended the Florida gathering last year were so honored to see them wed in a surprise civil ceremony on the beach. It was truly a gift to all of us to see that life, hope, and family do go on, along with regaining health. They later had the big wedding for family and friends in Australia.
Today, the Straight Spouse Network is alive and well in Australia, with face to face groups meeting throughout the country, and an annual gathering in a different state each year. Australian and international straight spouses have found that hidden group communications on Facebook have been a great way to keep in touch and support one another over a distance.
All of us have a tremendous gift in the hope, energy, and healing of these two tremendous people through love, companionship, and honesty.