3 mai 2009

Is it wrong to marry a woman if I'm certain I'm gay?

I am 18 years old and gay, but I have not come out. And I don’t really know whether I want to. Although I am physically attracted to men, I still dream of marrying a woman, having kids and leading what most people would consider a «normal» life. I see this is a pretty gutless thing to do and yet I don’t think I will ever have the courage to come out. And as I said, I still want to be able to have a relationship with a woman. Yet at the same time, I understand that if I’d grown up in a different sort of world where being gay didn’t have so much stigma attached, I might not feel this way. Anyway, my question is basically is it wrong to have a relationship with a woman if you are definitely gay?

Evelyn Kuang

Hello Matt,

Thanks for submitting your question to Alterheros. I understand you’re trying to work through a difficult issue. I think its important to note that there is no definitive answer of what is clearly right or wrong to do in this situation, whether you choose a man or woman, come out or not etc., simply because our lives are complex and ever changing.

You mentioned that you are physically attracted to men, but want to be in a relationship, get married have kids with a woman. First off, you should ask yourself what do you want- for example, is it the ‘married’ lifestyle that you want (the kids, marriage, house etc)? In that, the conventional lifestyle you mentioned is achievable with a man or woman – or rather, a person you feel that you love, are compatible with, want to spend your life and raise kids with. I think that if you feel that being with a woman is more emotionally and mentally right for you, and getting married to her: a «person» who is «right for you» – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Likewise is the same if you meet a man and you feel he is the right person for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that either.

It is important to note, that if you choose to get married not for love, but to ‘save face’, you could ultimately be hurting yourself as well as others. Hence it is crucial to give this decision thoughtful consideration before taking action. If you’re not marrying the woman for the same reasons you would marry a man of your dreams (in an ideal world) – then you should question what will actually make you and your partner (man or woman) happy and feel healthy and honest in your relationship with one another. i think you will find, that the healthiness, happiness and honesty between two people in love with each other, can help to effectively combat any negativity from the outward gaze of society as well as ultimately overriding your own inner struggles about your decision.

About your courage in coming out, it is a big thing to do absolutely and is 100% your choice – you should never feel pressured to do so. On the other hand, you might find you feel differently about coming out if you meet the right person that might give you that courage or that you’re so proud to be with, that that happiness compels you to come out. Just something perhaps to keep as an open possibility in your life.

Hypothetically speaking, if we did not live in a world where there was a stigma attached to homosexuality, perhaps you might feel differently-this is true. However, I feel that dwelling on that might-be scenario doesn’t help you sort your feelings out, but rather confuses you more. I recommend instead, to focus on considering your circumstances, your own feelings, and what you are comfortable with. Sexuality is complicated, and sometimes we are so sure we are gay or heterosexual or whatever, but then go on to find exceptions in our lives simply because we love this exceptional person for who they are. A working, happy and healthy relationship will be based on things beyond physical attraction, because it is those mental and emotional connections that make a relationship last and prosper.

Lastly, you should not feel that you need to make this decision about your ‘adult’ life immediately. Life changes so much as you grow older, and we feel differently with time and as we learn new things about ourselves, meet new people, etc….we can’t really predict that in two years or ten years later, that we will definitely be married, or still homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual, or working a certain job, etc. Remember, you have your whole life before you and there is no need to commit to a final happy ending so soon in life.

I hope my response has helped clear some things for you. Please don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you have any!

For Alterheros,