Straight Spouses Add Their Voice to National Coming Out Day
The Straight Spouse Network, an often invisible ally, offer their support on National Coming Out Day. Straight spouses are men and women who are or once were married to LGBT people. It is estimated that up to two million gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals have ever married.
Mahwah, NJ, September 29, 2010 /LGBT News/ The Human Rights Campaign has declared October 11 as National Coming Out Day. On this day, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and allies celebrate. The Straight Spouse Network, an often invisible ally, once again joins in support.
Straight spouses are men and women who are or once were married to LGBT people. It is estimated that up to two million gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals have ever married. In addition, an unknown number of transgender persons marry. When they come out, their spouses are devastated, feeling betrayed, and sexually rejected. Most family members and friends, even professionals and clergy, ignore or do not understand their pain and minimize their concerns. As a result, each straight wife or husband has to heal the wounds caused by the unexpected disclosure while dealing with their own identity crisis in isolation.
Spouses who find the Straight Spouse Network and its personal, confidential support system and research-based information begin to heal their personal trauma. They also gain understanding of the larger issue of homophobia that caused their partners to enter a traditional marriage in the first place.
"Many concerns of a straight spouse relate to anti-gay and anti-trans attitudes and behaviors in communities across the country," says Kathy Callori, Executive Director of the Straight Spouse Network. "They, and their children too, are often stigmatized or isolated in social or religious groups. They also fear their LGBT partners will lose their jobs or community status if they come out publicly."
For information about the Straight Spouse Network and how you can help them continue to help spouses heal and grow in understanding, see http://www.straightspouse.org.