Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Don't Expect a Bedsheet to Be Hung Out the Window

Beliefnet just posted an article from the Religion News Service on gay and lesbian Muslims in teh United States who get married to preserve their family's honor, protect themselves physically, and get nagging mothers off their backs. It's a fantastic article, with both pro-gay and anti-gay sides well-portrayed and neither one vilified. It's also extremely germane to Muslims everywhere, as not a few of my friends in Lebanon have spoken of doing the same thing. A quote from the article:

Though gay Muslims in America don't have such fears, they still seek out marriages of convenience as a way of staying in the closet. Many of them worry about being ostracized from their families if their secret is revealed. A marriage of convenience is the perfect solution, Mansoor said.

"It's a great option," he said. "I get married to a lesbian, we sleep in different rooms and remain friends. Meanwhile I can have a boyfriend."
It's a great solution. A gay man marries a lesbian, their families leave them alone, and, if they want, they can have kids without going through messy adoption procedures. (For those of you who are thinking "they won't have sex", don't forget the turkey baster.) Everyone's happy.

But there is a dark side to gay people getting married to please their families and protect themselves: gay people who marry straight people. It's a huge phenomenon that is almost never discussed when dealing with gay people and marriage, but it is sadly extremely common and makes everyone involved unhappy.

First, if a gay man marries a straight woman, many horrible things can happen:

1) He cheats on her. Imagine how she, or their children, would feel if she found out?

2) He stops having gay relationships and is emotionally vacant.

3) She is left sexually frustrated and in a marriage where she is rarely touched.

The list goes on and on. Worst of all, there are no real ways out for the woman. It's easier for a woman to skip backwards around the world than get a divorce in the Middle East. Plus, it puts shame on everyone involved.

The situation is similar, but reversed, if a lesbian marries a straight man, expect that it also includes the fact that the man may end up forcing himself on his uninterested wife.

I had a conversation a month ago with a friend of mine, who is very queeny and quite out of the closet, who said that he plans to go back in the closet and get married to a straight woman so he can have a family. He admitted that he will probably end up being abstinent most of his life. Can you imagine? Who will be happy in such a situation? He won't, his wife won't, and I imagine that their unhappiness will reflect on their children.

There are so many people out there who say that gay people should just conform to society and get married. But would you want your daughter to marry a gay man? It's not just the gay people who have to suffer because they deny who they are. Their families suffer, too.


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June 27, 2006 11:50 PM  
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