Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Gay Men Marry Women

I recently read that Dwight Eubanks, some sort of reality TV show star and an openly gay (not bisexual) man, is getting married to a woman. I know that self-hating closet cases often get married, but why would an openly gay man do the same thing? Curious Gay Guy.

"Marriages" like this are not real marriages -- they're two immature people playing house. In other words what we've got here is another case of: "Dizzy Queen Marries Woman For A Hoot." [For more information google "Liza Minelli."]

I have often commented on why "mixed marriages" don't work in any realistic fashion. While I can be sympathetic for women who unknowingly marry a homosexual man, I think a woman who undergoes a marriage with an openly gay guy is just asking for trouble. She's on the same level, as far as I'm concerned, as a woman who wants a romantic relationship with a guy serving a life sentence in prison. It has everything to do with desperation and nothing to do with reality of any kind.

I don't know Eubanks, but there are some things we have to remember. We tend to think that internalized homophobia only affects closeted gay men, but I have met many men who are basically out of the closet -- even out publicly -- and who are still dealing with issues of shame and guilt. Then we also have to remember that, sadly, many members of minorities blame their unhappiness not on the vicissitudes of fate or their own personality flaws, but on their being black or gay or what-have-you.

Here we have a gay man who has reached a certain age (in this case, 50) without a partner, and will probably say that he just wants companionship. So he's marrying a woman he feels a certain rapport with. There may be other factors. She may be after the indirect celebrity that comes from associating/marrying someone who is "famous" (admittedly only to those who bother to watch reality shows). There can also be financial motivations in mixed marriages. And loneliness can literally create strange bedfellows (although I seriously doubt if these two will have any kind of riveting sex life or any sex life at all -- with each other). Women who marry gay men are often dealing (or not dealing) with their own sexual identity issues, and there's almost always a conscious or sub-concious element of homophobia as well.

I have met a few openly gay (but rarely Out and Proud) men who marry woman late in life. One fellow told me it was about companionship, but he was also in the media, and I truly believe he was hoping he could fool the powers-that-be into thinking he was straight and taking him more seriously. I also believe there was a financial motive (and in this case the woman probably did not know he was gay, even though everyone else on the planet did. Or she was so desperate for a companion she didn't care.) The marriage, which lasted about two years, didn't have the desired effect, and the guy not only didn't go further in his career but got fired after many years of employment.

Eubanks has complained that he meets too many guys on the downlow and is sick of it. He blithely ignores the fact that there are a great many Out and Proud African-Americans.

It can be tough for anyone -- gay or straight -- to find "the one." But the search is made that much harder by those gay men who aren't fully accepting of themselves [regardless of how "out" they may be] or think of themselves as being unhappy being gay when their unhappiness is actually based on other factors-- it is easier to say your problem is being gay when the problem may actually be you and your character flaws. Often men like Eubanks drive potential mates away because their internalized homophobia prevents them from fully committing to a relationship with another male.

The truth is that a well-adjusted. proud gay man may have many loving friendships with women, but he'll have no desire to entire into a sham marriage with one of them. And a woman with healthy self-esteem and no hidden issues will allow a gay man to be gay and pursue a relationship with a man who can be totally "into" her.

A bigger truth is that if Dwight Eubanks ever does meet the man of his dreams -- and that man feels the same way about Eubanks -- the "wife" will be out of the picture before you can say Tom Robinson.


rick lee y said...

It's no secret that these kinds of marriages have been around forever. It's silly to assume that just because someone comes out the guilt, shame and all negative thoughts, feelings and actions associated with gay life end there. To a small minority within the minority it might be impossible for them to empathize with those who don't flip the denial switch automatically whenever you do something profound in life. The cost never talked about for such an act like outing yourself is that family and friends often times need time to deal with it as well. Forcing the issue without regard for anyone's feelings or points of view on the subject that isn't the expected "I'm happy for you" is pretty much guaranteed to permanently damage or kill long standing personal relationships. Sure everyone wants the big happy rainbow filled coming out of 110% acceptance but many people often deal with terrible unforeseen consequences to their personal relationships they once thought were solid and reliable. It has damaged or destroyed that connection leaving them feeling much worse about themselves. You can blame "homophobic society" and the everything else in the world. That instant instability in ones personal and family life can lead to profound and severe depression often leading to other destructive behaviors as a coping mechanism. But because it has to do with being gay and coming out all those issues are ignored and replaced with campy, topical and cliche`d anecdotes that are a product of gay pop culture and nothing more. Gays will have to accept that at times they will be unaccepted. Thanks to political correctness this issue has moved away from those it directly affects and has been handed over to politicians to legislate our lifestyle into acceptance. So, Dr. Bill, it would be nice to see you accept those gays in kindness who aren't just like you instead of this harsh and catty judgment because not 100% of those who come out feel good about doing so. Gays like you are actually worse than homophobic people since you cast away those whom you say you identify with based on some topical and unimportant assessment you probably got wrong to begin with. I know truth and the gay life are never supposed to mix but you have to put up with gays like me who keep self-inflated moral judges in check. Your personal life is littered with hookups and missed opportunities and regrets which you make up for by having an over active activism hobby that is clearly steeped in denial as you will support the gay agenda no matter how illogical or unfair the fight becomes. It's not fun feeling judged is it? So in conclusion I do see why you would write the point of view you did, you are a gay agenda sympathizer who has no empathy for others who struggle with the pain and fallout of a coming out that doesn't go like it does on Logo. Just don't be to out of touch with reality of what gays are actually doing and feeling by getting overly busied with this militant gay agenda that has lost touch with the average gay guy or girl it says it supports. Thanks

Bill Samuels said...

Where do I begin?

You can find my responses to these comments on the 2/2/10 post "Worse than a Homophobe?"

Anonymous said...

I have a gay male friend who has been married for 31 years to a straight women. And he told her he was gay before they married.
Being a straight woman, I just do not get this at all.
Thank you for your wonderful answer.
You just confirmed what I thought about her.
This is a wonderful blog, by the way.

Bill Samuels said...

Thank you very much! Bill