This blog is from the heart, informed by having been married to a closeted gay man and understanding how that experience changed the trajectory of my life, both as a woman and as a psychotherapist. Please add to the conversation and "Follow" if you're so inclined; all voices are welcome!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A gay man's perspective on straight spouses

This blog is worth a read --  it is by a young gay man in Malaysia. I very much appreciate his sensitivity to the damage done to straight spouses.

"I recently came across the phrase 同妻 (lit. "a gay man's wife") which means straight spouse. It refers to the women who are married to gay men.

A Chinese news channel had a cover story on these straight spouses recently.
Guardian UK also had an article dated years ago on the marriages between a straight and a homosexual person and the coming out of the homosexual spouses. The straight spouses were generally supportive of their homosexual spouses when they came out even though they have divorced.

But that's not the case for those straight spouses in the Chinese programme. Probably due to the norm of the society, the circumstances of the wives of homosexual husbands are usually not as optimistic as the ones from UK.

A rough estimate of the total number of straight spouses in China is said to be more than 10 million. That's easily two times the population of the entire Singapore.
The plight of these Chinese straight spouses include unhappy family lives, domestic violence, higher risk of HIV, pressure of public opinion and gossips, pressure from family to have children, depression etc. I guess the most direct one is that how can a person be happy to marry someone that does not love him or her? And I can hardly imagine how devastating it is for a woman to find out that the man that promised her happiness and stability for the rest of her life is gay.

Quoting from another Chinese TV programme that made the coverage on this issue, 'due to the ignorance of the traditional society, under the pressure from public opinion, 90 percent of gay man in China choose marriage, but most of their spouses know nothing about it.'
The keyword here is ignorance. Doesn't that sound similar to the Malaysian society?
The ignorance causes the heartbreaking stories and perturbing plight of the straight spouses. By making the society more homophobic, we will only produce more of these straight spouses in distress. Do we really want this in Malaysia?

So don't try to marry a girl when you know or even suspect you're gay."

**Please visit our GoFundMe page at www.gofundme/ to see how you can help support personal growth and empowerment weekends for straight spouses. Thank you!

To schedule a face-to-face or FaceTime session with Kimberly Brooks Mazella, LPC, please go to my website at