Gay men, please don’t date women
Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2010 00:11
Gay men who hide their sexuality often suffer severe emotional pain and psychological trauma; that fact is obvious. But the pain inflicted upon women who date and even marry such men is rarely ever mentioned.
Unfortunately, that is far more common than many people realize. Closeted gay men will date and even marry women for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the reason is that they want to pursue a "normal" life in accordance with society's ideal. Most often, they feel a religious obligation to be heterosexual, to marry a woman and to have kids.
One of the most obvious examples of that is longtime Contemporary Christian artist Ray Boltz. He married at a young age, became an award winning Christian singer, and spent the next thirty years of his marriage leading a double life, even as he prayed for God to change him. After finally giving up on the idea that God would change his sexuality, the broken man came out to his wife and children.
Though he and his wife chose to divorce afterward, she and their children did not turn on him; they offered him love and support, despite the hurt they must have felt. But when Boltz came out publicly in 2008, many enraged Christian music fans left him hateful letters, vowing to burn his albums.
It is the fear of that kind of hatred and of that kind of rejection that leaves so many gay people to live lies. Lying to oneself about something so important is painful enough, but eventually, that pain can spill over to others.
Through the course of my college career, I have witnessed many relationships between closeted men and unsuspecting women. Sometimes, she knows that he "struggles with homosexuality," but believes him when he says that he has changed or is praying to change.
Any straight woman in a similar situation should understand this: Sexuality is not a habit, nor is it a lifestyle; it is something that is unchangeable. There is no switch that she can flip on, no therapy she can undergo, and no prayer she can pray to suddenly become a lesbian and lose interest in guys. The same is true with the gay man she is dating.
No man should put a woman through the stress and pain of such a relationship. Such men often believe themselves to be doing the right or "godly" thing. In reality, he is often using her for his own purposes as he tries to "fix" himself.
The logic for many of these men is that he can avert an eternity in hell by forcing himself to be with a woman. Being gay is not wrong; if there is a sin, surely it is the selfish act committed when a man dates or marries a woman, knowing he can never give her body his full admiration; knowing he can never appreciate her the way she deserves.
If the fear of hell compels a man to refuse acceptance of his sexuality, he could choose to remain celibate.
But the more noble choice would be for him to accept himself and give up lying. Lying, after all, is explicitly condemned in the Bible.
If only men like Ray Boltz had grown up hearing lying condemned from the pulpit as fiercely as homosexuality likely was, they may have spared themselves and others a lot of pain.