“I’m Gay”: Telling My Husband and Children

Coming Out Was Both the Beginning and the End of a Journey

Mary Wise (she/her)
Human Parts
Published in
20 min readFeb 9, 2024

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

I spent over two decades married to the same man. We have two kids, two cats; we’ve even had two dogs in the time we’ve been together. But three years ago, at the ripe middle-age of 44, I told him and our two children that I’m gay and I want a divorce.

At the very start of our relationship, back when we were both 21 and still wrapped in our college-life delusions about being adults, I told him that I was bisexual. He was fine with it, thought it was a hot accessory for our fantasy life, provided I didn’t act on it of course. I was fine with that because being bisexual does not mean you’re automatically polyamorous and must have both male and female partners in your sex life. It just means you have lot more options for who you might fall in love with.

But there was one glitch, a major one, that only time and a lot of inner-work made clear — I’m not bisexual; I’m a lesbian and I don’t ever want to be with a man again.

Wait… was this really real? Was I really doing this? How could I do this?

I was 44 years old and now, I’m suddenly a lesbian? The implications of this, the layers of this, twisted me up in more ways than I can even verbalize three years later. But here’s what I…

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Mary Wise (she/her)
Human Parts

Poetry and personal stories of past lives and paths forward. Writer, editor, teacher, photographer, behavioral health expert. I live in PA with my two children.