My Ex Just Married a Man

And I couldn't be happier for him

Cherilyn Christen Clough
Human Parts

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Picture of two men hugging with white flowers in the background.
Photo by In Lieu & In View Photography

My husband knelt in front of me two times. The first was to ask me to marry him, and the second time was to set him free so he could pursue life as a gay man. I cried both times. When people hear that my ex is gay and we were married for thirty years, they want to know how in the world this happened, so I’ll start from the beginning.

Three years before we got married, my ex-husband told me that he was attracted to men. We were fundamentalist Christians at the time — so funny that he called it “same-sex attraction.” It almost seemed like a passing fancy for a certain flavor of wine or chocolate that might change over time. Everybody, from our parents and church school teachers and, of course, the preachers, had given us the message that being different or having any attraction to someone of the same gender was taboo.

We’d been raised to believe same-sex attraction was a sin problem instead of an issue of orientation. As a matter of fact, we didn’t use the word orientation because we didn’t even know that was a thing.

I wonder how many LGBTQIA+ kids who were raised Christian have suffered untold traumas due to the fact they were never given a language to explain what they felt.

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Cherilyn Christen Clough
Human Parts

Exposing narcissism, smashing the patriarchy, and refuting religious abuse--one story at a time