Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Celebration of Spring*

This is one of the most beautiful Springs we have had in South Texas in years. The lows have been in the mid 50's at night and the highs have been in the high 70's during the days. The days have been cooled further by pleasant winds. It is absolutely a gorgeous Spring.

I have played a little golf. Last week on the course it was cool with a nice breeze. I didn't even break a sweat playing the 18 holes. Between the 9th and 10th holes my buddy and I sat under a huge pecan tree and ate lunch. All in all it was a perfect way to spend a Thursday.

The rest of the time I've been working in my yard. I have a pretty extensively landscaped yard (not quite as landscaped as the one pictured but I'm working on it) and I've been trimming hedges and cleaning out dead leaves from the Fall that were caught under the hedges. So far I've bagged twenty-five 30 gallon bags to be hauled off.

I've also been planting hundreds of bedding plants around the house and yard for Spring and Summer color. Already the roses are in full bloom - red, yellow and pink. Some of the yellow ones are huge, beautiful blooms.

It's the best time of the year in Texas; and what makes it a real celebration for me is that the therapy for my cancer continues to do its job and I have energy to do all the work without tiring out after only a few minutes. It's been an amazing thing, and I am thankful for it. It occurs to me often that our trials come to make us stronger and to let us appreciate more fully and be thankful for the good times. The Spring of 2012 has been one of the best of my life for me. Later in the Summer, my wife and I will be going to Europe to further celebrate the fact that I have the strength to go. It's also a great thing to have something to look forward to.

The only down side is that I have not had time to get on the computer much at all. I apologize for leaving you all in the lurch. But I should be back next week with a new blog piece. Once I get everything done I can take my computer out on the patio and write while enjoying everything I've done.

In the mean time, I hope all of you are taking advantage of the Spring weather where you are or for my Aussie friends who read the blog, the Fall weather. No matter what your circumstance, I hope you'll find your own way to celebrate the Spring. I'm a Country Music fan. Most people in Texas are. One of my favorite artists is Tim McGraw. He sings a song, Live Like You Were Dying. It's a good philosophy. I have cancer, but none of us know about tomorrow. Just this week locally a 17 year old High School student died in a automobile accident when she and three of her friends were out driving. Don't let life pass you by. And if you haven't heard Tim McGraw's song, take a look at the You Tube video below.

Jack Scott

Monday, April 16, 2012

Candid Thoughts To Our Wives

Over the almost three years I have been writing this blog, I have written about bisexuality and marriage 18 times. It's a very important topic, and like many important topics it is one I think about often, and it is one about which my thoughts continue to evolve.

I've been out to my own wife for just about six years. When I told her, it was a very big deal. There were tears, anger, surprise, dismay, fear, concern on her part for my well being and eventually acceptance and reconciliation. Now, six years later, it is no longer a big deal in our lives. On the scale of big deals in our lives, it has become quite small in comparison to other things such as my cancer which was diagnosed four years ago and which has slowly but steadily advanced to the life threatening stage, to the point where only cutting edge medicine is keeping it under control.

I'm not sure my wife really even thinks much about my bisexuality much anymore. I know she worries about my cancer and what her life will be if the day comes when she has to live her life alone. It's something she has never done. We've been together and very much in love since we were 16 years old and married since I was 18 years old. She left her parents home directly to our home and she has never been alone. It must be a daunting prospect for her. It is for me. I'm not afraid of dying. I am very much afraid of leaving her alone to face the world on her own though we are blessed in that she will have everything she needs to make it on her own.

As for me, I have to admit I do think about my bisexuality and how it relates to our marriage and our relationship a great deal. It's not that I think about it because it is a problem in our lives. It isn't. I think about it and analyze our relationship because I have chosen to write this blog, and I feel compelled to gain as much insight into the things that have kept our mixed orientation marriage working as I possibly can so that I can possibly be of help to those who are just beginning that effort.

I wonder still, after all these years, if I did the right thing in telling her. In a very real way, it was an extremely selfish thing for me to do. To take something I had lived with for 58 years and throw it onto her shoulders without warning. How could such a thing be described as anything but cruel? Some would say it was the honest thing to do. Honesty is sometimes over rated I think. It certainly is not always the best policy; and even though we all say it is, none of us really believe it. There are all kinds of things we as individuals don't handle honestly. We just put more weight on honesty as far as this particular matter goes.

My wife and I are fine, our relationship, our marriage, the level of our intimacy with each other is great, just as it has always been. True, the cancer issue plays a part. We know that we are, no matter what may be, living the last best years of our lives together. There is no time for fussing and fighting or succumbing to petty ill will with each other. There is only time for enjoying these last  years together however long God may see fit to stretch them out.

Things are truly good for us; but I often think, wouldn't they be even better if I had spared her the knowing? Spared her the burden? Spared her the hurt?

I don't know the answer to those questions. I truly don't. All that is left for me regarding such questions is to address them in this blog for the consideration of other guys who are coming along and will find they too have to, in their own turn and in their own lives, deal with the same issues.

But it's become obvious to me of late that it is not just guys who will be dealing with the issues. As my blog has gained more and more readers over the last couple of years, I have begun to receive more and more letters from women who are, for one reason or the other, dealing with the issues connected to being married to a bisexual or homosexual man. In some instances their husbands have confessed. In some they have either found out or suspect.

Which ever the case may have been as to how these women found out, the thing that has surprised me is that every woman I've heard from so far as asked for advise on how to save her marriage, not end it. Perhaps I only hear from the women who want to save their marriages and the ones who want to end their marriages contact their lawyers instead. I'm not sure. I just know I have been greatly surprised at the number of women who are ready and willing to go to great lengths and great personal sacrifice to save their marriages.

There once was a time, even in spite of my own success in telling my wife, that I would have urged any man considering confessing not to do it. I felt that for the huge majority of such men there was no chance whatsoever of success. Now, because of the women with whom I've come into contact, I'm not sure what the chances of success are, but it's not zero. On the other hand, though there obviously are women who want to make their mixed orientation marriage work, the statistics still present a grim picture. Most such marriages fail within two years of the husbands confession of his orientation.

I have learned a great deal from these women to add to what I learned from my own wife. Some of the lessons learned have been quite surprising. "Hell hath no furry as a woman scorned," goes the old saying; and pound for pound and inch for inch, there is no doubt an angry woman can be a force to reckon with. However, women can and do act with compassion, understanding and love, even in the face of their greatest fears. They can in fact be quite magnanimous in going more than half way to meet the needs of the man they love including a husband who is bisexual or homosexual. Many of the women I've heard from are even ready to share or consider sharing their husbands with a male friend if that is what they must do to save their own relationship with him.

Honesty Is A Double Edged Knife
For me, corresponding with these women has been an eye opening experience. I have always been sympathetic to the women who love those of us who are bisexual or homosexual men. Though there are exceptions, for the most part they didn't ask to play the role which they find themselves playing as the wife to a bisexual or homosexual man. Yet, the ones who write to me seem to genuinely being trying to make every attempt to make it work. Keep in mind though that just because they want it to work does not mean it always does. Sometimes what a woman wants in her mind and even in her heart is not something she can live with emotionally. Sometimes women try valiantly to tell themselves that there is nothing their love cannot overcome; but to their dismay they find that in spite of their will to work it out, they simply cannot reconcile everything within their emotional response.

Even so, the willingness of the number of women I have come to know personally to try to deal with their husbands bisexuality inside their marriage  has, frankly, been surprising to me. At the time I told my own wife about my bisexuality I thought of her as the exception to the norm, the woman who could be told without our marriage falling apart. I still think she is an exception to the norm but my recent experiences in the last couple of years has certainly pointed out that there are more exceptional women than I expected there to be when considering this matter.

I think it is a good thing because I honestly believe that bisexuality is the biological norm for men. And I believe we are entering an era in which it will see more and more expression among men. Thus more and more women will have to deal with it in one way or the other.

Through this blog and through the group I moderate on line, I have had contacts with hundreds and hundreds of guys. I am confident I know pretty well what makes men tick. I also know what inhibits them from ticking as they should. Through living my own life and talking with so many other men about their lives, I feel that I have garnered a great deal of expertise concerning the married bisexual and the married homosexual male. Unfortunately, though I am  hearing from more and more women, I have not heard from enough of them yet to feel comfortable that I know them and their reactions to bisexuality or homosexuality as well as I know the reactions of men. I hope by writing this particular blog piece, I will encourage more women to contact me about their situations.

One of the important things I have learned in talking to women is that the individual stories of a couples struggle with bisexuality or homosexuality of the husband, more often than not, do not quite match up. I have been able to observe this by talking individually to both partners in the marriage. When I talk to both partners, I never discuss what one partner tells me with the other partner. I tell them up front that anything they want their partner to know they will have to tell them because I won't. It is not my intention to serve as a messenger and one can not be expected to talk openly unless they know they are speaking to someone who will respect their confidentiality.

In general terms, what I most often find is that women who want to work out their relationships with their husband and save their marriages have the greatest trouble with two aspects of the situation. First, they are usually curious and want to be informed about too many details. Second, they come quickly to resent the time their husbands spend with his male friend, or the time they think he is spending with his male friend. In my own case I found that my wife grossly over estimated the time I spent with my buddy. After I told her about my bisexuality and that I had a buddy, the time I actually spent with that buddy did not change. Neither did the amount of time my wife and I spent apart change. However in her perception any time we spent apart became time I was spending with him in her mind. It finally got to the point that this perception on her part had to be addressed directly with some candid discussion between us. To my wife's credit, she quickly got better at not assuming things which she did not know to be factual.

Also to my wife's credit, from the very first, she told me that she never wanted to know details. In fact she made me promise never to share details with her even if she asked. It wasn't that she wasn't curious, she was. She just was wise enough to know that the details were not something she needed to know or to deal with. We handled the details she needed to be assured of in my promise to her not to be promiscuous and to limit my relationships to long term relationships with men who did the same. On several occasions, my wife has asked for details. I have simply reminded her of the promise she required of me, and she has dropped the questions.

The first question I'm usually asked when a wife who wants to save her marriage contacts me is, "Can I make my marriage work?" There is no easy answer to that fundamental question. It depends on her, on him and on them as a couple. I've already mentioned above that, for her, there is sometimes a disconnect between what she wants and what she can handle emotionally. When such a disconnect occurs, her emotional state will always eventually win and the marriage will fail. For the two as a couple, whether or not the marriage can survive depends on whether or not they can continue to each see the marriage as valuable, stable and satisfying. The important word in the preceding sentence is "continue." If the marriage was not valuable, stable and satisfying to both partners before, it will quickly fail under the weight of the new burden. Their are, of course, exceptions.

One of the most common exceptions centers around status and finances. The fact is that normally a woman will not willingly leave her marriage until and unless she has something better to go to and something to go to that is financially secure. For the wives of men who are financially well off, this is not a problem. Even after dividing assets, there is enough for each to live comfortably without adversely affecting either's customary life style. For middle class families or lower income families, this is not often the case. A division of assets will leave both the husband and the wife financially strapped and with a decidedly lower standard of living. In such cases, the wife will often choose to stay in the marriage but live a separate life from her husband. I have seen this happen many times. Sometimes both the husband and the wife can actually be truly happy with this arrangement. She has her own interests and he has his. The two of them essentially agree to remain publicly committed to each other but privately live and enjoy their own individual lives under the same roof.

But the women who contact me most often seem truly to love their husbands and truly want to come to a working arrangement that will make both of them happy. In these cases, more often than not, it will depend on him as much as on her as to whether or not it works. And essentially what it depends on regarding him is whether or not he is truly a bisexual guy or whether he is in fact a homosexual guy.

Though many people do not yet realize it, neither homosexuality nor bisexuality is a point on a well defined line. Instead both  homosexuality and bisexuality are a range of behaviors and desires along a rather ill defined but lengthy line between absolute heterosexuality and absolute homosexuality and no one is actually at either absolute end of the line. Everyone falls in somewhere in the wide middle. The guys who are closest to absolute homosexual are homosexual men. They identify as homosexual men, at least to themselves, and they function sexually only with other men. The men who are closest to the absolute heterosexual end of the continuum are heterosexual men. They identify to themselves and to the world as heterosexual men and they function sexually primarily with women. The men who are closest to the middle of the continuum are the bisexual men. These men are harder to pin down. They may self identify as straight, gay or bisexual depending on how much real thought they have given to understanding their own sexuality. They may present to the world as straight, gay or bisexual though by far the greatest number of them present to the world as heterosexual men.

Men who are very close to the absolute homosexual end of the continuum simply cannot physically carry out the sexual role of a heterosexual man. These men seldom marry. They are men who know from a young age that they are homosexual and they function as homosexual men.

The men who marry are men who are much closer to homosexuality on the continuum but who are close enough to either side of the middle of the continuum that they can physically fill the roll of a heterosexual man. The problem for such men, and their wives, is that the men who are between the middle of the continuum and the absolute homosexual end of it become increasingly unable to fill the roll of a heterosexual man when it comes to emotionally bonding with their wives as a heterosexual man does as they get closer to the homosexual side of the continuum. To compound the problem, as they get older, fulfilling the physical role of a heterosexual man becomes harder and harder to do. Try as hard as she might, the wife of a homosexual man, can rarely elicit the emotional and sexual response she needs from her husband. He simply does not have it to give to her or any other female.

The really sad part of all of this is that often the man does not recognize his fault in this failure. Often the man who has failed, in his need to deny his homosexuality or even his bisexuality, will blame his wife for becoming cold and no longer desiring sex. In such cases, often is not that the woman is cold. Instead she is simply frustrated to no end. It's not that she doesn't desire sex, it's just that he has never been able to provide her with good sex, and so she has given up. Marriages between such people are always on rocky ground. Almost anything can be the straw which breaks the camel's back and ends the marriage.

Humans are complicated beings, and sometimes the thing we fear most is the very thing which redeems us. I have four very good personal friends who were in long term unhappy marriages. All four men are homosexual men. The respective wives of these men never knew of their husband's homosexuality until he chose to tell them. All the wives, however, did know they were in marriages that were badly broken. They just didn't know why. In each case, the husband finally chose to obtain a divorce. In all four cases, the husbands found happy lives with same sex partners. In two cases the wives accepted the divorce and moved on with her own life and found her own sense  of happiness. In the other two cases, the wives resisted even after the divorces and have essentially chosen to let their lives be destroyed rather than face the reality of their situations as the other two wives did and choose to find a measure of happiness for themselves.

True enough, none of these four women signed on for the marriage they actually had. They didn't knowingly marry homosexual men. But in the end nothing is certain in life, and in the end while we are not always responsible for what happens to us we are always responsible for how we handle it. Two wives handled it well. Two did not. It seems clear to me which two made the wiser choice.

I have not, in my personal experience, talked with or known a bisexual man whose marriage has failed against his wishes due to his sexuality. I think this is due to the fact that most bisexual men are able to present themselves to their wives and to the world as heterosexual men. I know this was true in my own marriage for the first three decades of it, and it is still true in the way I present myself to the world. There simply is rarely a compelling reason for a bisexual man to come out to the world other than his simple choice to do so. It is a choice for which I, and I think most bisexual men, feel no compelling urge.

With all this in mind, there is one other thing for the wife who has found that her husband is bisexual or homosexual to consider, and that is: I have never talked to or known even one man who feels he has made a choice about his sexuality. Most men I have talked to, given such a choice, would have chosen to be normal. This apparently assigned preference has not been a welcome thing for the men I have personally talked with. All of them have resisted it, denied it and otherwise tried to live as if they were normal heterosexual men. Unfortunately, for most men living a seemingly normal life is impossible; and even if they can do it for a few years, it becomes increasingly difficult with each passing year. It is important for women to recognize this fact. Their husbands homosexuality or his bisexuality is not some kind of trick he has played off on them. If anything his denial is a trick he has tried to pull off on himself. It almost always fails.

Often women faced with new knowledge of their husband's homosexuality or bisexuality ask, "Why did he marry me?" The reason is illustrated in the paragraph just above. He did not choose to be homosexual or bisexual and he honestly thought he could resist and deny the assignment. He did not set out to hurt her or to hurt himself. He set out just like any other person entering a marriage, to build a good and happy life together with the woman he loved. He had no idea, if he was a homosexual man still in denial, that he simply did not have the ability to carry out the responsibilities a man has to shoulder in a truly happy marriage.

As a practicing psychotherapist who does primarily marriage counseling, my wife is in a position to see the strains on most marriages. We live in trying times and all marriages exist under extreme pressures. We tend to think of marriages that do not fail over the years as happy ones. That, unfortunately, is not always the case. Many are most unhappy. They continue to exist because although the marriage is broken there are multiple ties that remain unbroken. These can be religious ties, family expectations, financial ties or any of hundreds of other ties that bind even severely broken marriages together.

In mixed orientation marriages, the sexual orientation of the bisexual partner adds strain to the marriage whether or not the straight partner knows. The strain is increased exponentially when the straight partner finds out.

Women deserve to live fulfilling and productive lives just as much as do their bisexual husbands. Ultimately, each husband must find the path that will assure him as much happiness and fulfillment as possible. Each wife, must do the same. I guess the most objective advice I can give to a woman who has found that she is married to a bisexual man is to not give in to an emotional knee jerk reaction. Sure it is going to hurt. It is going to tear at your heart and your soul. But give it time. And for god's sake do not run out and tell everyone you can find about your new found predicament. This is a personal matter and should be treated as one. Spreading the word about it will only hurt you more and complicate the matter further.

The most objective advice I can give to a man is to know yourself. You cannot be bisexual simply because you are married and have sexual urges towards other men. To actually be bisexual you must have real sexual desires for both men and women and be capable of performing and enjoying each.

My father spent my youth pounding into me that the world is not fair. He took it as a given and did his best to beat into me the realization that the world would never give me a fair chance, that anything I achieved would have to be achieved in spite of the unfairness of the world. As a young man who saw the world through rose colored glasses as  young people tend to do, I thought my father was beyond cynical. I came to realize how accurate his view of the world was. The world is indeed not fair.

But in spite of all the world has thrown at me and continues to throw at me, I am a happy man. After almost 50 years of marriage, I wouldn't dare try to speak for my wife in all things but I can speak with firm conviction that she too is happy. Our lives together have not been perfect, but they've been damn close. We've always chosen to fight the battles together rather than separately. We've made sure that our friendship never ended. Love as we defined it at age 16 or age 18 when we married never lasts for long. It always passes away rather quickly under the strain of marriage, the burdens of life and the realities of faults. But with a little effort and a little luck, a different definition of love slips in and takes over. It is not a love that make one feel giddy as does young love, but it is a love that is strong and abiding, resistant to the strains of time and the realities of personal faults.

My wife and I, thank god, do not love each other as we did at 16 years of age or 18 years of age. If that love had been all we had, we would have long since gone our separate ways. No, we love each other in a wiser way, a more thankful way, a more objective way; and certainly, a more abiding way. It's not as romantic as young love for sure, but its much more resilient.

If you are a woman in love with a bisexual man, you have a hard task in front of you to make it work, but you can make it work if the two of you are willing to do it. Many couples like my wife and I have made it work before you.

If you are a woman in love with a homosexual man, you have even a harder task in front of you to make it work. Frankly, the odds are against you. You will have to find something in your marriage that means enough to you to stay other than an emotional commitment from him. Can there be real happiness in such a marriage? I think it possible no matter how unlikely. Just don't settle for the devil you know in fear of the devil you don't know. Make sure if you settle, you settle on some kind of arrangement with which you are truly happy.

Best wishes to all of you who struggle with mixed orientation marriages. You are not alone. There is a real hope for happiness for each of you. Remember though that happiness may be on the other side of some very difficult decisions.

Jack Scott

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Religious Value of Love

The following blog was posted by Jay Michaelson a few days ago in the Huffington Post. It is an article that every religious bisexual or homosexual man who is struggling with his sexuality in light of his religious faith should read and consider.

It might even be worth reading Michaelson's book which is available on (see the link below).

For tens of thousands of men, their faith is a vitally important part of their lives, and their homosexuality or bisexuality is a reality which will not change. For these men there is only one way to find peace and that is to embrace a more liberal and inclusive theology. This is the path Michelson has chosen to follow. It is the path I have chosen to follow.

Why the Story of Adam and Eve Is Right and Kirk Cameron Is Wrong: The Religious Value of Love
Posted: 03/12/2012 4:56 pm
"It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
We've all heard the cliché, and we all know its meaning: that "male" and "female" are at the heart of God's plan for the world, and that heterosexuality is the only "natural" sexuality. Kirk Cameron, the former child TV star, made this point just a few days ago: that homosexuality is unnatural.
We know, too, that this is not a scientific claim. Actually, homosexuality is quite "natural"; it's present in hundreds of animal species and in every culture in the world. Sexual diversity is the rule, not the exception -- the plan, not the deviation.
But there is that myth, that story, of Adam and Eve. No matter the scientific evidence, no matter the countless lives of happy, healthy LGBT people, there's that story, that binary, and that claim.
Well, I'd like to take that story back -- to reclaim it for all of us, not just those of us who find love in heterosexual, monogamous life.
First, let's set aside the parts about God, the Bible, the whole theological aspect of this myth. Let's treat it just as literature -- as a text, sacred to many, but first and foremost a story of human origins and human purpose. All of us -- religious, atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, progressive, fundamentalist -- should be able to agree on that.
And in that myth, the pairing of Adam and Eve was the solution to a problem. In the more detailed version of the Genesis story, they don't just appear on the stage; human coupling is the result of divine fidgeting. God creates the human being, but then has to tinker with the original plan, because of the first flaw God finds with all of God's creation: loneliness.
"It is not good for the human being to be alone," God says in Genesis 2:18. In context, this is a shocking pronouncement. Six times, God had remarked how good everything is: light, Heaven and Earth, stars, plants, animals -- all of these are "good." The entirety of creation is "very good." Yet suddenly something is not good. Suddenly, God realizes there is something within the world as we find it that is insufficient, something that all of us experience in our own lives and that we all strive to transcend: the existential condition of being alone.
Notice, too, that Eve is not the first solution God attempts to deal with the problem of Adam's aloneness. God first presents Adam with every animal in the world -- birds, beasts, even those animals that would later become domesticated by people. But none suffices. Only then does the story of Genesis 2 tell us that God took the rib from man to make woman. Only human companionship solves the existential problem of aloneness, the first problem our religious traditions set out to address. And, finally, notice that Eve is not created, in this narrative, to make children with Adam; this story is about loneliness and love, not procreation and progeny. Indeed, Eve's femininity is not even essential to be what Hebrew calls an ezer kenegdo, and what antiquated King James English calls a "help-meet": someone able to be with Adam on equal terms and be a companion to him.
In other words, notwithstanding the many problems with this particular myth (it's been used not just against gays, of course, but primarily against women, by those who read it as setting up a gender hierarchy), this is a tale about the importance of human love and companionship.
Now, for most people, this love is indeed experienced in a relationship between a man and a woman. For about 5 percent of people (we can argue about the numbers; the range is usually 3 to 10 percent), this love is found in a relationship between two men, or between two women. And for some others, love may be found in either kind of relationship, and sexuality may be experienced as fluid.
Personally, I am one of that 5 percent. During my teens and 20s, as I struggled with my sexuality, I had relationships with women and, as much as I was able, fell in love. But something was always "off," even though at the time I couldn't quite identify it. (Maybe I knew, deep down. I don't know.) It took me 10 years of wrestling, cajoling, self-hating, and self-judging, and finally a serious car accident, which shook up my body and soul, to finally admit that if I wanted true love, the kind that the Song of Songs sings about, the kind that the Genesis myth says is so important, well, my Eve would have to be a Steve.
This is about much more than sex; it's about love. And that is the most natural thing in the world.
Now, if we do consider ourselves religious, this point matters, and it influences how we understand our sacred texts and traditions. Surely, a loving God could not want the tyranny of the "closet" -- an all-too-cozy metaphor for what is really a life of deceit, loneliness, and alienation. The Kirk Camerons of the world can still pretend that homosexuality is some kind of choice, pathology, or worse. But I have known both the life of the closet (for 10 years of my adult life) and the life of companionship. I know that my life with my partner is not simply about lust. It is exactly as the Genesis myth describes: a life of sharing, companionship, and love. Sure, for most people, "a man... shall hold fast to his wife." But in some cases, a woman shall hold fast to hers. And in some others, a man shall hold fast to another.
Of course, I know there are other Biblical texts that influence what some people think about homosexuality. In my book God vs. Gay?, I spend a long, long time parsing them out and show that they are obscure and ambiguous, and that they certainly do not contemplate loving, committed relationships. But anyone can interpret Biblical text; that's the easy part. As Shakespeare said, even the devil can cite scripture for his purpose. The hard, and more important, part is deciding which approach to take: one that leads to more love, or one that leads to more aloneness; one that leads to more of the holy, or one that leads to more of the shameful. As I approach these sacred texts, the story of Adam and Eve helps point the way, by reminding me that it is not good to be alone -- and it is very good to find someone with whom to share your life.


I hope the alternative view Michaelson has shared has given you much to think about. In addition to Michaelson's book, there are many other books by Christian authors that can give great comfort to men struggling with their sexuality and their religious faith. Contact me if you'd like to read some of the books that helped me to sort out my own relationship with God. 

Jack Scott

Monday, April 9, 2012

Men's and Women's Brains*

A while back in the BisexualBuddies Group a member posted a comment about men using different boxes within their brains to hold the various things in his life.

I thought the metaphor was great and altogether true.

The next day another member shared this video with the group. It is simply too funny and too true not to share with all of you.

There are basically three groups of men who will forever debate the merits of what and when a married bisexual guy should tell his wife about his bisexuality.

I'm in the group that has told his wife, but I don't advocate that for every guy. In my opinion it can be a very selfish and cruel thing to do.

Other guys think that the truth is the truth and the truth is always the only way to go. The problem is, as I see it, that other people say, "the truth will set you free." And all to often telling one's wife about one's bisexuality can not only set one free via divorce, but also cost one a significant part of everything he owns.

The other, perhaps biggest group of guys are guys that think men and women are wired differently and thus men should keep their bisexuality securely boxed up in the "bisexual" box in their brain.

While the You Tube video is quite funny and meant to be so, I challenge anyone to even suggest that it is not the honest truth. Women think differently than men and thus a man can never reliably predict how his wife will react to such a momentous admission.

Take a look at the video:

The moral of all this is that you have to make a personal decision when you choose to put your brain up against your wife's brain. Once you engage her brain on an issue as profound as your bisexuality, she will never disengage on that issue. The question is, do you want to spend the rest of your life with that issue constantly on her mind or do you want to keep it in the safe, sealed, secret box in your own brain.

Choose carefully. All you have depends on your making the correct choice.

Jack  Scott

Friday, April 6, 2012


I began this blog three years ago next month. At the time there were two very clear purposes for starting the blog. The first reason was that I had come to see that reconciling one's self to being a married bisexual man is a task that is never truly finished. Instead it is a daily lifelong pursuit of reconciliation and personal atonement. I think best with a computer at hand with which I can put my thoughts into writing. My writing things down, putting them into words and sentences and paragraphs does much more for me than just thinking. There is a permanence with the written word that is missing with the words that are merely pondered in my mind. So the first reason for blogging was a selfish one on my part. It was for me and my own personal growth and continuing self acceptance and self understanding.

Honestly, I never expected the blog to be anything more than an on line personal journal. I never dreamed that it would reach tens of thousands of people and elicit responses from hundreds of those people, mostly positive and supportive comments.

Yet, to be completely honest, I guess I have to admit that there was a third reason for the blog. At the time I began to blog it had been three years since the ten year period in which I struggled to save my friend Mike's life had ended in success. The struggle Mike and I fought through for those ten years had been an important turning point in my own life which led me to face head on my own sexuality and to figure out that I was a married bisexual man. Fortunately, unlike Mike, though I had casually considered suicide, I had never taken it as a serious option and I certainly had never planned it and set the date for it as he had done.

To fully tell the story of Mike would take a book. It is a book several have urged me to write. Perhaps some day I will. It's a story that would make "Brokeback Mountain" look like a minor skirmish in the lives of two married gay men. But suffice it to say, it's a story with a bittersweet yet happy outcome. It's a story with yet no ending as Mike is now happily partnered with another gay man and the two of them are living rather ordinary lives in that they love each other, go to work each day, and struggle just as heterosexual couples do with the every day concerns of life. The difference for Mike from the life he was leading 16 years ago when I first met him a few days before his planned suicide is that he is truly happy.

When I began this blog, I had already long sense met Mark. Mark was not suicidal when we met. As far as I know, and I know him very well, he has never considered suicide. Mark's problem was much different. Mark was simply resigned when we met, resigned to living a lie, resigned to thinking that God wanted him to stay in an unhappy loveless marriage, resigned to a life for himself that was utterly without any sense of joy other than that brought to him by his sons and a few gay friends he had had the courage to cultivate.

I'm not a bashful laid back person. I've never been a person to tolerate the status quo no matter what it may be. Change, renewal, forward leaning thinking and the recognition of reality and personal potential have always been the values I cherish most in life. Not of my own accord, but because these values were pounded into me unrelentingly by a loving yet exceedingly practical and realistically thinking father when I was a boy.

When I met Mark, he didn't realize it at first but he became the object of the list of values I cherish. Admittedly, to impose myself upon him with the intention of ripping him out of his present life and pushing him toward a new life was a rather audacious and impertinent thing for me to do. But I recognize that I could ultimately not have imposed upon him without some level of willingness on his part to consider the possibilities of a new life for himself.

Candidly, I have to say that when I began to insinuate myself and my suggestions for change into Mark's life, I found the most willing man I have ever encountered to embrace new possibilities. Mike had been desperate for change to the point of seeing suicide as an acceptable change. It had taken me three years just to get him to renounce that option. Like Mark, and most other people, he had a natural resistance to change and after he renounced suicide as an option, he began to resist real change in his life because there was no way to change his life without both negative and positive consequences and Mike simply hates to consider the negatives of life. He'd rather just kill himself and not face them. At least that was the way he thought when we met.

Mark was different. He was not afraid of the negatives. He was willing to withstand the negatives if they led to new positives in his life, but he had a tendency to procrastinate. Basically all I had to do for him was be a big enough pain in his ass to push him off dead center and after that he was more than willing and able to do all the hard work for himself.

That is not to say he didn't have fears for the future. Like everyone else, he kind of thought at first that the devil he knew was better than the devil he didn't know. I will never forget the turning point in Mark's life. It was the day he told me that he had come to realize that he'd be happier alone for the rest of his life that to be miserable and alone in a lie of a marriage.

So the third reason for starting this blog was a rather egotistical thought that perhaps there were other Mike's and other Mark's out there who could benefit from someone willing to reach out to them and help them build a new philosophy of life which would support their own needs while continuing to support the needs of their families.

The blog has been amazingly successful in doing just that. It has been a privilege and a true honor to come in contact with the hundreds of Mike's and Mark's over the last few  years and sometimes to even come in contact with their wives and help them to consider new possibilities for redefining and reconfiguring their definitions of living life, finding happiness and experiencing fulfillment.

Mark's journey has frankly been a model for the best case possible. He has not only found his own self and come to respect himself, his worst fears of being alone for the rest of his life have come to naught. John is a simply remarkable man. A loving, caring and giving man. A man well aware that life is all too short and must be lived in the now! In short John is just the man Mark needed and wanted in his life. And it all came to pass because Mark found the courage to seek and embrace difficult change.

I have asked Mark to share his story with my readers in his own words, and he has graciously agreed. I hope you will read what he has written and take hope from it for your own situation. You have two choices. You can live the rest of your life as you are, sick at heart, hating yourself in a hopeless circumstance or you can find a way to really live  your life as Mark has done.

Mark's story of reconciliation:

Whenever I try to write my thoughts in response to a request by someone, I strive to be as honest & accurate as I can be.  The challenge is always that none of us is completely honest or accurate because no matter how hard we try to overcome them, we each have our own biases.  Depending on our personality and our circumstance, we can drift toward something noble or desperate.  So you know, I am, for the most part, an optimistic person. Some of that was instilled by my parents and some by the faith I acquired as an adult.  With that caveat I will attempt to convey my metamorphosis from “model son and married man” to “ ‘out’, divorced, and now partnered man”.  It is not intended to be a guideline, just a tale that perhaps will trigger your own personal understanding of yourself.  This is my story of reconciliation.
I grew up a “heathen.” Oh my parents belonged to a church; but fortunately, because we moved a great deal, we never really got connected to one.  Being “too enthusiastic” about anything (including religion) was viewed with disdain.  While my family was happy and loving, there were several subjects that were not discussed.  The biggest one (in my mind) was sex, and because my feelings on the subject could not be discussed, I dutifully stepped into the first level of my closet.  My father took a very active role in the raising of my siblings and me.  He made it clear that our goal should be the American Dream -- college education, a career, spouse, kids, and a house.  We were to never surrender our decisions in life to someone else and we were to never do anything that would threaten to block us from our goals for life.  Physical contact was discouraged in my family except for a handshake.  I was compliant and happy.
My first inklings of being “different” were really not inward but rather emanated from my father.  I was a decent athlete and truly enjoyed competition but I was not fanatical about it.  Some days I would play ball after school but other days I would like to come home and listen to classical music.  On those latter days there would be some sort of comment about needing to “go outside and play ball,” something a bit more masculine.   As puberty hit with a vengeance there was no freedom to discuss this with my parents as it had long been established that sex was not an appropriate topic of discussion.  I enjoyed going out with girls, not from a sexual standpoint, but because I loved to dance and go to movies, theater or concerts.  You could not do such things just with guys.  After all, “real men” don’t do such things!  I felt completely normal but I also sensed that my parents were trying to “butch me up” by pushing sports and downplaying theater or such.  I was the only one of four children to go to private high school… all male!  I will tell you that this was not the normal insecurity conflict between a child and his parents.  My mother recently acknowledged a whole litany of things they did while trying to guide me away from who I am.
By all appearances I was progressing.  I was popular, had several lovely girlfriends and was majoring in architecture at a major university.  I had joined a fraternity that was more serious about academics than some where the focus was more on wine, women & … well wine and women!  I was a total virgin (unless you count masturbation as having sex) and despite attempts by my fraternity brothers to get me laid, I was perfectly content to “wait”.  I just assumed my ability to fend off the aggressive women with whom I was fixed up, was due to my “moral upbringing.”  I am amazed that no one ever, even as a joke, suggested I might be gay!  What began to confuse me was wondering how I would “know” who I should marry.  As far as the time line for those “goals” in life, it was now time to focus in on one woman.  I became aware of homosexuality at this point because my university became one of the first to recognize a gay/lesbian group as an official organization.  I became more conflicted because I was fixated on that group.  Despite my outward appearance, I was confused and insecure. I know now it was because I was constructing my life based on a false premise as to my orientation.  I felt I was on a fast track to an ordinary life and yet at the same time having so many questions that could not be asked or answered.  I resisted the temptation to make contact with the gay group. Instead, I just plowed ahead with the heterosexual American Dream.
It is perhaps ironic that despite all the bad comments any of us might make regarding spirituality, what “saved me” from the path I was on was a Christian ministry.  It was not “organized” but driven by fluid relationships among several people with whom I had come in contact.  Since I had never been a member of any “organized” church, I did not have any preconceive ideas as to how things ought to be conducted.  There were just spontaneous gatherings of men and women in dorm rooms, my fraternity and in coffee houses to discuss passages of the Bible and encourage one another.  
Through these people I experienced my first “reconciliation.”  I felt I had become reconciled to God.  I know it sounds crazy but I view it as my first step toward coming back out of that deep closet I was in.  My parents picked up on this change in me. Not from a sexual standpoint, but rather because the recognized a new optimism in me.  I was also suddenly more confident.  Yet they missed the cause of my new outlook entirely. They assumed I had started taking drugs!  
I became very involved in ministry and believed that my future spouse would be someone who shared my faith and ministry.  I still had the nagging question of how I would know which woman it was, and I asked a man in the ministry that very question.  He just said, “You’ll know.”  I accepted the implied standard of conduct that “dating” a woman who was in the same group was inappropriate, and so assumed that “the one” would be a woman who elevated my spirituality.  While I complied with this “don’t touch a woman” standard, there was now a new freedom with men. We could hug!  The attractions I felt inwardly toward some of the guys was attributed to a spiritual bonding rather than the sexual attraction it really was for me.
Time marched on. I married a woman when I was 28 years old.  We had not dated but she was very “spiritual” and we both were enthusiastic about ministry.  I asked some of the more mature married men if there were things that she and I should discuss before we got married, and they said that if we knew God wanted us to marry, then all would work out.  Everyone, in my circle of friends was enthusiastic about us getting married.  The engagement was short and the ceremony was elaborate.  I sensed a degree of “relief” on the part of my parents and even more relief when my first son was born.  I think it is inaccurate to say that truly gay men cannot and would not have sex with a woman.  At age 28, and being a total virgin, I could have had sex with ANYTHING!  However, the reality was it was not a good experience with her.  Any orgasm is good but somehow I expected a sense of bonding.  It never happened.  In part, because of that failure to bond, our sex life together ended with the third pregnancy.  My attractions to men physically never went away but now with no outlet for sex, the battle raged to resist fulfilling that desire.  I plunged myself into raising my sons.
I want to stress that I was a happy person for the most part.  I loved being a father; however, the relationship with my wife became more and more strained as I felt there was no reciprocal love.  As I put it later, she loved being married to me but she did not love me.  Though I was confused and at times bitter about the realization that she did not love me, I failed to recognize at the time that her response to me was appropriate as I did not love her either. I did not like the situation I in which I found myself, but I determined to keep going.  
For most of those years we were living in the Midwest and then I took a position in Florida.  In Florida, there was a much more relaxed attitude toward homosexuality.  I stepped back one day and asked myself a question.  With raging hormones and a sexless marriage, why am I never tempted toward women but rather toward men?  It was an epiphany.  I found a gay website where I could chat with other men and quickly realized there were many married men struggling with this challenge.  As I learned how to chat I began to understand all the fragments of my life that had not been connected to make me whole.
The best decision I made was to join a tennis group in town that was composed primarily, but not exclusively, of gay men.  It was a safe environment (as opposed to a gay bar or such) where I didn’t have to worry if anyone “saw me” with the group.  I was amazed to find these men were doctors, attorneys, college professors and small business owners.  Not a single hair dresser in the group!  We talked comfortably with no one asking me questions about my orientation -- just men wanting friendships with other men.  I could come home and tell my wife all about my tennis without fear since it was not some contrived event but truly a weekly tennis group.  After a few months though, I knew for sure I was gay.  It was my second reconciliation. I had been reconciled to my true self.
By now my marriage was at the point where I was sleeping on the guest side of the house.  Let’s just say that both of us preferred this arrangement.  I began to expand my social interaction with gay and gay friendly people.  My wife and I had no social circle as she preferred not to have one and she began to accept my going to various events a few times per month.  I would tell her it was a “charity event” (which was true), but not tell her it was a “gay charity event”.  All the time, I was building a group of friends who completely accepted me with no pressure for me to “ditch the bitch”.  I had known for years that I wanted to end my empty marriage, but now I began thinking there was a more positive reason to move on.  I began to get some professional counseling to prepare for the transition.  I wanted to do things honorably and well.
I took my wife on a walk and at this time (early November of 2005) I told her I had gone for counseling and that I wanted us to get joint counseling.  She did not think that was necessary as we were “both Christians” and could resolve things through prayer and Bible study together.  I insisted, pointing out that we both had the habit of restricting the open discussion of things that were bothering us.  She asked that we wait untill after the holidays and I reluctantly agreed.  I suggested she pick the counselor so that she would not think I had stacked the deck against her.  She picked a female professional counselor who was associated with a big church nearby.
On December 30, 2005 I was forced to come out to my wife.  She had not “caught me”, but someone had said something to our oldest son and his wife and I knew I could not wait any longer.  I did not want them knowing something that she did not know.  She was working at that time, but she had three days off.  I knew there was no good way to “ease into” the subject; so after we had lunch together, I told her that I had something serious to tell her.  Understandably she “froze” and I simply said “I am gay”.  I could tell that her mind was racing, and her comments, when the did come were all directed toward her concern about her own security.  The amazing thing about the time is that I finally could think and communicate clearly!  I had lost sleep and weight leading up to that moment because I had no idea of what would be said or done next.  I had wanted to “control” the flow of how I revealed things but that was no longer possible.  I did not know if she would insist that I leave the house (I was prepared to say no to this as it would be counter-productive to discussions) or what the future would hold.  We spent all three days together at the house.  I let her set the pace of the discussions so that she could handle our talks.  There were times when she cried and I held her.  I am not sure that I can recall every emotion but I can say that I felt an enormous sense of relief.  My darkest secret and my worst fear had now been spoke of and admitted openly.
The next step was to tell my sons.  Since the oldest was coming to the house within a few days, I sent him a text message saying that he and I needed to talk right away.  I knew he “knew” and I am sure he was prepared for the subject matter.  I had no idea what I was going to say or how he was going to react.  At that time, he was 28 years old and married for six years.  I was very nervous but had to rely on the fact that I loved my sons and had demonstrated that to them regularly over the years as they grew up.  I also had to remind myself that I was not guilty of some crime but rather coming to terms with something that had long been repressed.  As we began, I told him I was gay.  I acknowledged that I had learned that he had been told this a week prior.  He said among other things that he had been “in more gay bars than he could count” and that he understood that it was not a choice.  He and his wife have close friends who are a lesbian couple and they feel totally at ease with the subject.  We talked for three hours and bonded more than ever before.  I told him how it was for me growing up under this cloud and that I hoped now that he knew my deepest struggle, there would never be a subject he and I could not discuss.
I spoke individually to the other two sons the same day.  The conversations went along similar lines with the variations reflecting more the differences in their personalities than the subject matter.  Each time I suggested that we not consider the discussion “completed” as I had the advantage of years of pondering my situation and they only had a short period to contemplate it.  I did learn that the three of them had observed things related to my marriage and had discussed this among themselves.  Previously I had assumed they had not done so or talked, but now I was learning they had.  There was definitely a sense of relief that things were coming out into the open.  There was a natural concern for their mother and I assured them she and I were talking, not fighting; and that we were going to enter into some professional counseling.  I am sure it helped me that my sons were all adults living on their own.  While they were somewhat sad that future family gatherings would be different, they also had begun creating their own lives and holiday traditions independent of the original family unit.
My wife and I entered joint counseling in early January of 2006.  There were several problems with it.  First and foremost, my wife did not want to go.  She did not believe in professional counseling and did not like allowing someone outside the family to hear what was going on.  She felt this way even though she had picked the woman we began to see.  In setting up the appointment I had told the counselor that I am gay and that I had shared this with my wife and sons.  We were to complete a questionnaire prior to our first appointment but not show each other our responses.  There was one section that I did not feel I could complete.  It asked me to identify which of five sentences best described how I felt.  It went from “I am prepared to do anything and everything to preserve this relationship” to “I have done everything I can and have nothing else I can do”.  My problem is that I did not feel married and felt I needed more to define what the “relationship” was.  I left that section blank and when the counselor mentioned that I had, I brought up my perspective that we had never really “bonded” as husband and wife (something that I had discussed with my wife already when I came out to her).  My wife did not want to go to weekly sessions so we set up to go every other week.  We were handed a photo copy of “session two” to read.  I did so but became frustrated that we were being given a “cookie cutter” approach to serious issues about our relationship.  I decided to do some additional work on my own.
I was intrigued by an advertisement on television that I had seen and ignored hundreds of times.  It was for an online dating service that used “twenty-nine proven points of compatibility” to match people.  I started to identify the things about myself and my wife that were “set in stone” based on 33 years of being married.  I started with simple things like the socio-economic climate in which we were raised.  She was a small town farm girl and I was a big city guy.  Over the nest two weeks, I came up with twenty-seven “points”.  I worked very hard to make them non-accusatory but rather simple statements about each of us that are true.  From my perspective there were more problems than the fact that I am gay.  I felt it was important to discuss them with a professional counselor so that we would not use our usual tactics to cut off discussion.  I presented it at the second session.  The counselor seemed glad for my effort but my wife was not.  She objected to #6 and did not look further.  She denied it was true so the counselor asked me to explain.  As I did so, the counselor asked my wife to respond.  When she did, the counselor realized that what I was saying was true.  It was not an accusation but just a statement of who we are.  After a little discussion, my wife acknowledged that she did feel the way I stated in statement #6.  The most telling aspect of it was that my wife and I only “connected” on one level out of twenty-seven, our faith.
After four sessions my mother-in-law became gravely ill.  My wife wanted to stop going to counseling “for now.” Ultimately, her mother passed; and I did what I could to help my wife deal with the grieving process.  I had expected her to be inconsolable as they were very close.  I was surprised that she actually did much better and was appreciative that I had made it a point to be with her mother before she passed.  I waited an entire year before bringing up the issue of returning to counseling.  During that year, my wife had mostly acted as if nothing had ever been said.  I was a bit more open about my activities such as tennis and social events, now letting her know that they were with gay friends.  I even introduced her to some of my friends to take away the mystery and to show that gay men are as diverse as their heterosexual counterparts.  When she would bring up a spiritual argument against homosexuality as an orientation, I would suggest we study whatever passage she used to make sure we understood the context.  I think we were both surprised at how comfortable I was responding to her challenges.  I never felt unsure about who I am, and so was willing to take the time to help her understand.
When I suggested that it was time that we went back to counseling she said she would not go.  I told her that I was going to do so and initially went back to the woman we had used together.  I felt it was a wasted session as the woman just offered to print off a copy of the template for session #5.  I searched for someone else and was introduced to a very professional woman counselor.  I sent her all the things that I had done so far including my perspectives on my marriage and the fact that I was gay.  I wanted to dive into substance from the first session and she was ready to do so.  I will say that the contrast of experience between the two counselors taught me that one does not have to stick it out with one counselor.  One size does not fit all.  I was glad I had switched.  It truly helped.
This new counselor, Madelyn, probed and asked me questions.  She observed that I would take a moment to ponder my response.  Then she asked me if I wanted to stay in the marriage.  I said, “no.” It was the first time I had publicly said so.  She followed up by asking what I wanted and I said to bond with someone “intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically.”  The response came out of my mouth instantly and she pointed that out.  She offered that when I speak from my heart, I am clear and decisive rather than guarded and insecure.  It was an epiphany.  I was taking another step out of the “closet.” It felt incredibly good.  I was gaining confidence and control of my life.
Over the next six months I met with Madelyn every two weeks.  Each time I understood a bit more about myself and my situation.  I was reading voraciously about the experiences of others including several websites.  I kept trying to get my wife to a point where she agreed with me that we needed to move on, but it was not happening.  She continued to act as if nothing was happening.  During one of my sessions I mentioned to my counselor that I was not sure I would be able to trust someone enough to love them in a committed relationship given my marital history.  She assured me I could.  I was frustrated that things were not proceeding toward a conclusion.  I mentioned to Madelyn that I would even like someday for us as a whole family to take a cruise together.  To this she said, “Not until your wife takes responsibility for her own happiness!”  I realized right then that I was the “snag” in the process.  I was still trying to do everything and resolve everything to make my wife happy.  I went back home from the session, sat my wife down and told her that I was going to file for divorce.  It was a jolt to her.  I could tell that I had let things drag on too long.  My wife told me she felt it was wrong before God to do anything that led to divorce and so had deliberately ignored the issue.  She refused to jointly tell our sons so I did.  They were a bit confused as to “why now,” but most of that was because it had been so long since I came out.  I did not want to say anything that was negative toward their mother, so I simply said we had been working on this for months and now knew it was time.  I assured them I would see to it she was financially sound and secure.
I went to visit my mother with the intent of telling her everything.  My father had passed away some years earlier.  I was scheduled to be with her for a week but I was fully prepared to have to leave immediately.  I wanted to tell her the very first day and just after dinner I asked her to sit with me as I wanted to talk to her.  She said she was glad that I was doing this as there were some “observations” that she had determined to talk to me about.  I said I wanted to go first.  I told her about the disintegration of my marriage and how I was going to file for divorce.  I told her everything, including that I am gay.  She said that she and my father had sensed it early on and she began to apologize that they had tried to make me into something different.  I hugged her and thanked her for how they had raised me as it had equipped me to function in the broader world rather than simply release me to the gay world.  My openness with her opened a flood of discussions about relationships and sex that had never been allowed before in our relationship as mother and son.  The more we talked, the more we both understood that I was reconciling honestly to my family and the world around me.  My mother has quickly come to understand and accept my homosexuality. She has her moments of insecurity about my being gay, but I work to be patient knowing I have pondered all of this longer than her.
The divorce process itself was relatively easy.  We did not use attorneys but rather an online site.  Our state has laws that establish a 50/50 division of marital assets.  I had deliberately had the inheritance my wife received put into a separate account that I was not associated with so that there was no confusion.  I was prepared to either stay in the house with her moving out or to sell it as she had never taken care of the house in any way and I did not want to jointly own it with her now responsible.  Before I mentioned this, she said she did not want to stay in the house.  She waited until the divorce was final before she even looked for a place to live so I helped her search as I wanted the complete break to happen as soon as possible.  It is hard for both of us to break habits of procrastination formed over 33 years of marriage, but within two weeks she had a place rented and while she worked on a Friday, I supervised the move and got everything set up in her new place so that she could stay there.  I did not want any more delays.  I wanted the break to be complete.  I even left town for the weekend so that I was not available to help any further.
The first Christmas was a bit awkward.  The boys all came to town and I hosted our gathering.  I made a tactical mistake and let my former wife do some things in the kitchen as if we still jointly lived there.  In subsequent gatherings, I haven’t let that happen and things have worked better.  I was single for almost two years which allowed for all of us to adjust to the new reality.
Just over a year ago I met someone with whom I had been chatting via a website as well as Skype for over two years.  We decided to spend five days together in my city and before those five days were over we both knew we wanted more time together.  John had come out when he was 18 and had been with a partner for 30 years before his partner passed away.  We both had decided to “re-enter” the world of dating about the same time.  It was not a sexual attraction at first in part because he is from another country.  We talked a great deal about our past, his life in a gay partnership and me in a marriage.  We were connecting “intellectually and emotionally”.  When he came to the U.S. for a visit, we bonded “spiritually and physically”.  It all just fit!  
John had always been open with his siblings and they were truly excited to see their brother come back to life after losing his partner five years prior.  I knew I had to give my siblings the same opportunity to enjoy the great things that were happening with me as well.  This meant coming out to them.  My mother did not discuss my orientation with my sisters or brother as she wanted me to do it when I felt I should.  Since we are spread out all over the U.S., I decided to send a letter addressed jointly (so they knew that all of them received the same letter) but individual copies of it to each.  Each sibling called to express their love and support.  Since then, I send frequent emails about both John and me as we have been traveling over Europe or busy at my home in the U.S.
As things stand right now, most things are very positive.  I can tell at times that my family is all still adjusting.  My sons are fine with everything related to my being gay and being with John, but then, they have had the longest time to adjust.  
I have discussed with them my intent to enter into a civil partnership with John and they are in total agreement.  Each of them has spent several days with John and me so they have had the chance to see how we relate.  As I continue to live my life confidently and openly, I believe the rest of my family, and hopefully the community of friends and family around me will adjust as well.
As for me, I know that I am truly happy and that I feel contented with my life for the first time.

Thanks Mark for sharing your personal journey to a new and wonderful life.

As always your comments are greatly appreciated. If you see yourself in Mike or Mark, I hope you'll take courage and  hope from their successes in dealing with a seemingly intractable problem. There is little that courage and resolve cannot make better. Life is short. It is important that you live your life now. Please consider your own life within the context of hope and satisfaction that is possible for you.

Jack Scott

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What If You Are Both Bisexual and A Public Figure?

Being a married bisexual men is a tough path no matter what the other circumstances of one's life. Unfortunately, more men mishandle their bisexuality than come to exercise it wisely and rationally.

In spite of the tremendous gains that homosexual men have made in gaining acceptance for themselves as individuals and for their relationships, very little of that acceptance and understanding has trickled down to bisexual men. In the public mind there is a perception of a lack of honesty and a lack of integrity on the part of bisexual men. That makes acceptance from the public at large harder to garner. Add to that the fact that most bisexual men choose to remain in the closet rather than live openly as bisexual men and the perception of dishonesty and a lack of integrity is only intensified.

I've talked to thousands of bisexual men over the years. I've never personally talked to one who felt he made a choice or who was totally happy with the sexual orientation he seemed to have been issued. To a man, the men I have talked to have struggled all their lives with their "differentness." Most of them are struggling still. Life never seems to get easy. There is alway a challenge.

For men who are public figures, the challenges of being a bisexual man are only magnified and compounded. I know because I was such a man. For 35 years, I was a public figure.

When we think of public figures, especially in election years like 2012, we think of state and national politicians, and these guys are certainly high profile public figures. But they are not alone. There are many of us who are also public figures on a smaller stage. These men can be local political figures, pastors, well known business men and business executives. I was a public figure in a way similar to these. My job put me in front of tens of thousands of people throughout Texas and the rest of the United States. All of these tens of thousands of people knew my name and recognized me on sight. In comparison, I knew very few of them by name or sight. When my kids were small they never could quite understand why people would call me by name and speak to me in public places and I didn't know their names or anything about them other to suppose they knew me due to the public nature of my job.

When I came to the realization that I had to confront my bisexuality and exercise some of the demands it made on me, my situation as a public figure increased my fears significantly. Exposure to the wrong person could expose my bisexuality to hundreds if not thousands of people almost overnight. The burden of this knowledge was significant and daunting.

Well over 100,000 guys have read my blogs. Several thousand others read my blog each week. I am sure in that number of guys, there are bound to be men who are public figures. In fact I know a few of them who have made themselves known to me. One of them, in fact, suggested that I post something on this topic.

Don't Get Caught
As in any dilemma, there are things one should do and there are also definitely things one should not do. The things one should not do tend to be known to anyone who pays attention to the news because public figures are often outed through their own missteps or by deliberate action on the part of someone they trusted all too carelessly. The names are well know. They include Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, who messed up his life in a public restroom in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, Ted Haggard, a well known evangelical pastor, Senator Mark  Hatfield of Oregon, actor Richard Chamberlain and Governor Jim McGreevey are just a few of the hundreds of public figures who have been publicly exposed for their private sexual behavior with other men. All of these men's lives were ruined or significantly affected by their having been outed. Some men have faired a little better after allegations of their homosexuality or bisexuality were made public. Among these are Charlie Christ, former Governor of Florida, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and former Louisiana Representative Jim McCrery.

Some gay activist such as Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Kirby Dick, Documentary Film Maker contend that outing public figures who publicly work against LGBT Rights while privately engaging in LGBT lifestyles is justified, and they have purposely outed public figures whom they felt fit the profile.

The lesson is clear. If you are a public figure on the national, state or local level, you must be very careful in how you carry out your private life, especially if it includes sexual activity with another man.

So what are such men supposed to do to protect themselves besides putting aside their male/male sexual desires and rigidly trying to cling to heterosexuality? The answers to that question are not easy to carry out and their are certainly no guarantees of success; but one thing is for sure, such a man should not try to put his male/male sexual desires aside. That is a sure recipe for disaster. Ted Haggard and Larry Craig are prime examples of such disasters. Both were caught engaged in bizarre circumstances that any rational man would have known could, and more than likely would, lead to being outed. As a private citizen, not to mention a public figure, I would never even think of initiating sexual contact in a public restroom as Senator Craig did. Though I would never hire a male prostitute or escort even as a private citizen, many people do; and as private citizens, they can more often than not get away with doing so. One would think any pubic figure would know he couldn't get away with such behavior in a day and time when cash speaks loudly and quickly. Yet, Reverend Ted Haggard seemed to have no such knowledge when reportedly he repeatedly engaged the services of another male for cash.

I have no way of knowing for sure, of course; but I suspect that both these men's downfall was the result of trying to deny their desires for male/male sex. Such desires can be denied. They can be denied for a long time, but eventually they take control and they explode into unsafe and often less than discreet behavior with the wrong people at the wrong time. I've seen it happen in the lives or ordinary guys often. It is much like a time bomb that sits quietly for some time and then suddenly explodes bringing destruction to everyone around it.

So if one should not deny his male/male sexual desires and risk an explosion of risky and conspicuous behavior, what should he do to safely exercise his desires and his needs?

There are simply no guarantees in life that always avoid the possible negative outcomes of risky behavior, and in the society in which we live, sex between two males when one or both are married is risky for any man and are particularly risky for men who are public figures. But with that caveat here are a few things which can help one protect himself and his family.

  • Know yourself and your needs - you'd probably be surprised at how many men don't really know themselves or their needs. This happens because for a man leading a supposedly heterosexual life, thinking about and closely examining his homosexual needs and desires can be painful. It can also simply be an admission that such desires exist. Some men, actually many men, will do almost anything to avoid the mental anguish that can result from thinking about their bisexuality or their homosexuality rationally and in great depth. Thus they do not know their true needs and desires. Again, I do not know Ted Haggard; but I doubt that his real desires were satisfied by the type of sexual acts he engaged in and which led to his outing. Men simply do not enter the ministry to get rich. They do so because they care about people and want to help people lead more abundant lives both on a secular level and a spiritual level. While I don't know Ted Haggard, I do know many preachers who are either gay or bisexual. I've never met one who wanted to satisfy his sexual desires by paying for sex with another man. Instead, what these men want is to be on the other side of the room. They spend their lives ministering and caring for others. Those who are gay or bisexual simply need a male person in their lives who can minister and care for them. In short they need a friend in which they can confide anything and have the confidence respected by the other person. Had Ted Haggard taken the time to know himself and his needs he'd have never gotten involved with the person who helped to out him. Instead like two ministers I know personally, he might have found another minister with whom he could have safely and respectfully expressed his need for a male/male relationship.
  • Don't rush into relationships - As a public figure myself, one thing I would never do was to rush into a relationship or even a meeting with a guy who I thought might turn out to be the other half of a relationship. I knew what I wanted and I knew the type of guy I wanted to find. I also knew I would never find the perfect guy, so I had a list of what I would accept and what I wouldn't accept. I would talk to a guy on Yahoo Messenger for some time asking him questions about himself and his wants and needs. I would ask the same questions over and over in different ways to see if I got the same general answer. If a guy didn't have the time or the will to talk to me over a period of weeks on line, he wasn't the guy I was looking for. If he was eager and willing to rush into a relationship he wasn't the guy I wanted or needed in my life. If he met the test of time, meeting in a public  place was the next thing on the agenda. I found both good guys and bad guys at such meetings. I found guys I liked but who did not excite me sexually. I found guys I liked and whom I thought would fit my needs but who did not feel I would meet their needs. Such things did not bother me. If it wasn't right for both of us it wasn't what I wanted or needed. Guys with whom I've shared a relationship have always been guys who were very much like me. They shared my general social status and my general philosophy of life. Like me they pretty much were at peace with their sexuality. Only one of my relationships has been with a man who was also a public figure. This was a plus for the relationship in many ways but certainly not necessary to a good relationship.
  • Don't take unnecessary chances - When one finds the right guy he often feels his problems are over. After all finding the right guy is such long difficult work, but in reality when one has found the right guy, his problems are just beginning. Where do you meet and when? I know guys who meet at one or the others homes, and I admit I've done that sort of thing on occasion but it is never a good idea and it is one I have not often done. One can be tripped up in so many ways. Once I left my jacket hanging on the back of a dining room chair. Luckily my buddy found it before his wife got home and found it. The safest place to meet is a neutral private place. Usually this will mean a hotel or motel room. It can be expensive but it's worth it for the privacy and the lack of risk. For the man who is a public figure, the hotel or motel room must match his status. A U.S. Senator cannot just check in to the local Motel 6. To do so is an immediate indication that something unusual is happening. The man who is a public figure must always check in alone or if possible have his friend who is not a public figure take care of checking in. Great care should be used to make it appear that only one person occupied the room. That is not a big chore. Just takes a little careful tidying up.
  • Be careful at work and at home - Men who are public figures often have two families. They have their wives and their kids for sure; but they also have another family at work that is more often than not somewhat curious about his private life. In particular, if you are a public figure who has a secretary, you had better understand she tries to know and wants to know all there is to know about you. Part of this, on the part of a good secretary, is so she can serve you better; but part of it is just plain curiosity. It is imperative that you understand she or he knows you well and will notice any particular change in your behavior or in your habits. Be careful with your mail, the phone, your calendar and your computer. Any of these things can trip you up before you know it.
  • Never compromise deniability - In this era when everyone you pass on the street is carrying a camera in their cell phone you simply must be careful. You must assume that anything your doing will be observed unless you've taken great care to make sure it is not being observed. That means no public displays of affection with you buddy. If you're a nationally known public figure you should be careful to look for hidden cameras that could be carried by even those you trust. Remember that all too often these days enough money can buy almost anyone. What ever you do never ever for any reason allow a picture of yourself to be taken which you would not want to show to your wife and family. If you do, it is likely to become public. Even if you do something to cause someone to suspect, as long as there is no proof, as long as it is your word against theirs you are in good shape. Give them proof and your dead. If your accused, be ready for it. There are hundreds of good reasons for renting a motel or hotel room. Have an answer ready in your mind for every possible question. Never let them see you sweat over a question or get up tight over a question. To do so is to put blood in the water with the sharks.
  • Don't engage in promiscuous sex, find a buddy you can trust - one night stands are more often than not lacking in satisfaction. What most men want is a friend with whom he can, on occasion be sexual. Such a friend is hard to find, but I've never personally had problems with finding such a friend for long term relationships. My friends have always been married with families and thus as much to loose as myself. There is safety in that sort of thing. There is also less likelihood of contracting an STD than from one night stands.
  • Always be thoughtful and considerate of your partner -  You may be a big shot, but that does not mean you can treat your sexual partners as objects. If you treat them badly, it is not only ill mannered, it can sometimes bring retaliation in a form you will not appreciate.
  • Never give in to blackmail - it is rare for public figures to be blackmailed, but it does happen. If someone threatens to blackmail you, go to the police immediately and seek their help. Having sex with another guy is not illegal in the U.S., blackmail is and you cannot allow yourself to be caught up in it. It will never end.
Just because you are a public figure does not mean that you will have any better luck trying to lock down your same sex desires and needs than the ordinary Joe. It does mean that being sexual with another guy will have to be carried out with great care.

You may be a public figure, but you are entitled to a private life. To ensure your right to privacy you must do all you can to protect yourself and your privacy.

Be careful out there.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott