Married to a Queer Man

An amazing piece two days ago on Rachel Held Evans’ blog. Here’s just some of the brilliance. Note that this is a guest blog so it is not Rachel talking about her own experience.

Rachel Held EvansThere’s a lot I could say about my experiences, but as his wife, I would like to make a few points for everyone to consider as we continue discussing sexuality in the Church:

1) In any conversation, you should not assume that everyone who “passes” as heterosexual is in fact heterosexual.

I cannot tell you the number of conversations we have sat in on that left us clutching each other’s hands in frustration. Those judgmental things you say about LGBTQ people, they hurt us both. Those judgmental things you say about people “trapped in false marriages,” they hurt us as well.

2)My marriage is real and healthy and blessed by God.

Please do not mock me or it. My husband and I are not in denial, nor are we “just roommates.” I hate that I feel the need to tell you this, but, for what it’s worth, we have great sex. Just like most of our married friends, we have periods when we have sex every day, and periods when we have “snack” sex between less frequent “banquet” sex. And then there are the times when sex doesn’t come so easily–when we’re both too busy, I’m struggling through pregnancy sickness, or following a birth. In short, we are more sexually normal than you think. 

3) I am convinced that there are millions of spouses like me, but most live in secret.

I think all of our stories are different. Some of us are Christians, many are not. Some of us found out about our spouse’s sexuality before marriage, some after. Some of our spouses are at peace about their sexuality, many are not. Some of us have been lied to or cheated on, many have not. Some of us have happy marriages, some do not. All of these differences create a world of varied experiences. But we are here, even though we don’t often speak up. I personally know many wives in a situation similar to mine, but I only know one other couple who lives openly amongst friends as my husband and I do. I wish more of us could.

4) The “Side A” and “Side B” dichotomy that is often talked about is not exhaustive of the experiences of gay Christians.

These sides can even encourage a false dichotomy in our conversations. I don’t want to imply that everyone has other options, because that would be false. But the story I’ve lived and the stories I know don’t fit into “Side A” or “Side B,” and it is somewhat frustrating to feel as if our stories not real, recognized, or legitimate.

5) My husband and I are both convinced, largely because of our experience, that sexuality is more flexible than many people are admitting right now.

We completely understand why there is such vehement rhetoric that people can’t change. We do not believe in or support gay conversion therapy. But we have lived a story of flexible sexuality. He was sure he was a 6 on the Kinsey scale before he fell in love with me. But fall in love he did, and it changed him. This observation feels like a betrayal to many people we love, so I don’t know what to do with it. But it’s the reality of our stories.

But those observations aside, when you click away from this post, what I want you to hear loudest from me is this: My husband and I are both blessed by our marriage; it is not a burden. I have in no way married a second-rate man, and he has in no way settled for second-rate sex. Christian marriage should be a closing off of oneself to all sexual options save one, and in embracing that reality we have experienced shalom. 

Couldn’t have put it better myself.