Letter to my Gay Ex
Updated: Aug 13, 2019
Let me preface this blog post by saying the following. Self-Care Saturday is a Blog that promotes empowerment of women and minorities mainly through self-care and self-love practices such as writing. This blog post is no different.
In a previous blog post, 3 Reasons Why I Marched at the Utah Pride Parade, I expressed that I believed that I was a beard. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, a beard is a woman who, unknowingly, is in a committed relationship with a gay man.
As a long time women advocate and a newly advocate for myself, I feel it is necessary to take a stand against injustices done to women in general. Too many women who practice their religion unknowingly enter into and remain in a committed relationship with a gay man and/or an abusive man. Often, those women are not only at risk of catching STDs but also of being the gay man’s punching bag.
Most churches that I’m aware of are ruled by patriarchy. As a result, a gay and/or abusive man may get away with many unfair acts toward his female partner. In my opinion, women need to look out for themselves first because if they don’t, they can’t always count on religion or other entities to keep them safe from such unfair treatment.
Dear Gay Ex,
First of all, NO, I did not “out” you. You did that all by yourself.
Anyone with a trained eye or with a decent “gaydar” can see from a mile away that you are gay to the bone. Just one look at your flashy clothes, your intricate wigs, or your obsession with brand shoes and baking will give you away. Let’s not forget the “girl please” or the “girl, I’m so hot right now I could wear a thong” and the many more expressions that regularly come out of your mouth. Come to think of it, maybe you’re not as good at hiding your sexual orientation anymore. This could actually be a great thing because it would mean that fewer naive girls like I once was will keep falling into your trap.
Call this rumor as much as you’d like, but the fact is, I am not the one who’s been soliciting dates on Grindr, you know, that gay dating app. I am also not the one with marriages to straight women that have ended in divorce within less than a year after you said the I do’s.
Yes, I do believe that straight men should be allowed to embrace their feminine side just as straight women should be embracing their masculine side. When it comes to personalities, it isn’t always black or white, or that we should either be feminine or masculine. Society often puts unreasonable expectations on what the male or the female role and/or characteristics should be. However, just because you were able to fool me into believing that you were just being a sensitive and well groomed man does not mean that you can fool everyone else. And while we’re on the subject, let’s set the record straight. You, my friend, were able to fool me only because where I come from outside the US, in the Caribbean, traditionally, women (and men) took pride in their grooming. Also, back then, I was not very much exposed to gay men or their traits or lifestyles. But now that my eyes have been wide open, I see you for who you are.
I do not see you as a bad person because you are gay and religious. I do, however, despise the deception and abuse you have and continue to put my children and I through as you keep dragging us into your dark self-loathing cloud.
You see, what you’re not getting is that now, I love myself. It has taken me countless sleepless nights and even buckets of tears to get there, but I have made it. I will not allow you or anyone/anything to pull me down anymore. Those days are over! I love myself enough to teach my children to do the same. They may struggle to get there at times, but they will get there. Instilling self-love into them is the legacy that I am leaving them.
It was never my job to come to teach you self-love too. It was never my job to rescue you. In so doing, I was dragged down with you. In our relationship, I often felt like I should be fixing whatever I could see that was broken in you. You wanted to be a father so badly, I felt I had to give you that quicker than I had originally planned. You wanted to have a supportive partner while you pursue your graduate degree, so I primarily took care of our children at home. You wanted to start your own practice, I physically carried your office furniture and helped you build your career from the ground up. When you got in trouble at work, I found you other jobs and places to live. To my surprise, I found out later that my name and signature were even used without my knowledge for your own gain.
The truth is, when things were good between us, we were good friends. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing about being lovers. So many times, it felt like we were roommates with a few benefits here and there. And now, I believe I know why.
The thing is, a wounded bird will stay with you until you heal their wing well enough for them to fly away. That’s what birds are meant to do. Fly. In a way, both of us were wounded birds when we met. I was struggling with negative body image and other issues linked to family and being away from my country and my friends. At the time we met, you were a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, which is exactly what I needed. Obviously, both of us were also eager to move on to the next step of starting “an eternal family”, the highest of all blessings in the religion we grew up in.
And then, it was time for us wounded birds to fly. As you once said, you watched the spark in my eyes slowly extinguish. That spark died for many reasons. Although I was oblivious to some of the signs of your homosexuality, I always felt something was missing between us. I couldn’t put my finger on what that was exactly at the time. Towards the end of our relationship, your manipulation patterns became more obvious to me. I learned around that time that in addition to psychological abuse, financial abuse and isolation had been powerful tools in your expansive toolbox.
When all else fell, you resulted into physical violence. I watched you break the kitchen faucet during one of your anger fits because I refused to move to another town when we had only moved and bought a home less than a year ago. One Saturday morning, you put your hands on me, and I wish I could say it was the only time… Once, our 3 year-old child watched you throw a dining room chair in my direction (it missed) and you slammed the door on your way out during another one of your anger fits because I said no when you asked me to use my debit card…
Later that day, our 3 year-old son came to me, hugged me and said “I love you mom. I’m nice to you, but daddy isn’t.” That brought tears to my eyes. At that moment, I was resolved to not subject them to such toxic environments anymore for the sake of religion or appearances. I began to formulate my exit strategy. My kids deserve better than this, I kept repeating all day to myself.
When it was time for you to fly, I wish you had come clean with me. We would’ve parted ways, probably on better terms than we did. Instead, you told me that I "did not meet your expectations anymore". It wasn't until later that I found out why you said this to me when you asked me for a divorce. No woman could ever meet your expectations because they are not what you want or need. In addition, you kept spreading rumors (notably on Social Media) that I was an unfit mother and that I had cheated on you. The funny thing about all of your accounts of my so called "escapades" (and your lies in general) is that they always contained bits and pieces of truths of your own doings. For example, when you suggested that I had cheated on you this one night when I supposedly called home to say that the car had broken down, it was in fact you who had the car and had called me to say that you had sought help from our church leader because the car had broken down on your way home from work. You didn't come home until close to midnight that night. As a matter of fact, I hardly used that car. The children and I hardly saw you too. You would be gone by 6:00 am and back home after 7:00 pm. You wouldn't let me use the car. I had to keep asking for rides from neighbors and our church congregation members to go grocery shopping, or to take the kids to the park. In the rural town where we resided at the time, to get to the nearest grocery store, we had to drive 15 minutes on the freeway. You refused to have our sedan fixed so, you borrowed an old gas guzzler van. You were always using it.
I understand why it would’ve been (and still is) the hardest thing for you to do in your entire life to “come out”. But I deserved the truth. I did deserve to know why you were so angry all the time, or why you disappeared on the children and I most times. You let me keep blaming myself. For years after we separated, I wrestled with the idea that I was and would never be adequate or good enough as a woman and mother. I believe I have earned the right to demand the honest truth from you; for you to look into my eyes and say “I am so sorry for taking out my anger on you and our children. It has nothing to do with you guys and everything to do with my pain”. I have put my life on the line countless times to please you. I had a total of 5 pregnancies, four of which were viable with the babies being delivered via c-sections. Three of the four viable pregnancies were high risk pregnancies. The last one almost cost me my life.
In fact, our last baby, Nathalie, was delivered 3 months premature, never had her lungs fully developed, then died 4 months later. I held her livid body in my hand only hours after she had passed away during her nap. I struggle everyday with the pain of losing her, as I’m sure you do as her father. She deserves to know that she didn’t lose her life in vain. Her siblings deserve honest and loving parents. I deserve to know why I had to go through all that heartache. I deserve a sincere apology. When you’re ready.
I deserve the truth. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But one day...
***Disclaimer: The views reflected in this blog post are not aimed at one particular individual but are statements based on the author’s observations from her own experiences in addition to other women’s experiences.***
**Photo Credit: Tania Luiza Photography