Entries in Homosexuals (3)


Daddy's Out of the Closet: Do You Tell the Kids?

Courtesy of Amity Buxton(MAHWAH, N.J.) -- In 1983, after 25 years of marriage and two children, Amity Buxton's life was turned upside down when she learned her husband's long-held secret -- he had "jilted" his gay lover to marry her.

"My moral compass was broken living someone else's lie," said Buxton, now 82 and founder of the Straight Spouse Network.  "I didn't know what was true or false.  I couldn't trust my own judgment... My identity was shattered."

Buxton, who lives in California, said it was worse than finding out her husband was having an affair.

"I could always compete with another woman," she said. "But this way, I didn't have the right equipment and was doomed from the beginning."

He left and she told their children, a daughter in high school and a son in college.  It took years before her husband could tell his son he was gay.

"The children thought it was their fault," she said.  "But couples who stay together for the sake of the children make them feel even more guilty -- I couldn't stand the idea of secrets."

Today, an estimated 25,000 heterosexual husbands and wives and 3.5 million children are too often the neglected parties when a gay spouse comes out of the closet, according to the Devote Campaign, which works for marriage equality for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Buxton turned her experience into advocacy when there were no resources available to those left behind, in pain and often victims of homophobia.  The Straight Spouse Network just celebrated its 25th year.

"We are in the invisible minority," said Buxton, who was an educator in multiethnic schools.  "No one pays attention to us."

Only about 15 percent of those spouses choose to stay in the marriage, according to Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

Just last month, New York City author Jane Isay wrote an essay, Keeping Marital Secrets Closeted, about learning her psychoanalyst husband was gay 15 years into their marriage in 1965.  The couple decided to keep his coming out from their two sons -- aged 10 and 14 -- and stayed in the marriage "for the sake of the children."

Now 72, Isay looks back on that decision with mixed feelings.

"When they finally learned the truth, our sons were more disturbed by our deception than by the facts," she wrote in The New York Times.  "Our reasons didn't seem to matter anymore.  Truth trumps lies, every time."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lifetime Ban on Blood Donations by Homosexual Men Lifted in UK

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(LONDON) - The lifetime ban on blood donations by homosexual and bisexual men will finally be lifted in England, Scotland and Wales. 

These restrictions were originally put in place in the 1980s to prevent any risk of HIV contamination, especially in response to the AIDS epidemic and lack of adequate HIV tests.

The change in policy comes as the latest medical evidence presented to a government panel argued that the ban was no longer justified.

Ministers in the three countries have accepted this argument, and agreed to let men who have not engaged in sexual intercourse with other men in the past 12 months to donate starting in November. Although the  National Blood service screens all donations for HIV and other infections, there is still a “window period” after infection during with it is impossible to detect the virus.

Northern Ireland is also expected to make a decision soon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Graphic HIV/AIDS Video Horrifies Gay Community

Photo Courtesy - New York City Health Department (NEW YORK) -- A public service announcement produced by the New York City Health Department promoting condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS has horrified advocacy groups, who say it demonizes and frightens gays and those living with the disease.

The video, which aired on such cable networks as the gay and lesbian channel Logo, Bravo and the Travel Channel, chides, "When you get HIV, it's never just HIV. You're at a higher risk for dozens of diseases even if you take medications, like osteoporosis, dementia, and anal cancer."

Gay advocacy groups and blogs were barraged by complaints after viewing the video on YouTube.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York are demanding the video be withdrawn, saying scare tactics do not work and that the PSA is stigmatizing.

"While it's extremely important that we continue to educate New Yorkers about HIV/AIDS prevention, the sensationalized nature of the commercial, including its tabloid-like fear tactics, misses the mark in fairly and accurately representing what it's like to live with HIV/AIDS," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.

"It's our hope that the department will work with us to create a PSA that promotes safety and solutions, rather than stigma and stereotype."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio