Men Living Between Straight and Gay

For a lot of men, living a life suppressing their true sexuality is living a lie. Some guys find themselves questioning their sexual orientation years into an otherwise successful marriage. When they are finally ready to trust their gut, and admit their own personal truth, the consequences can seem devastating.

When struggling men finally start to own their truth about their homosexuality, they are confronted with a myriad of issues. Perhaps the most prominent struggle lies in the actual coming out as a gay man. The process is confusing, and challenges men’s resilience to a host of potential dissenters: dealing with society and culture, dealing with themselves, getting the support of friends and family, and, most importantly, navigating the relationships that will now be altered as a result.

Gay men who have been living as a married straight man have to confront the end of their marriage, as well as the fallout of coming out to their wives or girlfriends. At times, it’s the wives and girlfriends who may have suspected it from the beginning; it’s the men who may not have woken up to it until much later, until they started trusting their gut. For guys with kids, it becomes a real struggle to assure their children that they are the same good father and provider but they’ve always been, and yet things will be different. It’s really hard to have to both deal with our own changing sense of identity, as well as to be present to the children’s confusion and feelings having to do with not just their father’s coming-out process, but of the end of their parents marriage. This is a multi-faceted issue that requires precision, care, compassion and time.

Redefining themselves as a gay man, and having to reconcile their previous lives as straight married man, takes a lot of work takes a lot of work and encourage. Family and friends may have a very difficult time understanding this at first, and the initial effects of coming out, ending a marriage, and redefining relationships may all seem difficult and overwhelming. But for these men who are trying to live their truth, it’s a process of self-actualization that takes time, compassion towards self and others, and an ability to see clearly into themselves.


About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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4 Responses to Men Living Between Straight and Gay

  1. Charles Price says:

    I am a gay male that lived a straight life into my forty’s. I was married for twenty years and have three adult children that now have children of their own. I would like write to men, in the form of articles, who are confronting the conflicts I have faced. Can you suggest the best publications or websites?

  2. Jason says:

    Hi Charles: My friend Ken Howard may have some resources on his site over at He may have some things that relate to your experience. Good luck!

  3. Jay says:

    I am a married bi-man. I have often come across items for gay and straight men but very few for bis. Most of the ones I have seen are negative to say the least. I am not the picture they paint of men like me. I served my nation, am happily married and have a good job as well as attending school. I am also faithful. I admit that its hard to navigate my desires sometimes and I wish I understood this orientation better. I will even say that given the choice, I’d pick one or the other because it would save me some grief. So things are not perfect but I am doing good over all. I’d just like to see more written information form educated professionals like you out there.

  4. Jason says:

    Thanks for the comment, and for the sentiments, Jay. I would like to give this issue attention, and I agree, there is not enough information for bisexual men.

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