Friday, March 12, 2010

Marrying a Gay guy

It's got to be one of the worst fears of an Orthodox girl. How can you tell, if the boy you are dating is really not that into you, is not that into any women.

Religious men are told to keep it a secret, to keep their leanings under wraps.
There are those that don't listen to the rabbis, that step out of the closet, those of the YU variety for instance, but they are the minority.

So meanwhile a huge percentage of homosexual guys are out there, on the Shidduch circuit, looking for a nice Frum girl to marry and have kids with, build a family with. Which may admirable, in principle, but let's just say I don't want to be that woman.

And there's no real way to find out ahead. You're in a Shomer Negiah relationship. You’re not checking out the physical side of things. You jump in on faith, telling yourself that you like each other, that it will all work out later, in the Yichud room, once you're passed the wedding canopy.

You rely on 'chemistry', that wonderful, promising, vague word. You rely on the way his eyes light up, the way he smiles, the glances, the vibes. But can't that be faked? And maybe, if you want something enough, if you like him enough, you make yourself see something that isn't really there. Because it's there on your part, you think he's gorgeous, and he's going out with you, pursuing you, so surely he likes you?

So you marry him. You discover only much later, what's lurking in that closet.

Can an Orthodox girl tell, if her Shidduch date is homosexual? There are stereotypes, about looks, and dress, about voice and tone, body language and aura. There are jokes, about 'artsy' men, sensitive souls. But maybe those men really are the husbands of your dreams, caring and empathetic and artistic, and straight.

Bored Jewish Guy was nice enough to give his take on it. I feel the same way. But is talking about it beforehand enough, when boys are basically told by their Rabbis and teachers to hide it, to deceive?

Blame this post on Srugim. (If you're a Srugim fan, and you aren't up to date on the second series yet, please don't kill me.) I don’t understand Reut. How can Reut know that the guy she's dating is gay, and still be willing to carry on dating him? How can she contemplate marriage with him?

I don't know what the truth is, about how orthodox homosexuals should be handling their sexual identity. It must be hell for them, that much is obvious. I'm not here to judge them. I'm not here to offer an opinion. So much talk abounds about the men. Debates flourish, on whether they should hide it, whether they should try and lead a standard Orthodox family life.

What I never hear about, what I never thought about, before, is their wives.


  1. I read a suggestion that there should be some kind of registry where Orthodox homosexual men get matched up with lesbian women, and they can raise children together. I wonder if this would be enough to hold a couple together.

  2. Definitely, we shouldn't be judging the homosexual guys. How can we, when the community has forced them into hiding their identity? We should be judging the community that doesn't allow people to identify themselves as homosexuals, even if they live celibate lives that conform with Torah prohibitions. As you point out, there is plenty of collateral damage.

  3. "A huge percentage"?

    Considering how small the percentage of Orthodox Jews are, and what the percentage of gay individuals are, it can't be that many.

    Sure, I went out with a seemingly gay guy. As did my sister. The one she went out with is married with six kids and lives down the block from her.

    There can also be an incredibly butch guy who has his own issues. So many are quick to say that all issues should be revealed, but so many in that position are frightened, terrified they'll be alone, and hope for the best. That does not excuse their actions, of course. But maybe a little sympathy would permit more disclosure. In general.

    As for Reut, she obviously hasn't seen "The Object of my Affection." Really talks a girl out of pining for a gay guy.

  4. "So meanwhile a huge percentage of homosexual guys are out there, on the Shidduch circuit, looking for a nice Frum girl to marry and have kids with, build a family with. Which may admirable, in principle, but let's just say I don't want to be that woman."

    Umm, no. "Huge percentage", scientifically impossible, add to that ones that can't keep it a secret, ones who went OTD because of it, and you are talking about an insanely irrational fear based on a minimal chance this could happen.

    My advice, have actual conversations with your dates before you get married. Skip the white versus color tablecloth discussion and go to married life and expectations. Pay attention to where his eyes go. You'll will know if there is a sexual vibe coming from him which translates to "I want to jump your bones" by the time the two of you decide to spend the rest of your lives together if you have a pulse and any clue about the opposite sex. If the vibe isn't there, move on.

    Either he is not that into you, or he *is* gay.

  5. Out of all homosexual orthodox guys, those that didn't 'crack and go OTD', and are not open about it (impossible in the ultra orthodox world) are Shiduch Dating, and getting married, and having kids. So yes, it is a huge percentage of them. I would venture it's the majority of them even.

  6. u know this does happen to girls too. There are a few cases of men abandoned by their lesbian wives. Where they said "ENOUGH! I am no longer interested in forcing myself to the disgusting touch of a man again."

    Some of these are women who are already grandmothers. Kinda sad, no?

  7. Oh my G-d, pleeeaase tell me if there's still anywhere to watch the first season of Srugim online! I was using Walla, but it seems like it doesn't work anymore. Any other possibilities?

  8. I remember spending one date wondering the whole time if he was gay, and on another date feeling sure that he was. On the other hand, in pre-frummie days, I met a gay man who was so charming and lovely, I could have totally fallen for him, had I not known. Tricky.

    But there is a solution to your dilemma. Make friends with someone who has the "gaydar". When you've found "the one", your friend will let you know.

    On the other hand, it may be harder to find out if there are mental health issues.

  9. I wrote about this here: though it is by no means a definitive means to acertain the truth.

  10. Mother in Israel - Do you agree that it's a good idea for gay men to marry lesbian women? I feel that this is a "don't ruin a regular girl's marriage, ruin someone who's marriage prospects are already ruined's marriage."

    If a homosexual is good at concealing his orientation (I'm assuming this includes a large percentage of orthodox homosexual Jews), there's not much the girl can do. Obviously, the guy should ideally inform the girl of his orientation, but do you really feel most orthodox homosexuals will do that? BH Hashem didn't subject me to this incredibly difficult nisayon.

  11. EJB:
    I don't understand your comment: "I feel that this is a "don't ruin a regular girl's marriage, ruin someone who's marriage prospects are already ruined's marriage.""

    Wouldn't a lesbian ruin a straight guy's marriage?

    It's meant for people who want to remain in the Orthodox community without the stigma.

    The advantage of this suggestion (and I am not endorsing it) is that both go into the marriage with their eyes open. Whether it would work with the right people, I have no idea. I am sure that it would not work for many.

  12. I was saying that a lesbian would ruin ANY marriage (with a boy). Similarly, a gay guy would ruin ANY marriage (with a girl). Is the suggestion saying that they should halachikly married without living as a normal husband and wife, but still raise kids together?

  13. Technically, I think there are yichud issues while the wife is a niddah if they don't have sex at least once. But I do think it's an idea worth considering, if the couple can be friends with each other. The idea of trying to build a life and family together while being neither interested romantically nor friends with one's partner seems like a pretty difficult road to take.

  14. I lived and orthodox life with a gay man, he cheated on me all his life kept his homosexuality a secret and still does, I came to the conclussion a man like that cannot be called orthodox no way, he lies constantly to his family, his community and himself, he stole my mind and my youth just to make believe he was not homosexual when I uncovered him after many years all of the sudden he made teshuvah went to JONAH for therapy and became a man. If that was true how come he waited until I found out to make teshuvah and of course I dont believe he could have helped himself and he will never be a real man. But a man, a frum orthodox man, a human being, a good person etc. does not lead two lives that is unethical and incorrect that is not jewish, that is not fair, that is corrupted to use a frum woman to hide to have a family and just to make believe. It is the biggest thief in the world
    the thief of the mind. So now if you want or do not want if you have to be a gay person do so.
    Do not use people for your gain .

  15. And how can a girl know if the guy she is dating is not a gay. It is a very difficult situation and again if a woman ends up with a gay person it is her fault for not finding out. Why stop blaming, the woman why not blame the person for not being truthful. There are no magical formulas they should just tell and teach the gay guys to be truthful and if they feel not attracted to a woman or a woman to a man to avoid marriage.
    Teach people not to steal life.

  16. This happened to me. After seven years of marriage, two children and a third on the way, my husband told me he was gay. I was left reeling as I’d had no idea. We’d had a very brief courtship and were shomer negiah throughout. There was no indication to me of his homosexuality. In retrospect, I think he was probably self deluding and hoping his feelings would dissolve with marriage. This is a very real issue that unfortunately affects the frum world, as it does the secular world.

  17. that is the problem with your religion though. You have to take the risk.

    Honestly, i think the worst is when you have sex with him and find out he can't perform or satisfy you. Then you will be trapped in a loveless marriage.

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  19. I would love to meet another woman and share the whole thing about how we feel. I need friends to chill with n go out n laugh with...plz send me a message we as woman can help pull eachother through it. respond with "blog spot" as title so I knw ur not spam. Thanks ! Xoxoxo

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  21. I'm sorry Nicole, your comment was very moving, but I had to delete it because of the language. Sorry..

  22. If there are any gay men who want some sort of "cover", I'll even go as far as marrying you.(no children) When your family asks about grandchildren, I'll say I'm not fertile, or that we want to be a couple first.
    The gifts from the wedding belong to you, if they were give from your side of the family, same goes with me and my side. All that I ask is when we move in, that I not pay rent/bills until after I have held a steady job and can contribute. If you're serious, email me, and we'll go from there.