Yesterday's episode of "Oprah" was about men living on the down-low, which, in the past, has been shown in the context of African-American men, but which I learned applies to any man, of whatever ethnicity, who marries a woman and simultaneously lives a secret life including sex with other men.
As I watched, I became increasingly pissed off. The whole emphasis of the show was, what a scum bag this guy is. How could he deceive his wife? How could he enter a relationship with her, purport to love, honor, and cherish her, then betray her in this way? What the hell's wrong with him?
I can't think of a single reason why men might find themselves in this position. Can you? Well, let's see.... You think it could be because our culture doesn't make being gay all right (to say the least), so men, who must ultimately be true to themselves--as we all must be at some point--fulfill the obligations their families, friends, churches, coworkers, and cultures expect of them, only to discover the first, and perhaps worst, lie they told was to themselves?
Consistently, to the question why did you do this, the men say things like, "I was scared," or "I didn't want to disappoint my family, friends, everyone who knows me," or "I couldn't accept I was gay." Hmmm. Isn't that amazing. I wonder why.
Look, ultimately, I admit all of us must take responsibility for ourselves. I get that. You do something wrong, you have to accept and make retribution for it, whatever that looks like. But, come on, do you think any of these men may have had a little help living lives filled with lies and deception? Do you think they're entirely to blame?
What I know is you have to be one hell of a strong man (or woman) to buck the pressure of what everyone expects of you with regard to getting married and having a family. Our entire society is centered on heterosexuality, bombarding us with it from all angles, resulting in anyone who takes a different path, even in this supposed time of greater acceptance and tolerance, being judged and scorned.
You reap what you sow, people, remember that. You reap what you sow.