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Drunk, Gay Ol' Times

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 6/4/2003

I'm a gay guy who's been friends with a hetero couple for about 15 years. Long story short, after being out drinking to excess one night, I fooled around with the guy half of the couple. It occurred several more times, always after we'd been out drinking. He was always the initiator. We're not in love or any such nonsense. We've just always had a great fondness for each other. He just seems to become uninhibited about his sexual curiosity thanks to the booze. The encounters weren't even that much fun, since there was a terrible cloud of guilt (and drunkenness) surrounding them. In any case, it happened, and we both regret it. He and his long-term girlfriend are now talking marriage. He sees no reason to tell her about what happened between us, but I feel that it's unfair to marry someone without letting her know that you're inclined to fool around with your own gender. He doesn't have to tell her it was with me, but I think that if I were his girlfriend I'd absolutely want to know before making such a huge commitment. I told him that I wouldn't attend the wedding unless he comes clean with her. So am I being an asshole? Of course, finding out the truth would traumatize her, but shouldn't she know all the facts? It's always been her biggest fear that her boyfriend would turn out gay and that she'd be the last to know.

Queer Quandary

Dear QQ:
Honey, who are you trying to kid? All this sanctimonious blather about this gal's right to "the truth" can't hide the fact that you didn't always care so much for her feelings. You proved that when you did her boyfriend. "He started it" is not a valid excuse, no matter how drunk you were, so cut the crap. You could maybe chalk up one time to alcohol and curiosity, but "several" times takes the deed out of the realm of "accidental" and plops it smack in the middle of "accidentally on purpose." You knew exactly what you were doing.

Whether or not you're being an asshole now depends on how recent these "encounters" were, who did what to whom, if he was "curious" with others, and if he plans to continue "fooling around." If it all happened years ago, you were the only one, and you did all the work, so to speak, he's not gay.

He wouldn't be the first drunken straight guy to get a blow job--or several of them--from a willing gay guy. In that case, there would be no reason for him to tell her anything unless you just want to crush her emotionally and destroy their relationship. If, on the other hand, it happened last month, he was an eager and active participant, and you know for a fact he's been cruising the bathhouses, she should know. And if he won't fess up, tell him you will. She won't thank you for it, but the trauma of finding out she almost unknowingly married a gay man would be at least slightly less than the trauma of actually marrying one.

I'm writing because I'm losing my mind. My husband and I have been together for eight years and married for one. Two months after our wedding, things fell apart when he confessed to me he had been secretly smoking crack and using cocaine. He'd been hiding it from me for months because he knew if I knew I wouldn't want to marry him. He's been clean for almost nine months, but now he's paranoid, controlling, and abusive. So I moved out of the house and filed for divorce. But, Mink, I love this man. He was my first love, and I'd do anything for him. Every time he calls it hurts so bad it's killing me. I don't know what to do. Should I stay with him or leave? Please give me some insight.

Little Lost Angel

Dear LLL:
If I could think of some magic way to make staying with your husband OK, I'd give it to you. However, although he's to be congratulated for trying to kick a couple of very nasty habits, he fucked up big time. Therefore, until he's recovered completely and is no longer paranoid and abusive, you've got to protect yourself. It doesn't do anybody any good to stay and let him hurt you. Divorce will give you the emotional distance you need to figure out what to do next. And, from a purely practical standpoint, it could help disentangle you from your husband's finances. Cocaine is not only nasty, it's pricey, and the last thing you want is to get stuck with any of your husband's debts.

I know it feels like you're turning your back on your love, but it would be smart to restrict contact with your husband to the absolute essentials. You showed the right survival instinct when you moved out, but you're still so vulnerable that it's easy for your husband to fill you full of doubts about what you're doing and why. Plus, you need a break. You don't have to stop loving him--I wouldn't expect you to. But taking care of yourself is not only your right, it's your responsibility. Do it.

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