Dear Mr. Derbyshire,
I am not Episcopalian, but as a Christian who was victimized by a “gay”
ex-husband, I commend you on your insight that this “bishop’s” real crime
was what he did to his children.
After 16 years of marriage, my husband abandoned me with 3 children, the
oldest severely disabled, the youngest 3 weeks old, to run off with a food
editor in what he said was a “lifetime commitment.” That one lasted a
Put aside my emotional trauma (although 22 years have passed and I have been
remarried for 15 I have NEVER recovered from his betrayal), my girls have
suffered a sure and steady form of abuse, just by having to live through
this. I made a conscious decision not to poison them against their father’s
lifestyle, thus raised them not to be intolerant of gays, but intolerant of
people who lie, cheat and betray. I allowed him visitation until he started
putting posters of naked men in his bathroom, and moved a guy in. From then
it went to dinners only. But the damage continued. Their struggle with a
sexually active gay father, and what it means regarding their own sexuality,
their angst with their peers (which continues today) to say nothing of what
they must think of me for loving such a man …well, it’s too complex to
explore in this venue. Only our mutual sense of humor has kept us afloat.
As my middle daughter prepares for her wedding, the crisis rears its head
again. “Daddy” wants to bring his partner…. most friends and family have
not seen this man for 20 years, which means if he comes, the wedding will be
“all about HIM,” which has always been the case. The other daughter has had
dreams of him showing up at her wedding in a Speedo. It will never end.
Someday we’ll have to explain “Gay Paw Paw” and his young friend.
We laugh, but we cry. For 20 years, we’ve heard the mantra from him that he
deserves his “personal happiness,” and that I’d better “deal” with the
social/political issues of the gay world because, as he says, “we’re queer
and we’re here!” He’s never been an activist, but he is on the “circuit”
and has chided us for years about the evils of the organized churches and
how the gays would make these inroads. It’s the only thing, sadly, he’s
been right about.
One other point. When my ex, a kind, churched midwest farm boy who made it
big in the film business, traveled a lot, and often hung his hat in
Hollywood and NY, “came out,” he had a lot of help in leaving me. Don’t be
naive about recruitment (as I surely was). Even in 1981, there were
“groups” who helped him “ease out” of his marriage and responsibilities. I
did everything I could….. therapy (even found him a gay shrink who thought
he should stay married) but to no avail. The pressures from the gay
community to “be honest” and admit he was “gay,” not an acting-out
His sin, like Robinson’s, was breaking his vows and shattering the emotional
health of his daughters, not only by abandonment, but by forcing them to
deal with issues beyond their psychological maturation skills. I believe
God says something about not forgiving a person unless they ask for
forgivness…… so I’m comfortable never forgiving this man. I left the
United Church of Christ 10 years ago for their similar stance. Now with the
Episcopals following suit, at least my ex will have plenty of places to
pray. Trouble is, he’s too busy shopping and following the party circuit
(at age 60) to take the time.
If you’d like to reference any of my comments, feel free, but keep me
anonymous for my girls’ sakes.
Today, pray for that church, and for all the women and children who have
been damaged by the gay community.