If there is one thing every out queer person has in common, it’s that they have all lived the succinctly individual experience of coming out of the closet. And while coming out can be difficult for many LGBTQ+ folks, it’s undeniably more complicated for those who already have children.
Even today, the most common way gay, bi and trans men have kids is through a former straight relationship with a woman. When a dad does decide to come out of the closet, it can kick off a tense period full of emotionally-charged questions for the entire family.
Thankfully, there are some great supportive resources available for families with mixed-orientation parents.
To mark National Coming Out Day on October 11th, Season 2 of GWK the Podcast is kicking off with a conversation between GWK's David Dodge and Kristin Kalbli, Assistant Director of OurPath, about how coming out can impact families, and how men currently in straight relationships can navigate coming out, especially if they have kids.
Formerly known as the Straight Spouses Network, OurPath is an organization that has been around since the 1980's, formed to support the straight spouses of those who come out as queer and trans.
Besides being the only organization of its kind and size that supports heterosexual people with LGBTQ+ partners, OurPath is also firmly committed to LGBQ+ equality and is fully supportive of queer rights.
On GWK the Podcast, Kalbli says there are many ways that couples choose to move forward if one of them comes out, or is discovered to be LGBTQ+.
“There are a handful that do make a mixed-orientation relationship work for the long term, for various reasons,” Kalbli said. “There are all different kinds of permutations of how these relationships unfold… We always say this is not just a normal divorce or separation, because there’s so many shifting elements of truth that have to be gotten to.”