Single Parenting

Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said.

Kyle Ashworth has four kids from a previous straight relationship. After ten years of marriage, he came out to his wife. "It was the most painful and wrenching experience of my life," said Kyle. "In the cold morning hours that coming-out-day in March, I began a journey of authenticity and honesty." Today, Kyle is 36 years old and ready to live his next chapter. But before we get to that, we need to look back at what led him to where he is now: an out and proud single gay dad.


Kyle grew up in a Mormon family in Utah. "I was always taught that homosexuality was evil and that there was no happiness in that life," said Kyle. "I was also taught that certain religious rites like serving a Mormon mission, getting married and having children would 'correct' my sexuality."

Kyle exhausted all religious avenues in an attempt to change who he inherently was. "I was taught that a heteronormal life would fix my sexuality, so I gave it my all." Yet his sexuality remained constant.

In 2006, he married a woman. During their 10-year marriage, they had four beautiful kids together. "Being gay and trying to love a woman was a monumental task," said Kyle. "That being said, I have no regrets; my children are the lights of my life." Kyle also says that while he wouldn't advocate for anyone to enter a mixed orientation marriage, he would advocate for parenthood, something he never thought he'd achieve.

In 2015, Kyle came out to his wife. "She listened, she mourned and she loved."

The two separated, keeping their relationship as co-parents supportive and friendly, for the benefit of their kids. They even vacationed together not long after as it was planned prior to their separating. Kyle was even dating someone at the time, and she invited his partner to join the family trip.

"It's not that my ex-wife and I were trying to get back together, or holding onto something that isn't there," elaborated Kyle. "We're friends; we're the parents to our children … our marriage wasn't regrettable. It was however part of the story that got us to where we are today."

Kyle's advice to others who are still closeted: "If you're not out, come out." He says be honest with who you are and embrace your divine and inherent qualities. "Leave the darkness and coldness of the walls you've built to protect your sexual identity, he continued. "My love is neither apostate or counterfeit and neither is yours."

And if you're worried about the impact on your children, don't let that stop you says Kyle, as someone who used to fear his children's reaction to their dad being gay. "I have learned that children are resilient little monsters," said Kyle. "They love unconditionally and are so willing to share that love."

Although Kyle's road to his authentic life was rocky and full of turns, his journey lead to where he is today, far happier than he's ever been. And it gave him something he strongly desired but had almost given up on: being a dad. We're excited to see Kyle's next chapter unfold.

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News

Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals.

In a post on Facebook, Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, came out as gay. He also discussed his strained relationship with his Mormon faith, claiming he felt he didn't feel comfortable living as an openly gay man in a church with a difficult history with respect to its LGBTQ members. He and his wife, Lois, have filed for divorce.

"This is one of the hardest letters I have ever written," he began the letter. "Hard because I am finally acknowledging a part of me that I have struggled with most of my life and never wanted to accept, but I must be true and honest with myself." He went on to acknowledged a new set of challenges facing he and his family as they navigate a divorce and his coming out — in the public eye, no less — but concluded, ultimately, that it's a "huge relief" to be "honest and truthful about my orientation."

He went on to condemn The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. "I didn't want to face the feelings I fought so hard to suppress, and didn't want to reach out and tell those being ostracized that I too am numbered among them. But I cannot do that any longer."

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Ed Smart further discussed his reasons for coming out now, as a 64-year-old man.

"I mean, I knew that it would probably come out at some point, just because people can't leave things alone. I did anticipate that it would happen at some time, but my intention in writing it was to try to let my friends and family know, you know my extended family ... know where things were. So, you know, I was really concerned about how the rumor mill starts," he told the paper. "I knew that at some point in time, that would come out," he elaborated. "I didn't know when it would come out, and so I would rather have it come out the way that it did versus having some rumors going around, and you know the crazy way things can get twisted."

In 2002, Ed Smart's daughter Elizabeth was abducted at knife point by a married couple from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. She suffered physical and sexual abuse at the couple's hands, for nine months, until she was finally rescued by police. During the ordeal, papers — including the Salt Lake Tribute — speculated about Ed Smart's sexual orientation based on some fabricated information sold to the paper by tabloids like the National Enquirer. (The Enquirer retracted the story, and the reporters at the Tribute were ultimately fired.)

"I think that in April I started feeling like I needed to prepare something," Smart told the Tribute. "Because during Elizabeth's ordeal, there were things said, and it wasn't what I wanted to say, and I was not going to allow that to happen again."

As to how his family has taken the news, Smart said they've been "very kind" to him. "I think it was very difficult to have this kind of come out of the blue. I don't think any of them knew I was struggling with this, so it was something they were, if you want to call it, blindsided by. I totally get that. They've really been very wonderful."

Congrats to Ed Smart on making the difficult decision to live his truth. Read his full letter here and his interview with the Tribute here.

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