Gay Dad Family Stories

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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I always wanted to be a father. I am so glad that as messy as my journey might have been it got me three beautiful kids. I can't imagine my life without them. No matter how dark some days are as I navigate coming out and getting divorced I can always remind myself that my journey got me my kids. And I am so grateful for that.

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Some could argue that my kids didn't need to know but I feel strongly that they deserved to. They deserve to know their dad fully. And they deserve to know one of the reasons their parents decided to get a divorce.

Without much preparation or planning, we sat down on our couch as a family one Sunday afternoon and their mom let me speak. I trembled as I attempted to formulate words into sentences. How do you come out to young kids who can only understand so much? I stumbled for several minutes as we discussed the previous year. I asked the kids about their thoughts and feelings as they had witnessed countless arguments between me and their mom, heard several doors slam, and seen a lot of tears. They each expressed how scared and sad seeing their mom and I fighting so frequently had made them.

I explained that after a lot of conversation and prayer we decided we weren't going to be married anymore. But that wasn't enough. I could tell they were still confused and I felt uneasy. And then it hit me. I knew what more I had to say.

I looked at my oldest son and said "You know how God made you with handsome bright blue eyes?" Then I looked at his twin brother and asked "And how He made you with a cute face full of freckles?" Then I looked at my daughter and said "And you know how God made you with the most contagious belly laugh that fills the room?"

They all nodded and in their own way replied, "Yeah."

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And I left it at that. They asked a few questions and I attempted to explain to them that their mom deserved to be with a man who loved her in a way I couldn't. And I told them that I wanted to love a man in a way I couldn't love their mom. I said again, "We aren't going to be married anymore." And that's when reality started to sink in a little bit.

My two boys immediately started crying. They both just wanted to be held. I was squeezed so hard as I hugged my son while he cried in my shoulder for several minutes. I couldn't hold back tears either. It was one of the most raw and tender moments I've ever experienced as a dad. It was a new type of pain I had never felt before. But it was also very healing. My daughter was kind of clueless as to what was going on and she didn't understand. As a five-year-old there's only so much she can grasp. She didn't even cry or ask a single question that day. But I knew we were laying the foundation for the growth that was to come as we navigated this new journey. And we've come a long way.

After holding our sons for a few minutes the conversation continued and I knew I had done right when my son said "A happy mom and dad is better than a sad mom and dad." I was blown away at his wisdom and understanding at such a young age.

As hard as coming out to my kids was, I am so glad that wasn't the end of the conversation. We continue on almost a daily or weekly basis to circle back to their thoughts and questions surrounding having a gay dad. And there continues to be highs and lows. But I'm grateful we are talking about it. I'm grateful they aren't afraid to share their feelings, fears, and thoughts.

While I cannot control or protect my kids from everything, I can control what I say and teach them, especially in regards to the gay experience. And I hope that I am up for the challenge.

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