It took Robert Jimenez a long time to come out of the closet. He had gotten married to his high school sweetheart, and together they were raising their three sons when he came out in June 2013.
Robert, a machine operator for a manufacturing company, and his then-wife had been experiencing marital problems that all stemmed from his trying to hide from his true self. For a long time, he felt that he would never be able to come out. Robert began to isolate himself from everyone, including his wife. Finally he made up his mind: He didn’t want to live that life of lies anymore. One afternoon he called his wife into the bedroom, asked her to sit down and told her he was gay.
Robert with his three sons
Her reaction was not what he expected. She told him, “I cannot be mad at you for this. I was afraid you were cheating on me with another woman. I am so sorry.” Then she hugged him. They talked for a long time. She wanted to know everything and asked many questions: How long had he known? Had he ever been with a man? Was he 100 percent sure?
Robert’s sons took the news harder. Naturally, they did not want their parents to separate; they had imagined that their family would stay together forever. Robert’s eldest, Andrew, who was 12 at the time, told his dad that he loved him no matter what. The two younger brothers, Gabe and Diego, soon did the same thing.
Andrew, Gabe and Diego are now 16, 15 and 10, respectively. They live with their mother two hours away from where Robert lives in Modesto, California. He sees his kids every other weekend, on holidays and during school vacations. In the summer, the children split vacation time between the two parents.
Vince (left) and Robert with Robert’s sons
In December 2014, Robert met 25-year-old Vince Dantay. Despite the age gap – Vince, a medical biller and coder, is 11 years his junior – the men immediately hit it off. Vince has fully committed himself not only to Robert but also to the kids, and the boys love him! He loves taking them out to eat or playing ball in the park; he has welcomed Robert’s children as his own.
By the time their first anniversary came along on December 18, Robert was so certain of their relationship that he couldn’t contain himself any longer. After a date night of a dinner-with-a-movie, he asked Vince to marry him.
Robert, Vince and the three boys
And Vince said yes. Although they haven’t set a date yet for the wedding, they know that their sons Andrew, Gabe and Diego will play an important role in their dads’ special day.
We wish this family a lifetime of happiness.