People Are Opening Up About What Happened When They Realized They Were LGBTQ+ While In A Straight Marriage

People come out as LGBTQ+ at many different stages in their lives. Sometimes, people don't come to terms with or realize they're LGBTQ+ until they're in serious relationships or even married to someone of the opposite sex.

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Recently, I stumbled upon an over-decade-old Reddit thread about people who came out during their marriage. In it, user SunQuest asked: "Those of you who are gay but married the opposite sex anyway, how'd it go? Are you still together? Did you come out? Spouses, did you know?"

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The thread got over 1.6K comments from not just people who came out during their marriage but also the spouses, kids, family members, and friends of people who came while married to someone of the opposite sex. Below are the top and best comments:

1."Well. This was me. I was in deep denial and got married and had a kid. After a bout of depression and getting therapy, I came out to my wife, who insisted on me moving out shortly after. However, she was supportive of me in her own way. Coming out to my parents was actually more difficult. Honesty and loyalty do have merits! I have been living with a boyfriend for several years now, and I still get along well with my ex-wife. Our kid is doing well, too. So, it all turned out well, even though there was a lot of difficulty to go through. Dating as a gay man can be the pits, but I found a great guy I love very much. I am really very lucky."


2."It was rough. I married my high school girlfriend, who was also my best friend. I knew I was gay, but also had a very religious upbringing. I was committed to my faith but was never comfortable lying about who I was. So I 'came out' before I was married in my late teens. However, it was with the understanding that I would commit myself to a heterosexual lifestyle and undergo conversion therapy. One of the final 'steps' of the 'therapy' was to step out on faith and get married. I was told the holiness of the vows I said would purify me, and I would be straight. Long story short...disillusionment."

"After a year of marriage, the world and reality came into focus. I got divorced and ruined my best friendship (and all my friendships, really). But now I'm a proud gay man in a loving LTR with the love of my life — a man, of course.I regret nothing. My journey made me who I am and I feel wiser for it. Though I went through some very dark times, I feel it's made me a much better person, and I'm able to really appreciate myself and my life."


3."I'm a late-bloomer (raised to be straight, assumed I was straight, forced myself to ignore all other urges/desires towards other women, etc.), and my husband of two-plus years has been unbelievably sweet and supportive since I've come out to him (it's been about three months now). There have been rough days, for sure...hell, rough weeks, but for now, we're far too happy with the life we have together to consider getting divorced."

"And I've discovered that there is a lot more to love than attraction. Yes, I prefer women, and if I were single, I'd be with women exclusively, but I seriously can't imagine my life without my husband by my side. I hope that everyone else in this same situation, whether you stay together or not, finds true happiness — you all deserve it. :)"


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4."My dad came out to me later in life, the same year after my mom had died (of cancer). She was his third wife and they had been married for 22 years. I always knew they didn't get along well, but I didn't have a clue that reveal was coming. My father eventually found someone and had a few good years before he passed away five years ago. He was a different man after he came out. I sometimes wonder how different things would have been had he come out earlier."


5."My mom was married to my father, however my mom came out as a lesbian. They are on great terms (hang out all the time), my mom has a partner and my dad has a girlfriend (I like both of their partners)."


6."I am gay, and I married someone when I knew who I was. I grew up in a small town in Texas with a very conservative dad and a mom who expected her son to marry, buy a house with a white picket fence, and to have the 2.5 kids like everyone else did. There was a lot of pressure. I couldn't come out, didn't have the strength. I was young, and I'd get killed in that little town. I didn't know anyone who was gay and I felt trapped. So, I dated this girl and we were quite the couple. Well, at least I knew how to play the part."

"I really got to enjoy her company over time, and we became really close — not in-the-bedroom close, but good friends close. She was pretty, smart, and loving. I also thought this would be a short relationship, but it lasted longer than I thought. I had no plan and no idea what to do to get out of it. Feeling the pressure from my parents and hers, I eventually asked her to marry. I didn't know what else to do.

It was terrifying. I couldn't see my future past the current day. Sex was atrocious. I had become the expert on giving every excuse in the book as to why I couldn't or didn't want to. It started weighing heavily on her, but she never became suspicious. She assumed something was wrong with her and it really started to affect her. I felt like an asshole.

One night, after three years of being married, she asked for intimacy, and I gave my 1,092nd excuse as to why I didn't want to. That was it. She had cried before, but this time, she couldn't stop. Crying uncontrollably. Thinking she was the problem. God, it was terrible. I couldn't take it anymore and at 4 in the morning that night I came out to her. It all made sense to her, and I literally watched the weight of the world lift from her shoulders. It was the best night and worst night of my life. I came out, but I was going to lose my best friend.

We separated and eventually got a divorce. I wanted to make sure she was going to be okay and paid for her therapy and paid all of her debt off. I felt like I owed her a lot. Fast forward 10 years later, and she and I are good friends. We can talk about the days past, and she holds no grudge. She remarried, had some kids, and is really enjoying life. I, too, found a partner and am very happy and feel liberated. Looking back, had I been strong enough to come out, none of that would have happened. But things happen for a reason, I believe. I have the utmost admiration for those who come out early and aren't afraid to be who they are. I am very proud of who I am, but I wish I could have enjoyed that aspect of my life earlier had I come out. But I did gain a friend in the whole process and wouldn't change that for the world."


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7."My parents divorced when I was 5. My mom told me she was at the MGM Grand fire in the crowd, watching people jump to their deaths, and realized life is too short to live a lie. My parents hadn't talked in 20 years when she passed away."


8."My ex-husband is gay, and yes, I knew. It was a difficult situation because he was really deeply in the closet and would not admit that he was gay, even to himself. He kept saying that he was bisexual, but his gay porn collection grew, and our sex life died. We were together for 10 years. Since he wouldn't admit it, I wasn't able to confide in my friends about the issues I was having with his sexuality and get advice. When I finally asked for a divorce, some of our friends were assholes to me about it because no one knew he was gay."

"He eventually wound up coming to terms with being gay, met a nice guy, and bought a house and some yappy dogs. His parents are really uncomfortable with his orientation, but his partner's parents have been extremely welcoming. We are still good friends and talk often. I try not to dwell on all the time I wasted in the relationship by keeping in mind that it's what led me to meet the guy I'm married to now."


9."My dad is gay. He and my mom got divorced about 16 years ago. My mom got remarried about 10 years ago and my dad has been with his partner for about 13. They all get along really well too — I actually think my mom likes my dad's partner more than she likes my dad. Here's the kicker: the guy my mom married is actually my dad's best friend from high school, and he was the best man at my mom's and dad's wedding."


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10."Got married (had two beautiful daughters) and divorced 15 years later. The ex-wife originally wanted to part amicably, but decided later that I had lied to her."

"No, it did not end well for me. My daughters are okay. I have to continue to remind them that staying married out of duty is not a good reason to stay married and also that I came out for them. I want them to live open and free lives, not to cow-tow to cultural norms and trudge through life wondering 'what if?' It's an uphill climb."


11."My uncle (mom's brother) was married to a woman for 10-plus years and had two kids with her. However, when they got married, he told her that he was attracted to men as well as women. After, however many years of marriage, he decided that he wasn't bi, and that, in fact, he was gay. He left her, and although they still communicate, he has a new partner and is happier and kinder than he ever was before coming out."


12."I was married to a guy for eight years, but things just didn't work out. I married him because I thought it was the right thing to do, he was a friend I thought that would be enough. But apparently, sexual attraction is actually important, whodathunkit? I think I would have been able to put up with his quirks if I'd actually fancied him."

"The cracks started to show fairly soon after our wedding, but I stuck it out for another seven years. Then we had couples therapy, and when that didn't work, we split. It was all one-sided, which made me feel incredibly guilty.

Anyway, I met a woman. We've been together for eight years and married for four. It's awesome, I'm all, "So this is what marriage is supposed to be like!"


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13."My dad came out when I was 16, after being married to my mom for about 20 years. My twin sister and I took it well as we are also both gay. My mom struggled for a little while but is now happily re-married, and they still talk regularly. He's been with his boyfriend for seven years, and it really worked out for the best for everyone!"


14."My uncles married in D.C. about a year ago, after being together for something around 10 years. They were both married to women in their early 20s out of religious pressure despite knowing they were gay. They both have children with their wives and eventually divorced. One is still on close terms with his previous wife, and the other not so much. From what I've seen, that has more to do with the wife's personality, as one is a very sweet woman, and the other is a handful."


15.And lastly, "Our family friend has parents who after 12 years of marriage and two kids, both came out of the closet. They have since both found partners and get along great! We even had Thanksgiving there this year."


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You can read the original thread on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Looking for more LGBTQ+ or Pride content? Then check out all of BuzzFeed's posts celebrating Pride 2024.

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