Adventures in Online Dating 2019A “I wont show anyone”


Dating has always been challenging with one exception, Adam and Eve.    Adam spotted Eve in the Malt shop, she was easy to find. Eve looked at Adam, the first or only boy she has ever seen and said Hi, the rest was biblical.

For the rest of us , its what do I do? how do I do it?  

Online, a Cardigan sweater wont generate many likes or traffic on your site, unless your only wearing a Cardigan

Its the hot pictures, the chiseled man without shirt, or a woman wearing something with little left to the imagination.

Some of us are like SHEEP

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Without rhyme or reason, some of us are like sheep.  “I did it, because other people are doing it”. He has his shirt off and he’s popular, so I’ll try it.  With her breast front and center, that’s what I’m going to do.

Its a form of marketing.   Who are you marketing to? Skin and nudity will generate traffic, question is the person your looking in that group?   If your thinking long term, the person you seek may not be in this group.

If you’ve been online longer than two hours, someone has asked you for a nude picture.

Come on, I want to see what I’m getting?  I wont’ show anyone, I like you.  What are you a prude ? 

Online vets will tell you one or two things will happen:  They will ask you for another picture or completely fall off the planet, to later return as another life form.

What happens to those pictures?

Imagine a piece of paper you’ve discarded.  Some one picks it up, that paper is now his.

Those pictures of your goodies that you entrusted to a complete stranger,belong to him. There are laws that prevent him or her from using the image to extort, and in some states, penalties for posting your image on social media.  However, he can certainly share the picture you gave him with his friends and yours.

   My shirtless likeness ended up on a porn site and on a few altered profiles.

CityFella, what is Sextortion?

Sextortion is defined as blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors and/or money from the victim.

This online blackmail is often conducted by sophisticated organized criminal networks operating out of business-like locations similar to call centers.  Teenagers often blackmail other teenagers for sexual favors.

There is not one method by which criminal target their victims, many individuals are targeted through websites including social media, dating, webcam or adult pornography sites.     Criminals often target hundreds of individuals around the world simultaneously, in an attempt to increase their chances of finding a victim.

How does it happen?

The blackmailer might assume the identity of an attractive man or woman then, after gaining the victim’s trust, will record footage of the victim in the nude or performing a sexual act.  He then threatens to circulate this footage to the victim’s friends or post it online unless a certain amount of money is paid.

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The drive to find a preferred mate is extremely powerful,” said Lucy Brown, a clinical professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who studies the brain activity of people in love. “It’s a reflexive urge, like hunger and thirst,” which can cloud judgment and make people less likely to question the motives of an online match.

Moreover, she said, romantic love can produce feelings of euphoria similar to the effects of cocaine or heroin, which explains why otherwise intelligent and accomplished people do irrational things to get a fix. Of course, people have always been fools for love — it’s just that the global reach and altered reality of the Internet increases the risk and can make the emotional and financial damage more severe..”

Click on the link Below for the complete story

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While all police agencies recommend you don’t pay, there are thousands who choose to pay the blackmailer.  For them its  too much at stake career and family.

 

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If you take online pictures using one of these

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you need to read this……

Your wonderful, I can’t live without it-Smartphone has the ability to tell where you are, the location, date and time the picture was taken.

GPS coordinates are stored as “metadata” embedded in the photo files themselves. All you have to do is view the file’s properties and look for it. It’s a bit like the potentially incriminating information that can be stored along with Microsoft Office documents or PDF files

In Windows, all you have to do is right-click a picture file, select “Properties,” and then click the “Details” tab in the properties window. Look for the Latitude and Longitude coordinates under GPS.

In macOS, right-click the image file (or Control+click it), and select “Get Info.” You’ll see the Latitude and Longitude coordinates under the “More Info” section.

Sure, you may be able to see this information with an “EXIF viewer” application, but most operating systems have this feature built in.

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Match the Coordinates to a Location on a Map

These are standard GPS coordinates, so you just need to match them to a location on a map to find where the photo was actually taken. Many mapping services offer this feature—you can plug the coordinates straight into Google Maps, for example. Google offers instructions for properly formatting the coordinates for Google Maps.

Using Google earth, your wonderful smartphone can take me directly to the place where the picture was taken…  The roof top, the cars in the driveway all in wonderful color.

To prevent this from happening.  Learn where your GPS switch is on your phone and make a habit of turning it off.   Not only will it place information in your pictures it can tell others where you are.

Recommendations

Should you choose post any picture on the internet, make sure the GPS switch is off.  If its a nude picture take the picture against a blank wall.   Some people take pictures with other pictures in the background.  “Hey, isn’t that Ryan’s mom in the back ground”   Beware of reelections and mirrors.  Many years ago, a man took a picture of a dining room table and posted it on Craigslist for sale.   In the mirror, was a reflection on him in the nude, taking the picture.

Finally, always be your authentic self.  Take a picture that best represents you.  If your taking a profile picture, you might consider having a good friend take it, someone who knows the real you and can possibly capture the best you.   As for those other pictures, do it if only your comfortable, don’t allow yourself to be pressured by a complete stranger.  Ask yourself, before you upload, would you be fine with friends and family seeing the picture?

CityFella

Next Up:  Adventures on a Online Dating (Stepping up your dating game)

 

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India: Future of romance in #MeToo era


Future of romance in #MeToo era

 

Man-woman interactions have never been easy. But now every exchange seems officiated. Words are closely evaluated, by both men (before) and women (after).

By Hemant Morparia\Mumbi Mirror 

I have to start with a disclaimer here: the concept of romantic love is alien to me. The title of this piece presupposes that romance had a past. A casual peek into history tell us that ‘romantic love’ was, in fact, invented by wandering 12th century troubadours in France (where else?). It was a clever, fiendish ploy that depended on mutual self-deception, in order to, well, get some… um, you know, (unsuitable word alert) ‘action’.

I have, in my life, not seen any couple that continues to be in thrall of romantic love for any significantly meaningful length of time. Any talk of romance brings to my mind a cartoon by Mick Stevens published in the New Yorker (see, only cartoonists quote other cartoonists by name. All others just quote the publication). The cartoon shows a couple on a boat ride in an amusement park’s ‘tunnel of love’. You can see the tunnel’s exit: the boat with the couple is about to land into cesspool of effluents, garbage and other stranded couples. Cartoonists get it right pretty often, I’d say.

Actually, I have to make a correction —I have known just one couple which continues to be madly in love, and with an intensity that increases on a daily basis. Let me introduce Exhibit A. On my way to the gym each evening, for the past few years, I have been seeing a couple, a male and a female. They are rag pickers who live in abject poverty on the footpath, with no roof over their head. When they interact with each other, however, I see their mutual, fixed gaze; the world is dead to them in that moment. When the man is away, I see the woman stand for long, gazing in the direction of his expected arrival. On my way back, at night, they are asleep in each other’s arms. The relationship is not one founded on something transnational or conditional. It couldn’t possibly be. In this primal and feral state, they have nothing, and they have everything. They have love.

Cut to the present. Man-woman interactions have never been easy. They are equally a playground as they are a minefield. All men have had, at some point or other in their lives, some unsavory thoughts about women. Some men, drunk on power or fame, have quite brazenly acted them out. Women are speaking out now and it’s about time too. Women are looking askance in the direction of all men. The regular, non guilty men are the ones who are clueless in this crossfire, and the angry women aren’t helping. Every exchange between the sexes now seems officiated. Words, spoken or written, get carefully evaluated and weighed, by both men (before) and women (after). What is said and what is meant or implied in this climate of distrust are considered exclusive. A minor slip could result in the ‘Gotcha!’ moment. For example, can a man say, ‘Are you the new, hot yoga teacher?’, with zero risk today? Even punctuation marks need careful attention. A comma can break a sentence, but what of a missing one? That could break bones. Try ‘I love cooking my girlfriend and my pets’. Outrage is guaranteed from humorless Twitterati and the Shouting Heads In TV Studios (SHITS) will be shouting for your head on a platter! Out of instincts of self-preservation then, male-female interactions are fast simulating the way porcupines make love (‘very, very carefully’) and without the porcupiny tenderness.
It seems that every woman is angry today (I carefully chose the word ‘angry’ here instead of ‘mad’) and every man a bit confused and unsure. I drew a cartoon recently in which the song line ‘Tumko mujh se pyaar hai? Na na na na na na na’, from the cult film Aradhana, ends with the director yelling “Cut – end of song. NO means NO!”. When I posted it on social media, several women felt hurt and objected to it. Someone even summarised Aradhana as a misogynistic film which devalued womanhood (!) and promoted patriarchy (!!). It would be all very funny if it was not so sad. If both sexes continue the present downward trajectory of interactions, which are now getting to be without nuance, leeway or spontaneity, then I am afraid, there will be little to hold us together. As it is very little does.

I believe that the human male and the human female are two entirely different species. There may be more in common between a male human and a male chimp than a human male and a human female. In due course, men will eventually go their own way. So will women. As they retreat to Hisland and Herland, there will be little meaning to life and its activities. We will cease to do, build, create, compose, communicate, play or laugh, the very basis of all civilization. There will be no motivation to do all that. We shall, each gender separately that is, return to a state of chaos, anomie and primal poverty. From those feral, dystopic lands, one day, a single man and a single woman, both having nothing, will lock gaze. Their eyes will light up as they see a faint but distinct possibility of having everything.

Even love.
Post script: here is an exercise for you: what is the right way to punctuate ‘woman without her man is nothing’? (Both possible answers taken together only are correct.)

Giving Gyan

 

#metoo Consider the man?


Believe the woman!

I am a supporter of the #meetoo movement.  For hundreds of years men, have abused women, at home, school and in the work place simply because they could.   I was one of those men who remained silent because speaking up could damage my upward mobility.   Many women suffered in silence for those same reasons.   Its not just an American issue, its a global issue.  It is one of the reasons that I believe women should have a greater presence in government, because the root of the abuse is power.

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Silence at the Boys Club

https://sacratomatovillepost.com/2017/11/29/the-operating-hours-of-the-boys-club-may-change-without-notice/

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It is also why I believe those in powerful positions almost feel its is within their right to abuse women and others.

I recently learned that someone accused me of touching them in appropriately at a holiday party last year.  The individual said I brushed her breasts and she was offended. I don’t remember the incident or the women.  But apparently she knows me and has spoken to others about the event.  Two women at a resent gathering defended me, they have known me for sometime and alerted me.  If given the chance, I would apologize to her.   I wish she would have said something  when it happened as I would have bent over backwards to apologize.

Today, I’m troubled.  I am powerless and will have to let it pass.    If she was afraid to talk to me a year ago, its not likely she will speak to me today.  I am not a high profile person, but known in some circles.  I wonder how many people has she told and how many people believe her?   It will pass.

There is a sudden turn, a brush as the two of you are reaching for the same dinner roll.  Hands…..there is intent and accidents.  

There are many men, especially men of color who are/were in prison,others killed because someone believed the woman.    If the woman says she was uncomfortable, or harassed I strongly believe the matter should be investigated. While I support the movement, I’m not ready to give anyone a blank check .  I wonder have we tilted too far in one direction.  Believe the woman……. Consider the Man?

CityFella

When she falls for her


Don’t gossip. Don’t share. Talk.

By: Corinna Amendola\ The American In Italia

Coming up with clear answers when people ask questions about heterosexual breakups is hard enough. Add gender issues and it just gets a lot harder. Intimate relationships and they way they play out remains the most irrational aspect of a person’s life — though you wouldn’t know it based on the volume of social media chatter regarding sexual choices. But here’s the thing: Very few people ever tell the whole truth online, whether about their private lives or where they stand on the LGBT debate. Exaggeration is the norm. Like racism, sexual prejudice can do a good job pretending it doesn’t exist. All of which leads me to this exchange.

Q: I’m 27 and I’ve been living with my girlfriend for a year. We met at work, dated, and slowly took our relationship to the next level. Honestly, I like virtually everything about her. The only elephant in the room was our sex life, especially after she moved in with me. Things seem to lose their intensity and she seemed to lose her drive. I asked her about it but she’d always deflect the subject to work and tiredness and the difference between dating and being in the same apartment.

I bought this for several months until she really started being distant in bed, to the point that I started thinking the obvious: another guy. So again, I asked her. She didn’t say a word that night but the next night she brought it up on her own. She said yes, there was someone else: a female coworker. Our bedroom got very quiet at that moment, because that one came at me from out of the blue.

She cried and explained she didn’t know what to say. I didn’t either, and don’t. I said I’d leave but she doesn’t want me to. Suggestions?

A: Still waters run deep. Sexual waters are murky and run ever deeper. My first response is to say, Give her some time. If she wanted you to leave to begin something different with her new lover, that would have come in the form of a clearer signal, or at least a more decisive one. Right now, she may really and truly be confused. When your sexual interests take a different turn, the whole can sometimes leave you excited, yes, but reeling. Deepening on your upbringing, it can contradict all you’ve been taught – and never mind social open-mindedness.

The two of you might want to take a break from each other so she can better understand what she wants, and you can process what’s happened. It’s easy to say: no biggie, my girlfriend just came out. But it is a biggie, for the both of you. And there’s also no way of knowing if it’s a coming out or an infatuation (which comes without gender tags). You don’t sound mad, which is a good thing since anger doesn’t really help anyone when things are out there and the people involved can talk, and it seems the two of you still can.

Keep talking, and listen. Don’t run away and hide, not if you have genuine feelings. Hard as it may be, try playing friend and confidant until you know for sure where this is headed. Don’t gossip. Don’t share. Please don’t try finding out who her lover is, a natural response but one best checked at the door. Keep this between the two of you until you’re both clearer, she in terms of her new relationship, you in terms of the relationship you want to have with her going forward.

Acceptance: the apology


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Apology 

(Merriam-Webster)

 An admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret (a public apology)

something that is said or written to defend something that other people criticize : defense   The book is an apology for capitalism

informal : a poor substitute or example : makeshift He’s a poor apology for a father.

 

Why do people apologize? (What are the benefits?) 

To relieve their conscious,  closure, guilt.? .. 

Some researchers believe, It strengthens community and reduces interpersonal violence.  It raisers self worth.  Some people believe the apology is freeing, relieving them of a burden.

The flip side, some view the apology as a sign of weakness.   Some people, especially children feel vulnerable and are often unwilling to apologize.   People who have a low sense of self-worth have trouble apologizing in the service of these greater goods

Acceptance 

Many people believe once you have un burdened yourself of this secret, confessed, admitted you were wrong acceptance is immediate.

The reality is in most situations it isn’t.  Even with an initial early acceptance, the  acceptance might be rescinded.  The individual or individual  may need time to process the apology.

Infidelity, theft, violence, deception or a simple lie may take time. and its very possible acceptance may never take place.

If the person making the apology, apologized expecting immediate absolution, then the apology may be insincere.     For many people  acceptance requires trust and trust takes time.   How much time depends on the individual.  It could be hours, days, months or even years until your able to rebuild that trust.     If your a serial apologize , any future apologies may fall on deaf ears as your credibility is questioned.

Things that can affect acceptance is tone, and attitude.

“I said I WAS sorry!”

“I told you I was sorry!

“I apologized what more do you want”

Can delay acceptance

Do not set a timer.

Sincerely apologize and wait!

 

 

CityFella

(ask the Rodfather on Facebook)

 

 

 

 

 

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How white women use strategic tears to silence women of color


‘Often, when I have attempted to speak to or confront a white woman about something she has said or done that has impacted me adversely, I am met with tearful denials and indignant accusations that I am hurting her’
 ‘Often, when I have attempted to speak to or confront a white woman about something she has said or done that has impacted me adversely, I am met with tearful denials and indignant accusations that I am hurting her’ Photograph: Caro/Alamy

The legitimate grievances of brown and black women are no match for the accusations of a white damsel in distress

 

By: Ruby Hamad: The Guardian Uk

That the voices of “women of color” are getting louder and more influential is a testament less to the accommodations made by the dominant white culture and more to their own grit in a society that implicitly – and sometimes explicitly – wants them to fail.

At the Sydney writers’ festival on Sunday, editor of Djed Press, Hella Ibrahim, relayed the final minutes of a panel on diversity featuring writers from the western Sydney Sweatshop collective. One of the panelists, Winnie Dunn, in answering a question about the harm caused by good intentions, had used the words “white people” and “shit” in the same sentence. This raised the ire of a self-identified white woman in the audience who interrogated the panelists as to “what they think they have to gain” by insulting people who “want to read their stories.”

In other words, the woman saw a personal attack where there wasn’t one and decided to remind the panellists that as a member of the white majority she ultimately has their fate in her hands.

“I walked out of that panel frustrated,” Ibrahim wrote. “Because yet again, a good convo was derailed, white people centred themselves, and a POC panel was told to police it’s [sic] tone to make their message palatable to a white audience.”

Trauma assails brown and black women from all directions. There is the initial pain of being subjected to gendered racism and discrimination, there is the additional distress of not being believed or supported, and of having your words and your bravery seemingly credited to others.

And then there is a type of trauma inflicted on women of color that many of us find among the hardest to disclose, the one that few seem willing to admit really happens because it is so thoroughly normalized most people refuse to see it.

It is what that writers’ festival audience member was demonstrating, and what blogger and author Luvvie Ajayi called the “weary weaponising of white women’s tears”.

To put it less poetically, it is the trauma caused by the tactic many white women employ to muster sympathy and avoid accountability, by turning the tables and accusing their accuser.

Almost every BW (black woman) I know has a story about a time in a professional setting in which she attempted to have a talk with a WW about her behavior & it has ended with the WW (white woman) crying,” one black woman wrote on Twitter. “The WW wasn’t crying because she felt sorry and was deeply remorseful. The WW was crying because she felt “bullied” and/or that the BW was being too harsh with her.”

When I shared these tweets on my Facebook page asking brown and black women if this had ever happened to them, I was taken by how deeply this resonated, prompting one Arab woman to share this story:

A WW kept touching my hair. Pulling my curls to watch them bounce back. Rubbing the top. Smelling it. So when I told her to stop and complained to HR and my supervisor, she complained that I wasn’t a people person or team member and I had to leave that position for being ‘threatening’ to a coworker.”

For the doubters, here is a mild version of this sleight-of-hand in action:

Pinterest
Jully Black and Jeanne Beker

Notice it is the white woman – Jeanne Beker – who first interrupts the black woman – Jully Black – who takes the interruption in her stride. Black continues to speak passionately and confidently, which Beker interprets as a personal attack on her even though Black is clearly talking in general terms (just as Winnie Dunn was). Beker then attempts to shut Black down by essentially branding her a bully.

Had Jully Black not stopped and repeated Jeanne Beker’s words back at her – “Why are you attacking me?” – they would have passed largely unnoticed, just another woman of colour smeared as an aggressor for daring to continue speaking when a white woman wanted her to stop.

It doesn’t usually end this way. “White women tears are especially potent … because they are attached to the symbol of femininity,” Ajayi explains. “These tears are pouring out from the eyes of the one chosen to be the prototype of womanhood; the woman who has been painted as helpless against the whims of the world. The one who gets the most protection in a world that does a shitty job overall of cherishing women.”

As I look back over my adult life a pattern emerges. Often, when I have attempted to speak to or confront a white woman about something she has said or done that has impacted me adversely, I am met with tearful denials and indignant accusations that I am hurting her. My confidence diminished and second-guessing myself, I either flare up in frustration at not being heard (which only seems to prove her point) or I back down immediately, apologizing and consoling the very person causing me harm.

It is not weakness or guilt that compels me to capitulate. Rather, as I recently wrote, it is the manufactured reputation Arabs have for being threatening and aggressive that follows us everywhere. In a society that routinely places imaginary “wide-eyed, angry and Middle Eastern” people at the scenes of violent crimes they did not commit, having a legitimate grievance is no match for the strategic tears of a white damsel in distress whose innocence is taken for granted.

“We talk about toxic masculinity,” Ajayi warns, “but there is (also) toxicity in wielding femininity in this way.” Brown and black women know we are, as musician Miss Blanks writes, “imperfect victims”. That doesn’t mean we are always in the right but it does mean we know that against a white woman’s accusations, our perspectives will almost always go unheard either way.

Whether angry or calm, shouting or pleading, we are still perceived as the aggressors.

Likewise, white women are equally aware their race privileges them as surely as ours condemns us. In this context, their tearful displays are a form of emotional and psychological violence that reinforce the very system of white dominance that many white women claim to oppose.

Ruby Hamad is a journalist and PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Daddy left Mommy for Tommy, or what to do when a parent comes out as gay


Coming out to the kids in the midst of a divorce can make a fraught process even more difficult

SUDI “RICK” KARATAs
Excerpted from “Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids about LGBTQ+ Families and Friends” by Sudi (“Rick”) Karatas. Copyright 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Just in time for Pride in June, “Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids About LGBTQ+ Families and Friends” (May 8, 2018) is a collection of intimate, real-life stories and advice about coming out to family members—parents to children, aunts and uncles to nieces and nephews, grandparents to grandchildren.

The concept for “Rainbow Relatives” was born when author Sudi “Rick” Karatas asked his sister if her children knew about his (their uncle’s) sexual orientation. She said they didn’t, as she hadn’t been sure how to approach the topic and wished there was a book she could read to help her have those conversations. So, Sudi wrote that book. He hopes Rainbow Relatives will make readers more accepting of all people and families, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.

 

I like to view things with a sense of humor (hence the title of this essay). However, it can be a serious family matter when one parent comes out as LGBTQ. The situation will often result in a divorce, which can be devastating for a child and can result in their conflicting feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, and self-blame.

During the early 1980s, when I was in high school, I remember watching a movie alone with the volume turned low because it was such a controversial subject for that time. The film was called “Making Love,” and it came out (pardon the pun) in 1982, starring Michael Ontkean, Harry Hamlin, and Kate Jackson. Ontkean plays Zach, who is married to Claire (Jackson). Zach is gone so much that Claire believes he is having an affair with another woman. When she confronts him, he admits his affair with his patient, Bart (Hamlin). Back then, many believed that playing a gay role hurt Hamlin’s career for years, whereas today such roles have actually bolstered many careers. In 2005, “Brokeback Mountain” won a number of awards and was nominated for best picture at the Oscars. In 2009, Sean Penn won the best actor Oscar for his performance of controversial gay rights activist Harvey Milk. In 2014, Jared Leto won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his compelling role as a transgender woman in the film “Dallas Buyers Club.”

However, while these movies certainly helped to bring the LGBTQ community into popular culture, they did not portray situations that directly involve kids. In 2011, “The Kids Are All Right” became one of the first movies to do so with its portrayal of a lesbian couple raising two children born from a surrogate father. The film won a Golden Globe for best picture and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay. Hopefully, this has opened the door for more film and television portrayals depicting the reality of children with LGBTQ parents and the common situations that result when one parent turns out to be gay.

When a Parent Comes Out

The following is an amusing story told to me by a friend: A man was married many years to a woman and together they had a daughter. When the daughter was almost grown, the man came out to his family, announcing he was gay. He wasn’t sure how the daughter was handling it until one day, as they were both taking a walk along the beach, two very attractive and muscular men were walking toward them, each carrying a surfboard. His daughter said, “Look, Dad, one for you, one for me.”

The father was relieved, seeing how comfortable his daughter was with his sexuality. So he joked, “Okay, I’ll take the blond.”

Embarrassed and turning red, the daughter said, “I was talking about the surfboards.”

I spoke with and surveyed a number of other people who had been married and had children when one spouse came out. Hopefully, some of the following stories will help those who are in similar situations, and they will be comforted to know they are not alone.

Honesty is the Best Policy

After fifteen years of marriage, Anna and her husband sat down together with the kids and told them about her husband’s sexual orientation. The kids were fourteen, twelve, and eight years old. They were sad and surprised, but they were relieved to know there was a valid reason as to why their parents had separated. Prior to that, no one could understand why this had happened because they’d always had a good relationship together.

“My advice to others going through this is to be honest with everyone involved and tell people as soon as you are comfortable,” Anna said. “If you do it too soon, you may wind up hurting yourself and the people around you, especially the children. My kids did not want anyone else to know because they studied in the same schools as their cousins. I couldn’t tell any of our relatives because children can be cruel at school. I would have liked to tell people sooner but my kids would have been hurt.”

Hide That Gay Porn

After a year of being separated from his wife of twenty years, Fred’s sons were visiting him from Texas. At that time, they were thirteen and fifteen years old. He had told his wife he was gay, though he’d never acted on it, and they had decided to separate. However, they had decided not to tell the kids the reason until it came up during his sons’ visit.

While his sons were visiting, his fifteen-year-old left the room to take a shower when his thirteen-year-old asked him, “Are you gay?” Taken aback, Fred asked, “Why do you ask?” His son said, “Well, you used to watch both straight porn and gay porn on the internet and now you only watch gay porn.”

The fact that his thirteen-year-old knew how to find the porn that he thought he had hidden so well was a little scary. (Kids today are very computer savvy, if you haven’t noticed.)

“My son was actually okay with it,” Fred said. “I told my other son a couple weeks later and he laughed at first—he thought it was a big joke. Once he knew it wasn’t, he was okay with it, too, until they got back to Texas and their religious school. Then they told me I was an embarrassment because everyone gave them a hard time about it. Today they are both adults and fine with it.”

Dealing with a Bitter Spouse

Sometimes when one parent comes out, their spouse resents it and causes a rift or even sabotages the relationship between the gay parent and child. This may make it difficult for the child to understand and accept their gay parent, but it doesn’t make it impossible. Take Waylon’s experience, for example.

Waylon was divorced, and his ex-wife did not take his being gay very well at all. Waylon’s daughter lived with his ex-wife and her new husband while Waylon provided financial support for his daughter but lived in another state. The relationship was strained for a long time because of the negative things his ex-wife would say about him and his sexual orientation. The daughter also didn’t know that other family members had accepted her father for who he was. When Waylon’s daughter was sixteen, she finally visited her dad and his partner, Willie. Not surprisingly, it was a little awkward at first, but he assured her that their relationship wouldn’t change. He asked her if she’d get to know Willie, since he was important to him.

She asked questions about their relationship—how long they’d been together, how the relationship was going in general—and she also had her own private conversation with Willie and asked him questions as well. She was able to see that her father’s relationship with Willie was no different from other relationships, and by the end of the day, she had even given Willie a hug.

However, once she returned home to her mom and stepdad, the situation became more difficult. Waylon soon got a call from his furious ex-wife, Maybelle. “How dare you introduce my daughter to this lifestyle!” She continued to flood him with homophobic voice mails, emails, and even threats. Maybelle never did come around; in fact, she tried to poison her daughter against her ex-husband with lies about him and used parental alienation to prevent her daughter from seeing her father. The daughter was finally told the truth, and the relationship between Waylon and his daughter (who recently came out as gay herself) is now healthy and strong.

I think it’s good that Waylon showed his daughter that he and Willie have a nice, loving relationship that offset the negative things his ex had said. Setting a good example is important. I think when one spouse (in this case, the mother) has resentment toward a divorced spouse, it causes a lot of harm to a child, and if any adult finds themselves pitting the child against the other parent in situations like these, they should, of course, do their best to stop.

When the Kids Don’t Take the News So Well

Pablo’s son was ten and his daughter was seven when he came out to them. Pablo had decided to tell them because he thought his ex-wife was about to out him. He later told his kids that he needed to tell them because he didn’t want them to find out from a third person. He started by saying to them, “I’ve got something important to tell you.” But then he couldn’t continue.

The three of them sat in awkward silence until his son finally said, “What are you going to tell us? That you’re gay?” Pablo was surprised but relieved. “Yes, that’s why your mom and I separated.” He then told them, “I am still your father, nothing changes, and I still love you the same way.”

Then, both kids started crying. The boy seemed to take it harder than his sister, throwing a puzzle across the room in apparent anger. The crying lasted about fifteen minutes or so, and then later the son suddenly said to him, “Daddy, I’m sorry for those comments and jokes I’ve said about fags before. Don’t take them personally, but I am still going to make them.” It was the boy’s way of trying to use a little humor to break the tension.

Pablo said this didn’t bother him too much because if his son felt free enough to make a joke at this time, he felt his son was partly okay with it. Pablo said he also understood the “macho thing” boys have and his reaction was fairly normal.

His son asked, “Did you ever love Mommy?”

He said, “Of course.” But although the conversation seemed to have resolved things at the time, Pablo told me that his kids didn’t believe that he was born gay for quite a while, and today his son is still not 100 percent okay with it, but their relationship is okay. The daughter is much better with it.

I think the takeaway here is even if you fear the kids won’t be okay with this news, it’s still better to be open and honest and give them time to adjust to it.

What the Therapist Says: Divorce + Gay Parent = Added Shame

As part of my research, I also spoke with therapist David Giella. He provided some very straightforward insight into what children of gay parents go through in these situations. “In any divorce where, let’s say, the father has an affair, the child may feel the following: ‘You misled Mommy; you made Mommy cry; you had an affair; you have screwed up my life because of something you did; I’m scared and mad at you.’ When the father has an affair with another man, it’s mostly the same feelings, except now the child has to deal with having a parent who is gay, and there may be some shame with this, whether there should be or not,” Giella said.

I think what Dr. Giella said is important because parents should be aware a divorce may be a little harder for kids to deal with when it’s because one parent is gay. It’s an additional change and something else to adjust to in their lives; it’s not as simple as their parents not being together anymore.

SUDI “RICK” KARATAS

Sudi now lives in California but grew up in Syosset Long Island.  He is the cowriter of the feature film “Walk a Mile In My Pradas” (starring Tom Arnold, Dee Wallace, and Bruce Vilanch) and the upcoming “Charlie’s Dream,” an inspirational family film. He also writes songs, sketches, loves writing everything except checks. For more info on the author visit his website at www.rickkaratas.com

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