Part 3 of 5 with co-authors Joe Cobb and Leigh Anne Taylor who have recently published "Our Family Outing: A Memoir of Coming Out and Coming Through" in which they describe the process of ending a thirteen year marriage and creating a new way of being family in the wake of Joe's coming out.
– by Leigh Anne Taylor –
As I lay down to take an afternoon nap, I fell asleep pleading with God to help me talk to our children about our decision to divorce. I woke up with this story fully formed in my mind. I jotted it down in a little spiral notebook as fast as I could, afraid I would forget it. I read it to the children (ages 4 and 6) the day Joe and I told them about our decision to divorce.
Our Family’s Story
January 15, 1999
Most of the time, little boys grow up and want to be with women.
Most of the time, little girls grow up and want to be with men.
They get married and have children and live together until they are old.
These women and men are called heterosexual.
Some of the time, little boys grow up and want to be with men.
Men who want to be with other men are called gay or homosexual.
Some of the time, little girls grow up and want to be with women.
Women who want to be with other women are called lesbian or homosexual.
When Daddy was a little boy, he knew that when he grew up, he wanted to be with men. But he didn’t know anyone who was homosexual. He felt different. He felt afraid. He thought his mommy and daddy would not love him if he were different, if he were homosexual. So he hid all of his thoughts about being with a man down deep in his heart. He thought if he didn’t think about them, they would go away.
They did no go away. They made a broken place in Daddy’s heart that has never gone away.
Daddy wanted his mommy and daddy to be happy. So he went to elementary school, to middle school, to high school and to college. He was a good student and he made his parents proud and happy! Daddy was happy too, except for the broken place in his heart. When Daddy was in college, Daddy decided to become a minister. This made Daddy happy. I made his parents happy and all of Daddy’s friends happy. Daddy was so happy he could almost forget the broken place in his heart.
When Daddy was in graduate school, he met Mommy. Daddy loved Mommy. Mommy loved Daddy. They decided to get married. They did! A few years later, God gave Mommy and Daddy a daughter named Emma. Then, God gave Mommy and Daddy a son named Taylor. Mommy and Daddy and Emma and Taylor were happy, for a while.
But, the broken place in Daddy’s heart kept getting bigger and bigger. It made Daddy feel very sad. Daddy had to give up his job. Daddy had to go to the doctor who helps heal the broken places in our hearts. Daddy finally realized that the broken place in his heart was because he had been hiding his thoughts and fears about being homosexual down deep in his heart. He finally realized that he had to talk about it so he could feel better. He told the doctor the truth. He told Mommy the truth. Now Daddy wants you to know the truth.
Now that Daddy knows the truth about himself, he knows that he can’t be a good husband to Mommy. Now that Mommy knows that Daddy is homosexual, she knows that she can’t be a good partner to Daddy. Mommy and Daddy are both very sad because now they know that they cannot stay married. They are both very sad because they know that it will make Emma and Taylor very sad to have parents who are divorced. Mommy and Daddy believe that getting divorced is the kindest thing that they can do for each other and for our family.
Does Daddy still love Emma? YES!
Does Daddy still love Taylor? YES!
Does Mommy still love Emma? YES!
Does Mommy still love Taylor? YES!
Can children get divorced from their parents? NO! NEVER!
Mommy and Daddy will always love Emma and Taylor, no matter what. But they will never all live in the same house again.
Do you feel like you are the only boy or girl whose parents got divorced because their dad realized he was homosexual? How does that make you feel?
What do you want to say to Daddy?
What do you want to say to Mommy?
What does Mommy want to say to Emma and Taylor?
What does Daddy want to say to Emma and Taylor?
What does God say to us all?
I love you.
I created you.
I will never leave you.
When you are sad, pray to me.
When you are angry, pray to me.
I love you just the way you are,
married or divorced,
homosexual or heterosexual,
young or old,
mad or sad.
I love you.
I will help you through the pain of divorce.
I will help you make a new start.
Depend on me.
Tell the truth.
I am with you.
What do you want to say to God? Excerpt from Our Family Outing, pg. 138-142
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Their book is available for purchase through their website:www.ourfamilyouting.com and through all major on-line book and e-reader formats. For books purchased through their website, they will send personalized and signed copies.