October 11th is National Coming Out Day. When a Family Member "Comes Out," The Straight Spouse Network is There for Those Left Behind

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The Straight Spouse Network, an often invisible ally, offer their support on National Coming Out Day. Straight spouses are men and women who are or once were married to LGBT people.

Members of the Straight Spouse Network at their Annual Gathering

Members of the Straight Spouse Network at their Annual Gathering

The Straight Spouse Network was formed by ‘straights’ to provide a unique international support system for those left behind.

October 11th is National Coming Out Day. On this day, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community will celebrate the opportunity to live openly. For those coming out, it is a celebration of freedom and choice. Once the decision is made to come out, there are numerous well-established support organizations one can participate in.

For those left behind, the “straights,” it is a time of confusion, pain, feelings of inadequacy, raw emotion, and, most importantly, little or no support. Not only has the unthinkable happened, but it is accompanied with a sense of loss, betrayal, rejection and feeling incredibly lost. Where do they turn for help and support? Who can possibly understand what they are experiencing?

Founded in 1986, the Straight Spouse Network was created to provide a worldwide network of support, education and advocacy for straight spouses of gay, lesbian or bisexual partners and mixed-orientation couples.

According to Kathy Callori, Executive Director of the Straight Spouse Network, "Most family members and friends, even professionals and clergy, do not understand the pain or concerns of those left behind. Each straight wife or husband must heal the wounds caused by the unexpected disclosure while undergoing their own identity crisis in isolation. The Straight Spouse Network was formed by ‘straights’ to provide a unique international support system for those left behind.”

Says Callori, “Spouses who find the Straight Spouse Network and its personal, confidential support system are able to heal their personal trauma and also gain understanding of the larger issue of homophobia that caused their partners to enter a traditional marriage in the first place. Support is provided through an international network of qualified individual contacts and support groups that have shared similar experiences and also through the extensive resources on our website, http://www.straightspouse.org.”

About the Straight Spouse Network, Inc.
Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey, the Straight Spouse Network, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1986 by Amity Pierce Buxton, a “straight” and highly regarded author and researcher on the unique experiences of those left behind. The organization’s mission is to provide support for straight spouses and their families. The organization currently fields over 3,000 requests for help a year.

For information about the Straight Spouse Network, Inc. see http://www.straightspouse.org.

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Kathy Callori
@straightspouses
since: 01/2011
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