Left Behind: Straight Spouses and Gay Pride Month

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNS) – A new book, published recently to coincide with Gay Pride Month events across the country, describes the harrowing experiences of people whose spouses leave them to enter a homosexual relationship.

Pretzel Logic, by Lisa Rogak, is published by Williams Hill Publishing, which she owns with current companion Gregg Ramsay, whom she met in a support group for straight spouses. Rogak says she wrote the book to provide guidance for straight spouses, who have few avenues to express their emotions.

"Once homosexual spouses reveal their sexual orientation, they find all kinds of support and encouragement to leave the straight world behind. For the straight spouse, there's zip," Rogak told CNS.

Rogak's previous spouse revealed his homosexuality to her two years into their marriage. At first, says Rogak, the new honesty actually improved the marriage.

"I wondered what I was doing wrong and what I could do to make everything okay," Rogak admitted. "The strange thing is that, right after he came out, we spent almost a year trying to integrate his sexuality into our marriage."

Ultimately, though, most spouses end the marriage after revealing their homosexuality, and Rogak's marriage lasted only another year-and-a-half.

Rogak turned to the Straight Spouse Network, a nationwide newsletter and mailing for straight spouses. And when she realized how little material there was for people whose spouses are homosexual, she decided to write Pretzel Logic – so named because Rogak said she "turned [herself] into an absolute pretzel to make the marriage right."

The Network has named this June the first annual "Straight Spouse Awareness Month."

Rogak, a former business writer with more than 20 books to her name, says that she expects the publication of the book to "spawn a good number of cat fights in the media" – in fact, its publication was stopped at the last minute by one publisher – but claims that both Straight Spouse Month and her book are not anti-homosexual.

In fact, Rogak urges homosexual spouses to "come out the closet" to spare their spouses any more emotional turmoil.

"We're dealing with straight spouses, not with the person who is homosexual. . . . We want to concentrate on their experience, not the experience of the spouse," said Rogak. "I've actually had homosexuals thank me for writing this book and bringing awareness to this issue."

Rogak hopes to use Straight Spouse Awareness Month to focus on the pain experienced by straight spouses, which is overlooked by recent popular movies on the subject such as The Object of My Affection or In and Out.