Fannie Fierce

Farewell Fannie! and Married with Problems

Filed By Fannie Fierce | July 23, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: marriage

Hello Projectors,

Fannie here. I'm sad to announce that this will be my farewell post to Fiercely Fannie. I've been doing this advice thing for the past year or so, and it's really been a fun, fun run with y'all. I deeply appreciate how much some people have been willing to open up to me over emails with questions about their lives. I've learned so much about myself through answering your questions. Thank you again for reading and I hope that you'll all stay fierce, fabulous, and free.

Dear Fannie,

I am so clearly gay it is wild, yet I am a married man so deep in the closet it is crazy. I haven't had sex with another man in over 4 years; been married almost 4 years. But I crave a man so badly and I know that man-to-man sex is fit for me.

I am terrified of telling anyone - never came out to any but other gay people before. I am in a quandary.

--Queer Quandary Quagmire

Dear QQQ,

"Wild" and "crazy" sure sounds like they describe you well. You're out to yourself, yet decided to ruin the life of your wife by lying to her by promising to be the love of her life for as long as you both shall live. And now you're craving some man tang but stuck in a matrimonial cell of your own design. Funny how karma works, eh? The easy thing here would be to awww and coo and comfort you out of the closet. But, frankly, QQQ. I don't got the time or the patience for liars and cowards. If goddamn tweens are brave enough to come out in middle school, a.k.a. hell, then you should be able to come clean.

Your question resonates particularly with a past question I received about a young gay man who was contemplating having sex with a married man who was after his meat. I told the kid to go ahead and jump on that wedded wang because it wasn't the kid who made a commitment to his wife. The response to that advice was controversial and mixed, as I expected it to be. But let me make this perfectly clear: while I may not have a wildly exuberant perspective on marriage as a political and social institution, I have a deep respect for commitments and contracts people make with each other, especially romantic ones.

If you knew you were gay 4 years ago, which I infer by the fact that you were down on your knees downing spunk only months before going down on your knees to get married to a woman, why in the world did you get married? God, when will people learn that lying to yourself hurts not only you, but the people around you? Women who marry these men are the overlooked collateral damage of these gay men's cowardice. Sure, it's tough being gay, and sure people feel pressured to hide their queer identities to protect their status both at work and with their families. But just because it's hard doesn't justify manipulating people in order to maintain you fa├žade.

It's one thing to be that "confirmed bachelor" who brings his beard to a fancy event or two (I'm looking at you, Professor Higgins). It's completely different to string along another human being and get them to make a lifelong commitment to you, based off of a false relationship.

My advice? Grow a pair and be honest with your wife. The longer you wait, the more of her time you waste. There's nothing you can do to be in the right, but there are things you can do to make things better.

Tell your wife that you are gay and that you have been desiring sex with a man. She'll probably get very. Very. Very. Upset. And rightly so. Let her yell at you and cuss you out and cry, because honestly, you deserve a little tongue lashing, and she deserves some retribution. After all that hullabaloo is over, hopefully you will both be able to come to the table as adults and figure out if your marriage can still work. I assume that you have at least some affection and attraction to this poor woman you've manipulated for the past 4 years. If you can work some kind of relationship where you can get your rocks off with a man-friend and where she has primacy in your relationship (in addition to some of her own behind-the-scenes action)... then maybe it'll all work out. It's unlikely... but it's possible.

Now, the one thing I have to commend you for is not having cheated on your wife yet. It shows you have at least some moral fiber. It gives you some more legitimacy and makes the betrayal sting a little less. You'll be in for a rocky patch, but you really should do this right and not sneak around behind her back. Because she'll find out, one way or the other. And then, when the shit hits the fan you'll be that much more of an asshole, in addition to getting screwed in your divorce proceedings. Judges like nothing better than teaching an adulterer a thing or two.

The one thing I didn't mention was kids. You didn't mention if you and your wife have started a family, and I pray to the Powers That Be that you haven't because there's no worse crime parents commit against their children than deliberately raising them in a broken home (aside from obvious extremes of abuse). If you do have kids, this may be a bit of a more delicate process. If you can stand it, I'd at least stick together until your kid is old enough to comprehend what's going on. And for the love of all that is good, don't be that jackass gay dad who disappears only to show up every 6 months at Easter and Christmas with a new boyfriend.

Good luck, QQQ, I don't wish I was you, but I do hope you do the right thing.

Fiercely and finally,

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Farewell, my dear. You have been a wonderful addition to this diverse collection of beautiful personalities. If you're ever heading to or through Atlanta, look me up. I'll make you dinner. Don't drive right past my house like Waymon and Anthony did. (Whine)

Just kidding, guys.

I'll miss you, my friend.

You've been a spectacular contributor and an excellent advice columnist. I'll miss reading your advice every week.

And the married dude? Grow a pair and own up to your wife; don't use the poor woman and string her along. That's just rude and ungentlemanly.

Fannie, I'm gonna miss your sassy advice. You're fabulous, darling!

My advice? Grow a pair and be honest with your wife. The longer you wait, the more of her time you waste. There's nothing you can do to be in the right, but there are things you can do to make things better.

Amen to that, sister.

Have fun with whatever awaits you, Fannie! I've only been here a short time, but have enjoyed your columns. I'll miss your wisdom and humor.

Fannie, you are fierce and I'm sorry to see you go. I've always found your comments thought-provoking and, in most cases, good advice.

Regarding the "crazy" and "wild" guy contemplating coming out in marriage, however, I think you've struck at tone that is a little too fierce and likely to drive the guy so deep in the closet that he may wind up hiding behind his wife's pumps for the rest of his possibly short life.

First of all, I question a man's judgment in asking an out and in-your-face lesbian about coming out to his wife. However, as I know from my own experience coming out of a 21-year marriage to a woman, there are precious few books or online resources available to the gay men in this situation. A lot has been written for "the girl he left behind" in terms of picking up the pieces and moving on, but not a whole lot out there for the man who, usually in mid-life, has to "grow a pair" and come out to himself, his wife, maybe his kids, family, friends and then totally remake his life being openly and proudly gay while dealing with the guilt and shame that surround deceit, adultery, internalized homophobia, possibly drug and alcohol abuse and a host of other issues that often plague this sub-group of the GLBT community.

According to coming-out-in-marriage guru and founder of Straight Spouse Network, Amity Pierce Buxton, this "is a growing phenomenon affecting as many as two million couples in this country." That means as a subset of the GLBT population these coming out scenarios are almost 100 times more prevalent than the number of transgender operations performed in the US according to 2006 census statistics. Yet not only does this large subset of diverse Queer America face rejection from the straight world they leave behind, they often must struggle with a second closet door to find a comfortable home among other gays and lesbians.

Ultimately I don't disagree with Fannie's bottom-line advice--to come out and end both the deception (self and otherwise) as well as to minimize the ultimate hurt and anger to his spouse. But, as we each know, our coming out comes at a time and a place in our lives determined by some many unique factors, rarely without pain and struggle, but always for the better. It's not our place to judge the timing or the path taken to get to that moment of truth but rather to celebrate and support the arrival.

I believe it is in everyone's best interest for members of our community to help each other through the process with open arms and not a wagging finger and a shaking head. There is enough shame and blame in the world and we, of all people, should not be generating any more of it.

Maureen O-Mara offers some wonderful advice about coming out in a heterosexual relationship at the following link:

In addition, I would encourage "QQQ" to seek out a local chapter of the Gay Married Mens Association. Even if he has to drive a hundred miles or drop in at one on his next business trips it will be well worth getting the support and encouragement of other men who have gone through the same situation.

I know in my own case before I came out, I thought I was the only married man who had got himself into this kind of a predicament. Once I came out, however, I have found that this is not an uncommon occurrence, particular in among those of us who are a bit older and come from more conservative or religiously intolerant backgrounds.

Sorry, Fannie, is this is like a fart at your farewell party. I'm just mad about the message but I will miss the messenger.

Best wishes,


You've been kicking ass and taking names for over a year now, Fannie, just like in this column. I wish you luck in whatever you do in the future.