LGBT Families and Committed
mean a lot of different things to LGBT people. Right now, there are only
a handful of states that allow same-sex marriage or civil unions for
LGBT individuals. There's an active
movement to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the US (the
Freedom to Marry movement).
On the other hand,
significant numbers of LGBT people say they wouldn't want to marry even
if same-sex marriage were legal. Some LGBT families wouldn't fit a model
of marriage that's based on couples -- for instance, sometimes a gay
couple and a lesbian couple form a family to parent their children
together (and that's only the beginning of the creative, thriving
non-traditional family structures that aren't unusual in the LGBT
community). Some LGBT folks take pride in the way their community has
formed strong, flexible relationships and families outside the
boundaries of marriage, and have no desire to take part in the
institution when same-sex marriage is legalized.
Although civil marriage is
still not an option for most LGBT people in the U.S., growing numbers
are married. Some are lucky enough to live in states that allow same-sex
marriage; some have
traveled to the provinces in Canada or other countries that recognize same-sex marriage.
Some people marry a different-sex partner and later come out as gay or
lesbian. Bisexual people may not be able to marry if they fall in love
with a same-sex partner, but can if their sweetie is different-sex.
Depending on state laws and the legal gender of the partners, some
transgender people are able to marry. Lots of bi and trans people who
have the option to marry choose not to, in solidarity with their LGBT
friends who can't.
(From Alternative to
LGBT Relationship Notes
Weird and Annoying Questions Gay Couples Get Asked
Jennifer Aniston Interviews Ellen and Portia
Suze Orman Talks About Her Wife and Soulmate
HHS/OAH: Healthy Relationships
Sometimes I Wish I Was a Lesbian
Dan Savage: Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex
Healthy Relationships Among
Nothing Taboo: Love Song for the
LGBT Relationship Commentary
world, you may be one person, but to one person
you may be the world."
it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable
seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"
“If you were expecting Prince Charming, I'm sorry.
He's with his boyfriend.”
― Shayla Black, Wicked Ties
“The whole world goes on and on about love. Poets spend their lives
writing about it. Everyone thinks it's the most wonderful thing. But,
when you mention two guys in love, they forget all that and freak out.”
― Mark A. Roeder, Outfield Menace
Laura & Fawn
Hattie & Amorie
Dick & Bob
Jan & Lauren
Jon & Robert
Octavia & Deborah
Eric & Stan
Steve & Mark
My Life as a Lesbian
Since coming out, I've realized that being a lesbian is
so much more than preferring one type of person to
another, it's a matter of declaring your independence,
an ability to live without having to be always
associated with a man. Not to
say, however, that two women cannot become totally and
utterly dependent upon one another, but society does not
hold so many preconceived notions about relationships
and how they should be. I feel so much more freedom in a
lesbian relationship - we are free to define the
what many people seem to think, lesbians are not a
couple of women waiting for a man to "help out". I have
no need or desire to have sex with a guy - hence the
term "lesbian". I've tried dating guys, from long-time
buddies to people met at parties. I am just not as
comfortable with them as I am when I'm with a woman.
Women provide me with support, security and a sense of
truly understanding me. It's the fundamental male/female
differences that make me unable to love a man. I
recognize all that women have to offer and I am looking
for that in all my relations. People in a heterosexual
relationship always have issues that they cannot speak
to their spouse about; things they just cannot
understand. I am lucky enough to be in love with someone
who can understand me, my hormones and desires and all
that, because she has them too!
I'm not just proud to be a lesbian, I'm proud to be a
Famous Gay and Lesbian Couples
Elton John & David
George Takei &
Harris & David Burtka
TR Knight & Mark Cornelson
Rufus Wainwright & Jorn Weisbrodt
Johnny Weir and Victor Voronov
Cheyenne Jackson and Monte Lapka
David Hyde Pierce and Brian Hargrove
George Michael and Kenny Goss
Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi
BD Wong and Rickie Jackson
John Barrowman and Scott Gill
Ellen Degeneres &
Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner
Jayne Lynch & Lara Embry
Chely Wright & Lauren Blitzer
Brandi Carlile & Catherine
Wanda Sykes & Alex Sykes
Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds
Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni
KD Lang and Jamie Price
Celebrity LGBT Couples
Famous Gay Couples Montage
Grindr: LGBT On-Line Dating
You may know the names
of several good on-line
dating sites, including
Tingle, and Tagged.
You may be familiar with
dating apps like Picksie
and Blendr. Have
you heard of Grindr?
Grindr is the name of an
on-line dating site and
app for gay men.
It was first launched in
2009 by Joel Simkhai.
It is currently used in
over 192 countries and
includes millions of
members; at any given
time, 71,000 users are
logged onto Grindr and
close to a million users
log into the mobile app
Grindr has been
described as the best "geosocial
networking" service and
a "revolutionary dating
tool." some have
even called it the
"scariest gay bar on
the perspective, Grindr
has made an indelible
mark on the dating scene
for gay men, winning
many prestigious awards.
Grindr offers an
service. You simply
download and open the
application onto your
mobile device. You
choose a profile name,
upload a photo of
yourself, answer a
couple of questions, and
sign into the
Grindr is a GPS
app that will quickly
and easily locate other
users in your immediate
(From Kaitlin Moore)
All You Need to Know About Grindr
Grindr Home Page
Carnival of On-line Dating
On-Line Dating Apps Gain Popularity in LGBT Community
One Good Love
Tips for Gay Men
Tips to Help Gay and Bi Men Make Better Choices About
Dating & Relationships
in" with yourself to understand what’s behind your
motivation for dating or being in a relationship.
How much are you affected by others’ opinions of you
based on whether you’re single? Do you feel more alive
when you’re involved with another guy? Are you genuinely
guy? Are you reacting to feeling lonely or rejected?
Identify what kinds of experiences have been satisfying
when dating or being in a relationship in the past… and
what has left you wanting something else.
How you've felt about past experiences can direct you to
what will work for you in the future.
Get in touch with what you value, what you need
and what you desire in another guy and in a
this awareness, you may well make choices that don’t
satisfy what’s really important to you. This is your
life... follow your bliss!
Recognize that dating or being in a relationship makes
demands on you – and not only time, effort and sacrifice
– it demands that you reveal who
you are to another guy.
It's important to know how prepared you are to do this
at this time in your life.
Timing is (almost!) everything… are you
really ready to date or
be in a relationship? Or
are difficult life circumstances – dealing with
significant health changes, substance use, experiencing
oppression, grief over a loss, etc. – stressing your
ability to handle the additional challenges of
connecting with another guy?
Be aware of the power balance between you and the other
guy. If you feel you have
little power, how will you be able to negotiate what you
need or desire? If you feel you have most of the power
in a relationship (not an easy thing to recognize!),
will you be able to really hear what the other guy wants
People change over time… and so do relationships…
particularly in the early stages of getting to know
someone. It’s important
to be prepared for the natural evolution of
relationships -- and the first step towards this is to
accept that change is inevitable.
Before you begin to date or start a relationship, make
sure friends and family are there for support
– you’ll appreciate them helping
you celebrate the highs and deal with the lows!
Recognize you have a choice in saying "yes" or "no" in
any situation – and that
choosing to be single
Be prepared for the feeling that dating or being in a
relationship is not always easy!
Many dates do not lead to an ongoing relationship and
most relationships you’re in will not be the "final one"
(if this was true, we would all still be in our first relationship!)
(From Greg Garrison, Counsellor, David Kelley Services)
My boyfriend and I just broke
up. After a year and a half of loving and living together, we have
decided that, for lack of all originality, we simply "weren't right for
each other." I won't bore you with the specific reasons and events which
brought this about ~ though I will say that there is rarely a single
issue or action which ends a solid romance. The question at hand is why
all of my relationships seem to break up, and more importantly why gay
men seem to have so much trouble with keeping romantic relationships
First and foremost among the reasons is the homophobic stigma of the
sad, depressed, ever-alone homosexual. It's what our parents always
feared and fed us ~ by being gay we were throwing away all chances at
happiness in the arms of a committed wife and family. It was a
self-hating prophecy, one which robbed us of our hopes just as they were
being kindled. Even I, stable-Mabel and
ever-optimistic-in-romantic-affairs, fell victim to this societal trap:
after every break-up I would wallow in pity and misery, bemoaning my gay
inability to sustain a romance for longer than a month.
Of course, after a while I
saw what a complete pile of crap this was, and how it was mostly in my
(and everyone else's) head. That doesn't make it any less powerful: when
people found out I had been going out with someone for a while, they
raised eyebrows and questioned constantly "You're still together?" as if
doubting that any gay man could stay with someone monogamously and not
have it end in pain and heartache. Sometimes it seemed as if the whole
world was conspiring against us, and this is a difficult hurdle to get
over. Maybe this is why our relationships don't last.
Second, there's the sex that we as gay men must constantly have with
each other. Another stereotype to be sure, but one which has grounding
in truth. The simple fact is that we can find sex much easier than
straight people can. I'm going on my own experience and the ready
admittance of all of my straight friends and acquaintances. Call it what
you will, we know who's gay, we know how to hook up sexually, and we're
not afraid to do it. With such ease and availability of sex, staying
committed in a relationship can prove difficult for many of us.
(Personally, I've never understood why ~ if you truly love someone but
are feeling sexually tempted by another person, go home and jerk off ~
the feeling passes.)
Still, sex is often messy for us (in many ways) and if it's indeed true
that men have a greater biological and instinctual need for sex than
women, then two men together in a monogamous relationship is doubly more
difficult. Perhaps this is why our relationships don't last.
Third, gay men have not had an open history of committed couples to look
back upon. There are no great historical couples or romances from which
to draw hope and inspiration. Heterosexuals are constantly reminded of
successful romance ~ almost everything in the entertainment world
revolves around heterosexual love ~ from the very first Victorian novels
of the 19th century to the cinematic super-couples of the 1930's to the
lovey-dovey sitcoms of the 1960's all the way to the ballads of the boy
bands today, where a "girl" must be mentioned at least seven times per
song to ward off any gay rumors.
Gay men in successful relationships certainly did exist, but no one
talked about it, including the gay men themselves. Only recently have we
begun to look back on old diaries and writings and decipher what exactly
is meant by "special friend" or "roommate." Then again it may be a
mistake to attribute our romantic failures today to the lack of role
models in the past: prior to the sixties and seventies there was barely
a public gay anything, and we seem to have had no problem in refuting
that. Even so, we have not had any prominent gay couples thus far to
prove that we can do it. Could this lack of a gay-couple history be why
our relationships don't last?
Finally, the reason for our failed long-term romantic endeavors may be
the law: it just isn't legal for many of us to get married where we
live. Such inherent homophobic oppression is a heavy burden on the most
stable of gay relationships, and whether or not we know better, the fact
that our unions are not recognized legally can still take an expensive
toll. A healthy, happy marriage is difficult enough ~ denying us the
chance to even try is an attempt to keep us alone and unhappy. Maybe
people are simply afraid that gay couples will prove to be better at
being married than straight couples, just as we have proven to be better
parents (if people can bring themselves to acknowledge the latest
Now, I realize that marriage is in no means a guaranteed way of staying
together, as straight people have proven over and over again, but it is
one more way in which we are denied the rights of heterosexuals, and one
more way in which the cards are stacked against us. This must be why our
relationships don't last.
Which brings me to my latest break-up, and a revisiting of my past six
break-ups. They don't seem to have happened because of the reasons just
proffered. None of those reasons seems important enough to have been the
sole cause of the disintegration of love.
I never broke up with anyone because of an innate self-hatred and
self-fulfilling idea of unhappiness as a gay man. I broke up with
someone because they fell in love with someone else.
I never broke off a relationship due to an insatiable sexual need that
caused my partner to stray ~ all of the guys I've dated have remained
faithful to me while we were going out, and if they wanted sex on the
side then I knew enough to end it.
My romances did not dissolve because of any lack of successful gay
couples in history. We make our own history. Besides, all of the
straight romances of the past don't seem to have helped any of my
straight friends with their hapless romantic plights either; one
recently called off a wedding.
My boyfriend and I did not break up because it's not legal for us to be
married. We were smart enough to know that we didn't even want to be
bound for life at such a young age. We broke up because we weren't right
for each other right now. So maybe the reason that our relationships
don't last isn't because we're gay, but because we're human, and living
in the 21st century. That's why any of us breaks up. Sometimes being gay
just doesn't matter.
(From Alan Bennett Ilagan / Rainbow Arch)
Safer Sex and Partner Communication
To reach mutual understanding and agreement on sexual health issues,
choose a convenient time when you will both be free of distractions.
Choose a relaxing environment
in a neutral location, like a coffee bar or a park, where neither of you
will feel pressured.
Use "I" statements when talking. For example, "I feel that abstinence is
right for me at this time." Or, "I would feel more comfortable if we
used a condom."
Be assertive! Do not let fear of how your partner might react stop you
from talking with him/her.
Be a good listener. Let your partner know that you hear, understand, and
care about what she/he is saying and feeling.
Be "ask-able"—let your partner know you are open to questions and that
you won’t jump on him/her or be offended by questions.
Be patient with your partner,
and remain firm in your decision that talking is important.
Recognize your limits. You can’t communicate alone or protect you both
alone, and you don’t have to know all the answers.
Understand that success in
talking does not mean one person getting the other person to do
something. It means that you both have said what you think and feel
respectfully and honestly and that you have both listened respectfully
to the other.
Get information to help you each make informed decisions.
Avoid making assumptions. Ask open-ended questions to discuss
relationship expectations, past and present sexual relationships,
contraceptive use, and testing for STIs, including HIV, among other
issues. For example, "What do you think about our agreeing to avoid sex
until after we graduate?" Or, "What do you think about our using
hormonal contraception as well as condoms?" Not, "Did you get the
condoms?" Or, "When will you have sex with me?"
Ask for more information when unsure. Ask questions to clarify what you
believe you heard. For example, "I think you said that you want us to
use both condoms and birth control pills? Is that right?" Or, "I think
you want us both to wait until we graduate to have sex? Is that right?"
Avoid judging, labeling, blaming, threatening or bribing your partner.
Don’t let your partner judge, label, blame, threaten, or bribe you.
Do not wait until you become sexually intimate to discuss safer sex with
your partner. In the heat of the moment, you and your partner may be
unable to talk effectively.
(From Youth Resource)
Stick by your decision. Don’t be swayed by lines like, "If you loved me,
you would have sex with me." Or, "If you loved me, you would trust me
and not use a condom."
What Straight Couples Can Learn
From Gay Couples
Research suggests that married heterosexual couples can learn a great
deal from gay and lesbian couples. Researchers at the University of
Washington and the University of California, Berkeley have published
what is said to be the first published observational studies of
John Gottman, one of the lead authors is quoted as saying that "Gay and
lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to
improve a relationship and have a greater awareness of equality in a
relationship than straight couples. I think that in 200 years
heterosexual relationships will be where gay and lesbian relationships
In the first of two papers, the researchers explored the conflict
interaction of homosexual and heterosexual couples using mathematical
the second study, they looked at factors influencing gay and lesbian
couples' relationship satisfaction and dissolution.
the modeling paper we looked at processes, and they look so different
you could draw a picture," said Gottman. "Straight couples start a
conflict discussion in a much more negative place than do gays and
lesbian couples. Homosexuals start the same kind of discussions with
more humor and affection, are less domineering and show considerably
more positive emotions than heterosexual couples.
"The way a discussion starts is critical. If it starts off in a bad way
in a heterosexual relationship, we have found that it will become even
more negative 96 percent of the time. Gays and lesbians are warmer,
friendlier and less belligerent. You see it over and over in their
discussions, and their partner is receiving the message they are
communicating. In turn, their partner is allowing himself or herself to
be influenced in a positive way. With married heterosexual couples a
discussion is much more of a power struggle with someone being
Gottman describes gay and lesbian relationships as being characterized
by "the triumph of positive emotions over negative emotions." He stated
that "Negative emotions have more impact in heterosexual relationships.
This is why our previous research has shown you need a 5-to-1 ratio of
positive to negative statements. This seems to be universal in
heterosexual couples. But it may be different in gay and lesbian
relationships where positive emotions seem to have a lot more power or
subjects of the studies did more than complete questionnaires.
Researchers videotaped discussions each couple had about what occurred
that day, a topic of ongoing conflict, and a pleasant topic. They
analyzed the verbal and nonverbal content of their interaction during
the talks and again at a later time when the partners viewed the tape
individually. The researchers also collected an array of physiological
data, including heart rate, during the conversations.
Homosexual couples were recruited in the San Francisco Bay area and they
filled out a questionnaire that assessed relationship satisfaction.
Forty pairs – 12 happy gay couples, 10 unhappy gay couples, 10 happy
lesbian couples and 8 unhappy lesbian couples – were chosen to
participate in the study. The comparison sample of married couples was
drawn from a larger study that recruited couples from around
It was matched in terms of age, marital satisfaction, education and
income to the homosexual couples and consisted of 20 happy and 20
unhappy couples. The researchers went on to collect data for 12 years on
the relationships of the homosexual couples. By then eight couples (20
percent) – one gay and seven lesbian – had broken up. This rate, if
projected over a 40-year period, would be almost 64 percent, which is
similar to the 67 percent divorce rate for first marriages among
heterosexual couples of the same time span.
The research found that high levels of cardiovascular arousal
among straight couples during a conflict predicted lower relationship
satisfaction and higher risk for relationship dissolution. The reverse
was actually true with homosexual couples. With gays and lesbians, low
physiological arousal was related to these negative outcomes.
gay and lesbian couples talked more openly about topics such as monogamy
and sex. Heterosexual avoided talking about sex. This may be because
their sexuality is already an issue when they deal with a largely
heterosexual world. The authors content that such open and honest
communication may improve the relationships of heterosexual couples.
(From Leonard Holmes PhD, Journal
Violence & Abuse
Tips for LGBT
Couples & Families
Guide for the
Bi The Way:
In The Family
Gay Law Net
And Sex Advice
Association for Lesbian
Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama