And what about the gay long distance relationships? (GLDR)

gay long distance relationships

by Ivi – ivicg@activist.com

In general, long distance relationships aren’t easy for everybody, and no matter how you decide to manage one, or in which direction you want to direct it, it usually requires a lot of efford from both sides, as in any other relationship, but with the distance being an added factor in between the two lovers…

…and what about the gay long distance relationship?

It’s hardly ever spoken about how difficult a GLDR could be, or how you can manage it to make it easier. I decided to write this little article to share some of my thoughts and views, based on my experience of a 4-year long relationship with another woman, in which about half the time has been a LDR (and bicultural as well, but let’s leave that for another article).

Exposed to prejudices
Unfortunately, millions of gay women and men are still suffering prejudices against them, homophobia, discrimination, intolerance, religion repression or just simple ignorance. All of these prejudices generate a lot of stress, fear and frustration for gay people, due to social pressures and a psychological aggression that can seriously affect the person’s life, and their relationships as well. The GLDR are exposed to all those adversities, plus the ones caused by the distance.
Of course, those prejudices are stronger in some countries or regions of the world than in others. For example the UK and several countries in Europe like Germany, Sweden, Holland, Denmark just to mention a few, have changed their laws during the last decade for gay couples to be able to get married, adopt children, etc. However in Latin-American countries, homosexuality is still hiding in the dark, silenced by religion and the powerful Catholic church, and in other countries around the world same sex acts are condenmed with punishments and even death penalties.

The Ghosts of the Closet
Even if a gay person has “came out of the closet” there are always situations in which the person could experience fears and insecurities, making the person feeling like going “back in”. Those fears could be generated under some circumstances, like for example when getting a new job at a non-open minded workplace, when meeting old family relatives, or when suffering a serious homophobic discrimination or aggression.
Being openly gay is the easiest way of managing a GLDR. One of the first things I highly recommend to a gay distance couple is to openly accept their gay-orientated relationship. It’s a hundred times easier to handle the relationship if the partners come out, rather than if they don’t, as well as if they learn to handle and to fight against the ghosts of the closet.

My friend
One of the easiest ways of avoiding the fact that a gay person has a partner is by saying “my friend” instead of my partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. For example, “my friend is coming to see me this weekend”. If a couple has decided to have a LDR and wants to go forward with it, using the “my friend” expression doesn’t help. Hiding what is really going on is just going to take the person back in the closet. After using the expression for a while, the person ends up believing that she/he is just a friend, and no more than that, minimising the partner’s meaning and the commitment.

Gay = illness… is that right?
As part of the prejudices that have existed for many years (and stills does in many parts of the world), homosexuality meant to society things like Aids, depravation, harassment, child abuse, lack of commitment, unfaithful relationships, no loyalty to the partner, sickness. It was just in the year 1991 that the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses! Of course gay people can fall in love, can be faithful, loyal and can even make a family if they want to.
By admitting and saying that you are having a GLDR you will be breaking down those prejudices, and also you will become proud of yourself and of your partner, and that will make you feel stronger to deal with all the adversities that exists when distance-loving someone.

Finding support
For the disgrace of many, not everybody can find support in their friends or family when finding out that gayness is a part of their life, or when starting a new GLDR. Something that can really make a difference between having an awful long distance relationship or an easier one is by being accepted and loved by the people around you, no matter of your orientation. Finding support from friends, family or local support groups is great for the GLDR.

Respect for gay people and for distance relationships!

It could be a little bit more difficult to find support on friends and family if they do not believe that a LDR could work or if they generally don’t believe in gay relationships. If you assume your gayness and the fact that you are in a LDR, you will be getting rid of several social prejudices, as well as realising and proving that:

Long distance relationships exist and can work
Gay relationships exist and can work
Gay long distance relationships exist and can work !!!!

Be proud and fight for it! If you love each other and decide to have a LDR, you can do it! Nothing can stop you if you both want to do it: not the distance, and not the prejudices!

(Feel free to email me any comments, opinions or questions about this article)

25.02.09 | |

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