My Life: Vignettes Over Time – Chapter II


It is 1990, and I am going on a “mission” to the Soviet Union, organized by a Jewish group. The purpose of the trip was to tour the USSR and in each city meet local Jews. We met with Jewish refuseniks, people in the former Soviet Union who were refused permission to emigrate.

On that trip, I met my future wife.  I saw her at Helsinki airport when our group changed planes for Moscow.  She was standing talking to other people from our group.  She had this sparkle and energy that I found very attractive. She and I had both come to the USSR with names of refuseniks to contact, and we soon teamed up to meet with local Jews in the cities we visited.

While I knew I had not changed from homosexuality from twelve years of therapy and four years of studying a misguided philosophy, I did feel that I had changed enough to move forward with my life, and I began dating the woman I had met on the trip to the USSR.

On our second “date” upon returning from the USSR, which was a weekend visiting her in Washington, DC, where she lived, I disclosed my attraction to men but also positioned it as more in the past, believing I could move forward in a relationship with a woman. We talked intensely about this topic for a few months, including my getting an HIV test, having been with a man shortly after we returned from the USSR, but the issue soon faded away and went underground where it stayed for the next twenty years.

We married two years later, after living together for a year. On our honeymoon in Paris, I remember walking down a narrow street near our hotel with my wife and seeing an attractive man walking towards us in the other direction. I remember thinking, “well, I guess marriage did not really change me after all.”  I tried to channel the sexual energy of attractive men on Paris streets into honeymoon sex with my wife.

For many years I would tell myself that I was bisexual, but as the years progressed, it became more apparent to me that I was gay. In the early years of my relationship with my wife, we had a lot of physical intimacy.  Around the time we started to try and get pregnant, a year into our marriage, I began to withdraw. Sex became work, and I would need to perform to meet her biological clock’s schedule.

To be continued in Part III

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