Gay or imprinted?

I just came out to my wife, I know in my soul I am gay, but there is so much stuff about it being an imprint. I can’t seem to make her understand that I am defaulted that way. I know it now. I have kissed a man, and it felt the way it should. She feels if I worked hard enough I could overcome it. It is a mountain I cannot see getting over. Moreover I want to be with a man, I am attracted to men, not women. Her therapist just thinks I am a fool to give up a solid family life with kids for a sexual fantasy. I think it’s who I am!

Dear Gay or Imprinted,

It is who you are! Being gay is an identity not an imprint. The information you are talking about in terms of being imprinted is dispensed by anti-gay and prejudice religious zealots who do not believe that homosexuality can be an identity and a legitimate sexual orientation. If you read any of the information by these groups such as Exodus, Focus on the Family, National Association for Reparative Therapy for Homosexuality (NARTH) you will quickly find their negative beliefs about anyone who is gay. In fact, they say, “There is nothing gay about being homosexual”. It is all hateful and mean-spirited.

That said, one can be behaviorally imprinted in terms of homosexual behaviors. Those who have been sexually abused by male perpetrators tend to “act out” their abuse by what I call “returning to the scene of the crime”. They engage in trauma re-enactment where they engage in homosexual behaviors with other men to unconsciously understand their trauma. This is not about a gay identity; this is about a homosexual behavior. I talk about this at length at

As for your wife, it is common to believe that because you were able to be sexual with her that you are either bisexual or homosexually imprinted. Straight spouses are incredibly upset, and rightfully so, to learn of their partner’s homosexuality. They feel their lives are turned upside down and they are losing the love of their lives. This is also how the gay spouse feels as well.

It is like putting a dog to sleep that you had for a long period. You don’t want it to end, you love it and don’t want to experience the loss. Let your wife have her feelings and don’t accept all the blame and guilt. I see too many heterosexually married gay men and lesbians who guilt and shame themselves for having heterosexually married and then end the marriage.

I love the quote by gay comic Jason Stuart, “If you straight people would let us marry each other, we would stop marrying you!”

And as far as the therapist, she is the fool for not understanding gay identity and reducing you to a sexual fantasy. She needs to read and go to workshops and understand sexual orientation. Your wife is with the wrong therapist.

Good luck to you!

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