Half-Lives


If Preacher Man was out, maybe he would be enjoying a relationship in his middle age. But that is not the case.

If Preacher Man was out, maybe he would be enjoying a relationship in his middle age. But that is not the case.

Some down-low men live what I call half-lives. Half in the straight world. Half in the gay world.

And really not doing either one well.

Case in point is Preacher Man, the down-low, married minister who lives in my city. I was working from home yesterday and we met up on Federal Hill for lunch, enjoying the early Fall weather, salad, blackened shrimp and pulled pork BBQ on the outside patio.

The conversation was good but took a slightly weird turn.

“I have to find a new husband,” he said.

“Oh, wow, what’s going on with your boyfriend,” I asked.

Let me explain. Preacher Man gets fucked by several men but has a long-term boyfriend he refers to as his “husband.” Preacher Man married a woman but tries to spend as much time with his husband as he can.

To me it’s crazy. It’s like living a half-life. The ministry and the beautiful church wife are the front — one half of his life. But behind the scenes he has another shadow, half-life.

But that shadow life is ending. His husband has had a series of strokes and has to move in with relatives. I can’t remember whether it was one of his children or a niece or nephew.

Preacher Man, if he was legally married to his husband, of course would care for him through his illness. However since they are not legally married, and have a secret relationship, all Preacher Man can do is fade into the background, unrecognized and unseen.

“I’m trying to find a man in the same situation that I’m in — married but gay,” Preacher Man said.

I tried to be sympathetic but inside I was thinking, “Wow, he is ready to move on already. That’s quick.”

“Well, I’m sure if you put an advertisement on Craigslist or Adam4Adam and say exactly what you want and you will find someone,” I suggested.

A sad, rueful smile crossed Preacher Man’s handsome, square-jawed brown face.

“I’m an old queen now. Who will want me?”

14 thoughts on “Half-Lives

  1. All is not lost for him. But I advise him to stop the fron and come clean. That is the only way that he would ever be happy. By him being Preacher man, I do believe his to “know the truth and the truth will set you free.” He needs to walk in his truth and surround himself with people who accept him for him. I will admit how he is handling things is questionable, but who am I to judge.

    • Yes, who are we to judge? But he is not changing his situation. He runs a big church. Is active in the community. Sometimes I see his ass on the news. His church is conservative. He is almost 60 if not 60 yet. So why give up all that now? So I understand but I can’t live that life.

      • Yes, the life he is living can be lonesome. I often wonder what if his congregation finds out. There is going to be some shit. I asked him what he felt about this Iyanla episode on gay ministers. He said he felt this “personal” stuff shouldn’t be put out there. It astounds me that he seems to forget there are LGBT women suffering and killing themselves due to the attitude of some people in black congregations. I think if he came out could he help others? But then I think I’m not out in all aspects of my life so who I am to tell him to put his neck on the line?

  2. There are men out there who would love him even at him being an older man and being closeted..I have found it is harder since I am close to 60 to even find sexual partners or more but it can be done

  3. If he says he’s an old queen now so who will want him… it is exactly how he is thinking about everyone else like him… old queens that HE doesn’t want. Since he is older than you does he consider himself “lucky” to be with you? Is he friends with guys older than he is, let alone sexing them up? Your noting that he seems to have shrugged off his “husband” rather quickly and/or easily is also very sad. Can’t imagine what the “husband” must be feeling. Are we dealing with “players only love you when they’re playing”? And lastly, IS there an authentic self buried inside him or has he lost touch with even that in his charade?
    charade |SHəˈrād|
    noun
    an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance: talk of unity was nothing more than a charade.
    • (charades) a game in which players guess a word or phrase from pantomimed clues.
    Since you are close to him, maybe one of the closest given that you know both “sides” of the charades, do you find yourself guessing about who or what he is?

    • way2ec: Thanks for your comment for making me think more deeply about this situation. I don’t find myself guessing what he is — he is simply a gay man prompted by society, the attitudes of the generation he was raised in and his church to live as a straight man when he is really gay. Personally I find his situation sad. He could leave his wife and come out now and build a new life. But he doesn’t want to give up the lifestyle, the authority he has, the Mercedes Benz, the parishioners who worship him and boost his ego, and the fact he has stature in the community. Plus he has found an escape valve — he can go just fuck around on the side. So yep, he is a nice guy but ultimately he is selfish and a bit of a coward. I wonder about his wife too. If you read back into my blog — I think in 2009 or 2010 — he contracted syphilis and had to tell her. They don’t have sex anymore (he said) so I’m guessing he had to admit he dallied with men. They are still together and a matter of fact are looking for a new house to downsize into because they are getting older. So what’s in it for her. I never met his male husband and have no idea what he is going through after the stroke. It’s just a strange situation all around but these are the complicated mental traps down-low men put themselves into. And lastly, there is an old saying of having your cake and eating it too. Many down-low men have all the benefits of heterosexuality (acceptance, community respect) and get to live in the gay world too. If you can have your cake and eat it too, like Preacher Man, why give that up?

      • This shit is wrong it pisses me the fuck off. Call me a bitter black woman idgaf. It’s not the gay men I hate it’s the downlow lying trifling men. They mislead us unsuspecting women bring back diseases n heartbreak. Instead of coming clean. Give me that choice as to whether I want to deal with a gay man don’t make it for me! Then make excuses n have us women feeling like its our fault cuz u like men or that we’re ugly n unattractive. Then wonder why we are labeled bitter angry black women. This is why

  4. So was “husband” also married and on the DL? It’s too bad Preacher can’t at least visit and minister to “husband”. At least he’d get a chance to see him, however painful that might be for both of them. That would probably make it more emotionally difficult for “preacher” to start interviewing replacement “husbands”.

    You mentioned that preacher’s church is conservative. Does that mean that preacher gets up in front of the congregation and rails against the LGBT community rather than trying to lead them towards compassion and understanding? Is he setting himself up for his own inevitable fall from grace by reinforcing their ignorance and intolerance?

    As for him wanting to preserve the status quo, with the Mercedes, the nice income, the nice house, the parishioners worshiping HIM, the TV appearances – he appears to be in the “God business” for all the wrong reasons. He may be a nice person to have lunch with and he may be a good fuck, but he also seems to be cold, calculating, deceitful, selfish and greedy among other things.

    Don’t turn your back on that one…….and be sure to use protection if you fuck around with him because he damn sure won’t look out for you.

    • PDQ, nope we don’t mess around. That was years ago. I don’t think his husband is married, which is why relatives must care for him now. Yes his denomination is conservative and known for being anti-gay but I have not heard his sermons so I don’t know what is being preached. I attend an accepting church. Just the fact he belongs to this denomination is setting himself up I think. He makes a point of not messing with men in Baltimore and doing a lot of his play during conferences or when he takes trips to do guest preaching or a funeral etc. And yes, it does appear he places position and material things above his faith. I find many pastors tend to have an ego — I think it comes with the profession. Still he is a nice person but just flawed. Aren’t we all? Thanks for your comments man. I really appreciate your thoughts and thanks for the questions, which have helped me look at this situation in a different way.

  5. Half lives. Living life split dead in the middle as gay/straight men is very hard and can be very confusing but can be done as long as you can keep your sanity. I personally think the key is to associate yourself with men who are doing the exact same thing. My best friend is married to a female doctor. They have 4 kids. He does this thing very well. He have a very loving church going family… They have a beautiful house with the white picket fence. He has a PHD too. She travels alot for her job and that is when he plays. He loves her and the kids very much but need that man sex from time to time. We have been messing around for 6 years and only had sex about 4 times. Last week was most recent. As long as you know your perimeters and don’t let man sex control you; it can be done. My secret is simply to be extra careful who you play with and try hard to find someone in your exact same predicament. Be patient and you can’t be thirsty. Guys going through this please read what I’m about to write. When you feel guilty about what you are doing and feel really bad about yourself; please guys remember, “Our Great and Mighty God made us like this” and he makes no mistakes…
    That is a fact not a theory!!!!!!!!!!!

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