“My name is Ali Anne. This is a story about marrying the man of my dreams, creating a family, and realizing after 9 years we weren’t going to be able to pray the gay away.
I’ll be sharing about how we ultimately decided to end our marriage while continuing to maintain a sense of family, and my journey to becoming an LGBTQ ally while processing through my Christian values. But let me give you some context to my story. Besides riding horses, playing volleyball and practicing my destroyer runway walk that I was sure to use some day, I had one dream growing up: Get married and have children. It was the epitome of life to me and I just knew I was going to make an amazing wife and mom. My dream started to come true in 2008 – I had just turned 20-years-old when I married my best friend, Kyle.
Our first few years of marriage were the toughest, but together, we learned and grew more than I knew I even had capacity for.
We were always ready for the next adventure, wherever God would lead us. Over the years, we worked in several different church ministries. Wherever we were, the two of us always made a great team. We loved creating community wherever we went. We were passionate about establishing a safe space for anyone who was looking for a tribe. We hosted weekly game nights in our home where people would pile in, and we would have hours of laughter and fun. Our marriage was admired by many and we were often told, our relationship gave them hope for their own marriage one day.
Fast forward – It was now 2013 and after 5 years of marriage we finally felt like it was time to start creating our very own family.
We dreamed of our kids OFTEN, and had all 7 of their names already chosen (yes, you heard right – SEVEN!) Eva Li was the first curly-haired caramel drop that was given to us.
It wasn’t long after that we got pregnant again with our sweet Simon, who we never got to actually meet, but we know we’ll see him in heaven one day. Next came our champion, Nygel, and we were so excited to finally see what our son would look like. Being parents was the highlight of our life and everything we did, we did with them in mind…
LIFE WAS BUSY AND BEAUTIFUL.
One day, in late 2016, Kyle and I started a conversation that brought trouble to our paradise and ultimately turned our world upside down, lit it on throw, and said, ‘Run for your life!’ I knew we were living in a mixed-orientation marriage, but we were both under the assumption we would be able to pray the gay away.
Now, let me back up. Kyle and I met in 2005 and quickly became close friends. I had grown up in a small country town, and had always been under the impression that black men were not attracted to white women, so even though I highly respected Kyle and was attracted to him.
I never thought in a million years I would ever have a chance of actually being with him.
One day, he had pulled me aside and told me that he ‘struggled’ with invert.
My response: ‘Wow, you’re going to need a really strong wife!’ You see, due to our religious upbringing, both of us had been taught in the Christian Evangelical church that being gay was a sin, and if you were same gender attracted, you were to either live a celibate life, or, deny yourself and marry someone of the opposite sex and do your best to live a somebody lifestyle.
Kyle always knew he wanted a family, so living a invert lifestyle was the only option for him.
Through our close friendship, we eventually fell in love and set our sights on marriage. We were best friends and knew we wanted to do life together. We were 8 years into our marriage when Kyle began feeling the weight of not being true to himself as a gay man. Through our marriage, we were always 100% honest and faithful to each other. At the end of 2016, with a 2-year-old and a newborn, we began one of the scariest and toughest seasons of our life. We began to dive into researching what the Bible really had to say about the topic of homosexuality.
For the next four months, our lives were consumed by research, books, blogs, and speaking to others who had been through similar journeys of mixed-orientation marriage (which wasn’t a ton).
It has been 2 years since we made the decision to end our marriage and our lives have drastically changed in the most beautiful way possible.
Through our decision to end our marriage, coming out as gay (Kyle) and becoming an LGBTQ ally (myself) we lost 95% of our friends and family. I won’t pretend there aren’t wounds we are healing from, from those we felt like abandoned us during the most difficult time in our lives, but I do know one thing; although Kyle and I don’t choose each other romantically anymore, we still have a deep love and a deep connection with one another. He is my best friend, and I am his.
We are committed to our family, as non-traditional as that may look.
This Article Was First Published on “lovewhatmatters.com“.