Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"Mary Alice Gummer"

My ex’s motion claims that she first learned of my bisexuality and interest in multiple sex partners in my blog, and that this revelation came as a great surprise—so much so that it warranted a reevaluation of our original divorce settlement. If I had withheld my true sexual orientation in our marriage, so goes this argument, then perhaps that settlement might reasonably be questioned.

I have repeatedly asserted basic facts in this blog—facts that I had never written with my ex wife in mind as a reader, nor with any forethought that she would have reason to deny my bisexuality or interest in group sex. I first had sex with a female at age fifteen. I first had sex with a male at age sixteen. I engaged in group sex activities in my teens. I came out as bisexual once I encountered the word “bisexual” at age nineteen, in a conversation about David Bowie while listening to “The Man Who Sold The World.” My first dates with Lucy—my future ex-wife—involved nudity, sex, another man, another couple and a video camera.

I was monogamous in my marriage to Lucy, who is female. I can see why anyone outside our marriage might assume I was heterosexual. But I continued to identify as bisexual, for personal and political reasons, to anyone who might care to know. During our marriage, Lucy and I engaged in couples therapy in which my sexuality was routinely discussed. I volunteered for an organization that did outreach to GLBT youth. I took Lucy to march in gay pride parades and ACT UP events, my camera often in tow. My high school boyfriend succumbed to AIDS and I was one of his primary caregivers.

Lucy knows I remain friends with my dearest friends, some for decades by this time. My wife didn’t know I was bisexual? Please, Mary. And speaking of Mary . . .

To Whom it May Concern,

I have known the man behind “Jefferson” for over twenty-five years. When I first met him in nineteen eighty-three, he was introduced to me by our mutual friend, Donnie. I knew that Donnie and Jefferson had been a romantic item in high school and that Jefferson was currently seeing a woman, so it was made clear that Jefferson was bisexual. When Jefferson was engaged to Lucy, they joked that although they had agreed to fidelity within their marriage, each held out exception for the object of their greatest desire. Jefferson’s dream dalliance was Iggy Pop. What I mean to say is, this side of his sexuality was never cryptic or cloaked in shame. That said, I never saw anyone happier to be married than Jefferson, and I was inspired by how seriously he took his commitment to Lucy and their life together. Jefferson adores his children with every fiber of his being. He would rather die than do say or even intimate anything that could hurt those children in any way whatsoever.

Further, Jefferson has always been a steady, reliable, compassionate and principled person in my life. When Donnie was stricken with AIDS in 1990, Jefferson and I took over all major health decisions as he suffered rapid deterioration from HIV dementia and multiple physical complications, including the loss of the use of his legs. Together, we had to oversee his hospitalizations, medications, state services, eventual move to hospice care and, after he passed away, his funeral and the packing and shipping of his possessions. I honestly do not know what I would have done without Jefferson by my side through all the hard work and sadness that was involved in this ordeal. He was so steady, thoughtful and unwavering, even in the most daunting moments of this ongoing crisis.

I have since moved away from NYC and live in Southern California, am married and have a young son. I run all the outreach programs at my church. I often think that if Jefferson were here he would probably involve himself and his kids in all the good works we do, a great deal of which is outreach to kids living in shelters. I would trust my life to Jefferson and that of my child or anyone else’s child. I think the decisions he has made in how he expresses himself in his private sexual life do not impact how he moves through the world of friends, work and parenting. I have always found his behavior to be kind, intelligent and respectful.

Finally, I will say that it has been years since I have seen or spoken to Lucy. I always enjoyed her company—she was such a lovely, interesting, thoughtful woman. I hold no animosity towards her whatsoever, just wish there were a way she could see this situation more clearly and rethink this lawsuit, which I believe with all my heart and soul is based on concerns that are not founded. I would beg Lucy to simply realize she has gone down a bad road and to drop the case. Jefferson loves his children and is an excellent father. This is all I know.

I thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns on this matter.


"Mary Alice Gummer"

Make an ANONYMOUS, TAX-DEDUCTIBLE contribution to Jefferson’s legal defense by visiting the Sexual Freedom Defense and Education Fund at:

Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund

Please remember to specify that your donation is earmarked for the Jefferson Legal Defense Fund. The Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund affirms that these earmarked donations are tax deductible.

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