Q & A with David Ledain, author of the new book:
Isn’t it morally wrong to marry a woman if you suspect that you may be gay?
Most of the men I spoke to when I was researching the book still love their ex-wives and they live with the guilt of destroying a family every day. It is a situation that is very guilt- ridden and guilt-driven. But no one I spoke to married a woman to deny their sexuality. They married because they fell in love.
Had you had sexual experiences with men before you got married?
I always knew that I had sexual feelings for men but I assumed I was bisexual because I was able to sleep with women; everything ‘worked.’ I loved my wife and I was honest with her. She knew that I’d had experiences with men, but we thought it wouldn’t be a problem; that it would remain a fantasy and that it wouldn’t be acted upon.
How did you come to write the book?
When I came out, the only support network I could find was online. Otherwise all I could find were celebrity memoirs; there was nothing about ordinary men like me – nothing that I could connect to. The dads I met online were all willing to tell their stories and so I wrote the book.
David Ledain is a pen name, right?
Yes. I do write fiction under my own name. However, my children don’t yet know the reason why their mother and I split up. My wife and I decided that we didn’t want it to potentially disrupt their schooling or make them targets for bullying. When the time is right we will tell them.
When did you know for sure that you were gay?
For me it was a slow simmering kettle, but it eventually came to a point when both my wife and I realised that something was fundamentally wrong. It was a gradual realization on both sides.
What were the men you interviewed like – a mixed bag or is there a common thread?
In order to write the book, I spoke to men from all walks of life and from all kinds of backgrounds. Some have denied their sexuality even to themselves and have gone through as much as forty years of married life. In almost all cases they still loved their wives.
But, surely, it’s much easier to be gay these days, isn’t it?
It’s easy to say that we’re liberal thinkers in this country, but there are still areas where prejudice exists and it can still be very difficult. In major cities that have gay enclaves it’s easier, but that’s not the case everywhere. We need to stop labelling people and accept that it’s about living your life and falling in love, no matter what your sexuality. The more we can talk about it then the more people will understand.
What about education – could more be done in schools to promote tolerance and equality?
Yes. Going through puberty raises lots of questions and it can be handled in a caring, educational way that supports children. It’s better than it was, but there is still room for improvement.
Is coming out when you’re married to a woman especially damaging to the children of that marriage?
A loveless marriage can be much more destructive. My own children were raised in a loving and happy home. Our marriage was very happy.
What do you hope the book will achieve?
You feel very isolated and you can’t imagine that there is anyone else out there in the same situation. I hope that men reading Gay Dad will see that even for those who have had struggles, in the end there really can be a positive outcome – for them, for their ex-wives and most importantly of course, for their kids.
Was writing the book a cathartic process?
Definitely. When you’re alone you feel like you are quite literally the only one. To be able to talk to people was so helpful and I’m in a much better place than I was; a more contented place.
Do you regret getting married?
We had a loving and fulfilling life before having children and then we raised two beautiful children who we are very proud of. I don’t regret anything. And nor do any of the dads I interviewed for the book.
- Book Title: Gay Dad
- Book Series: Ten true stories of divorced gay men with kids, living in the UK today
- Author: David Ledain
- Publisher: SelfPub (June 11, 2016)
- Book Length: 158 pages
How many gay men end up marrying women? We don’t know for sure, but in the UK it is estimated that 1 in 10 adults indentify as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
What does it mean to be gay and in a heterosexual marriage? Where did the term ‘homosexual’ originate? What do the main religions say about homosexuality? Gay Dad answers these and many other questions, but most importantly it tells the ture stories of ten gay men: how and why they got married and had children, and why they couldn’t sustain living that life any longer.
Ten gay men, from all walks of life, living in the UK today.