OurPath Open Forum

This Open Forum is funded and administered by OurPath, Inc., (formerly the Straight Spouse Network). OurPath is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to Straight Partners and Partners of Trans People who have discovered that their partner is LGBT+.


For more information about our recent name change, please read our press release or visit our website at https://www.ourpath.org.


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September 15, 2021 11:46 am  #131


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

lily wrote:

"When the Straight Spouse Network launched in 1991, their focus was on supporting the straight spouses of people who came out as gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual. With the changing and expanding landscape of Mixed Orientation Relationships that includes Partners of Trans People, and more people remaining in their Mixed Orientation Relationships, they have adopted the new name OurPath to reflect inclusivity."

First sentence,  Yes, exactly, that describes my understanding of the focus that was the inception of this forum.

Second sentence - rug puller.

Lily - SSN/OurPath has always served partners of trans people. They are absolutely straight partners in our eyes. They were a tiny minority all these years. But the social landscape is changing, and coming out as Trans is more accepted now. So more people are doing it. Leaving more straight partners in their wake.

There is a misunderstanding that partners of trans people can get help through LGBTQ organizations. Only if you consider "help" being told that their trans partner is the same person, and that they should stay with their Trans Partner if they truly loved them. Those places offer no outlet for any emotions beyond happiness and support for the Trans partner. There is no other group like OurPath - where the straight partner is offered a safe place to vent their complex emotions - good and bad. So the first part of the second sentence ("With the changing and expanding landscape of Mixed Orientation Relationships that include Partners of Trans People") is no different than it's ever been. This is who've we've always been. We're just articulating it more clearly now so that Partners of Trans People know they are welcome here among us. The "changing landscape" is that we have more Partners of Trans People coming to us now than ever before. They are Straight Partners. They are welcome here, and OurPath wants them to know it.

SSN has never prescribed what decisions Straight Partners should make in their relationships. We offer support - plain and simple. We do not advocate for straight partners to stay, and we do not advocate for them to leave. We advocate for them to do what's right for them and their families - and in their own timing. The second part of the second sentence ("more people remaining in their Mixed Orientation Relationships") is no different than it's ever been, either. We want to make it very clear that we are not an organization you come to only if you plan to leave your partner. You can come not knowing, deciding to stay (even if just for now), or if you plan on leaving (or have left) the relationship.

OurPath meets Straight Partners where they are today. Many newbies come to us wanting nothing more than to stay and support their LGBT+ partner. Many change their minds later, too. But they need to know that wherever they're at, this is home. This is their safe place, and we will offer them compassion, encouragement and support. This is who've we've always been, and who we will always be.


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

September 15, 2021 1:16 pm  #132


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

Just my take on it for what it's worth, if SNN is greatly dependent on corporate and/or private donations, then they are vulnerable, like many other similar organization. These individuals/corporations usually care very much what 'public perception" is tied to their donations.


In my opinion, SSN, needs to do whatever SSN  thinks is in their best interest to ensure their own survival in this very challenging and different world we are all currently living in. 

Just offering my perspective, and maybe a suggestion to individualize the path in the site's new name?? OurOwnPath or OurOwnPathForward

Last edited by longwayhome (September 15, 2021 1:28 pm)


I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land, but it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand, is it mine, oh lord is it mine, when everything is dark ….. Roger Hodgson. 
 

September 15, 2021 2:12 pm  #133


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

itsabouther wrote:

........ Personally I feel its time for the Alphabet people to be shaken up a little bit and realize they have to take others into consideration........ 

 

When you're drunk on your newly-embraced authentic status I can imagine an LBGTQ person doesn't get high 
on consideration for others who aren't from that community, certainly not those they have hurt

Elle
 


KIA KAHA                       
 

September 15, 2021 2:22 pm  #134


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

Thanks, longwayhome. I wanted to say that directly.    I don't want to lose SSN/OurPath or whatever name they take on. It's helpful to so many straight spouses and partners. There is nothing else like it online.

One of the goals of the new organization is to fund clinical and academic research showing how detrimental it is to our mental health to have been duped by a closeted LGBTQ+ spouse/partner.  The online library for worldwide medical research is pubmed.gov which is part of the US Federal Government's  National Institutes of Health located outside of Washington, DC. We exist in the shadows without pertinent scientific method based studies about the straight spouse/partner (miserable) experience.

I found one study describing the effects of Mixed Orientation marriages on both spouses.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27636185/

Almost all of the studies concentrate on the mental health of the nonstraight. Grant funding in the US would pay attention to an organization that serves us straight spouses/partners if there were studies concentrating on us. It's unrefutable evidence of our mental anguish.

There are lots of good causes that go unfunded and the anguish of those suffering people is unheard.  Lucky for us, Amity P. Buxton, PhD, used her many talents and skills to champion the straight spouses cause all these years. She could have stayed silent.

On a related note, I was wondering what to call someone whose spouse comes out as trans. I didn't think about it until it was mentioned in this thread. The formerly in the dark partner is straight but the newly trans partner could be straight too. It's a tough call.  Trans widow or widower sounds correct. I learned what this term meant through reading posts. Would someone who hasn't frequented the forums looking for help with a suddenly out LGB partner know this?

I propose a reworking of the First Aid Kit title instead of the new verbiage.  "How to survive finding out your partner is LGBTQI+" sounds accurate for what I believe is SSN/OurPath's mission.


No - It's not too late. It's not hopeless. Even there, there's something I can do. I just have to find the will. Ikiru (1952), film directed by Akira Kurosawa 
 

September 15, 2021 2:27 pm  #135


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

Kel wrote:

.......We want to make it very clear that we are not an organization you come to only if you plan to leave your partner. You can come not knowing, deciding to stay (even if just for now), or if you plan on leaving (or have left) the relationship.......

 

This is so true. I have gone through several stages of strength/hopelessness/anger/confusion in the 4 years I've been a member on the Forum. I've been determined to leave, scared to discover the new me, emboldened by the energy I see here but I've always viewed it as a safe place to leave my thoughts. 
I don't know where I'd be or what I'd do without all you straight people

Elle
 


KIA KAHA                       
 

September 15, 2021 5:36 pm  #136


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

I am grateful for all the work people put in to keep this forum up and running.  and do appreciate all the effort put in to support straight spouses around the world.  But now it seems the last bastion is crumbling and it seems so unnecessary so here I am, still asking why?

 Healing our self esteem that has been decimated by our non-straight partners feels so crucial and yet here we are, our identity goes off the banner over the forum and the term straight only occurs in the negative, as a way of defining our partners.

Kel wrote:

Lily - SSN/OurPath has always served partners of trans people. They are absolutely straight partners in our eyes. They were a tiny minority all these years. But the social landscape is changing, and coming out as Trans is more accepted now. So more people are doing it. Leaving more straight partners in their wake..

To me this is a big fluffy snow leopard of a paper tiger.  Where did I argue partners of trans people weren't included???  

and why does the increase in the numbers of transgender in the population now showing their faces mean we have to change our name?

and you know what, I feel a little uncomfortable just for repeating the phrase 'partners of trans people' - I don't think I'd like it, you're still a straight spouse. 

I don't want to rub anyone's nose in it for not being straight, last thing on my mind.  I'm a friendly sort of person and respectful.  I don't want to be rubbed out either though.  

Would it be possible to redesign the banner so that this forum is referred to as a Straight Spouse forum? 

thanks, Lily

 

 

Last edited by lily (September 15, 2021 5:55 pm)

 

September 15, 2021 6:22 pm  #137


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

itsabouther wrote:

.....   For crying out loud take a lesson from the LGBTQ+ community and proudly assert who we are.  Don't hide in the corner and hope no one sees us.  .......

There are straights who don't hide in corners, who pen articles, write books of their experiences, run a  website like....Our(straight)Path. Most of us though are simply trying to sort our lives out to make our recovery from the Mindfuck less unbearable. We don't have the time, energy or resources to gather people together, not when we're still living the MF. How many years  did it take the non-straight crowd to feel unified and heard? I guess it'll take us as long

Elle
 


KIA KAHA                       
 

September 15, 2021 6:22 pm  #138


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

MJM017 wrote:

Almost all of the studies concentrate on the mental health of the nonstraight. Grant funding in the US would pay attention to an organization that serves us straight spouses/partners if there were studies concentrating on us. It's unrefutable evidence of our mental anguish.

This is really good point...I would love to see studies/more attention brought to the impact on the straight partner. I wish we also had some prominent allies in the LGBT community being vocal about the damage the closet causes to people unknowingly brought into it. 

I think the idea of being "proud" of your sexuality (whatever it may be) is a bit odd...but, more than ever, I respect those who are living honest, authentic lives...no matter the consequences. I wish that for everyone...so there are far less of us in the future.
 

 

September 15, 2021 6:23 pm  #139


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

lily wrote:

......Would it be possible to redesign the banner so that this forum is referred to as a Straight Spouse forum? ......

I second this

Elle
 


KIA KAHA                       
 

September 16, 2021 2:55 pm  #140


Re: Amazing changes coming to SSN

Guys,

I donated 1,500 hours last year to SSN. While having a full time job, four kids, a home, pets, etc. I do this for no.other.reason other than desperately wanting to help straight partners get support and heal. Many of you have known me for years - I was here long before I started doing work for SSN. I have thick skin, but I'm a person - one who is trying their hardest and working day and night to try to ensure the future of this organization. it's difficult to hear all this criticism from my own tribe.

We have big dreams for this organization. We want to start attending LGBT+ conferences and educating them on what Straight Partners go through. We want to conduct research about Straight Partners that would be potentially peer-reviewed by a prestigious organization - like the American Psychological Association. This would bring us recognition that we could then parlay into creating a training program for counselors. Interested counselors could then become accredited through us, and we would finally be able to begin recommending trained counselors to those of us seeking them. We want to begin holding our own seminars and healing workshops. If we keep on with the level of donations we've been receiving, we can simply keep the status quo. To bring awareness at the level we really want to, it's likely going to take corporate donors and grants. And you know what corporate donors and grant makers don't want to be associated with these days? The word "straight". And it doesn't matter how we feel about that. It is what it is. We either just stick it out here being small potatoes, or we make some changes so we can grow. It's really that simple.

We're not embarrassed to be straight. We encourage you to call yourself whatever you prefer - straight spouse, straight partner, partner of a trans person, trans widow, cis spouse, whatever. Us changing our organization's name doesn't change your identity. We are still who we've always been, and we offer more support now than ever. And we want to expand that help. That's what all of this is about.

You're of course free to have whatever opinion you want about the name change. But I'd appreciate it if you could just have a little bit of faith. I've said my peace, and I won't be back to discuss this further. It's just too heart-breaking.


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
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