Monday, October 1, 2012

Gay, Straight and Living in the Middle of the Debate

When voters across the country head to the polls November 6, Maryland residents will vote on something just as important and vital as selecting the president of the United States. What’s the definition of marriage? Is gay marriage a civil rights issue or something different? From politicians to activists, professional athletes, clergy, and entertainers, everyone has an opinion or the perfect answer to all the questions.  

In the coming weeks Marylanders will undoubtedly get hit with a flood of television, radio and Internet ads supporting and opposing the legalization same-sex marriage. But how does it fill to live your life in the middle of the reality that hides behind some traditional marriages? Reportedly there are nearly two million people married to someone who’s secretly gay.

In “I Thought It Was Forever,” a soon-to-be released documentary, seven people remove the convoluted opinion static that routinely arises and periodically results in shouting matches on both sides of legalizing same-sex marriage. The cast candidly reveals the emotional, mental, physical and sexual turmoil that forced them all to face a decision they’d avoided, some for more than 30 years. Below is an introduction to two cast members.

Photo courtesy of Melissa
Melissa, like many women, wants to know and treasure the feeling of peace, passion and protection that comes with a marriage. “Sometimes you don’t love someone forever,” says Melissa.  For years, her life was like an emotionally detached marathon full of potholes, every one bigger than the other. “He threw me so hard one day I hit the door and the hinges fell off,” says Melissa. She says the extreme and escalating physical violence she endured at the hands of her ex-husband was the result of him hiding a secret. “He kept it hidden for 20 years because he knew what my father had said,” says Melissa.  How did Melissa tell her two young daughters what was happening to their father and what his change meant for the whole family?

Photo courtesy of Marc
Marc is a father of four children and he’s comfortable as a gay man but for nearly 20 years he was not. “I struggled with what to do with all of those feelings and I was scared mostly of losing the woman I’d loved since I was 12,” says Marc. Marriage counseling, sex addiction therapy and holding out hope for the thoughts to “work themselves out” failed.  So how did Marc keep his secret affairs away from his family? When did he finally decide it was time to tell his wife? Are they friends today?

You can see the “I Thought It Was Forever” trailer, find out the answers more questions and meet the entire “I Thought It Was Forever” cast on the film’s Facebook page at

Photo courtesy of Jeff Ray
“I Thought It Was Forever” is a Southern Belle Productions film, directed by Maniko Barthelemy and Lawrence Dortch. We invite you to leave a comment on this page or e-mail Maniko Barthelemy directly at

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