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STRAIGHT SPOUSE NETWORK INC
September 6, 2010

After my husband came out after 25 years of marriage, I was stunned and felt totally alone, facing an unresolvable challenge. Fortunately, I found a San Francisco support group where I met other wives whose husbands had come out as gay or bisexual and, surprise! they were all normal, attractive, intelligent women. My husband's being gay had nothing to do with me! Slowly, with the help of the group and reading,I put together a more coherent and strong identity, integrity and belief system. This lifesaving experience motivated me to found the Straight Spouse Network in 1991 so that every straight wife or husband worldwide could find support and help to reconfigure their true selves, with or without their partners. Since then, watching suicidal spouses slowly regain their inner core only because other spouses were there to connect them with help keeps reminding me why SSN exists and why it must be kept alive and well. Volunteers do most of the work, yes, but a core staff is needed to coordinate its triage, support services, educational publications, and PR.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own personal and professional growth

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find them more grant money to maintain a steady number of staff hours

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Personal and professional growth for myself as I've worked in the organization gratification from seeing constituents grow, learn, and resolve the incredible challenges faced after their husbands or wives come out gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

supportive, open, kind...and informative. neither pressuring or biased.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand web site content Implement training program for support group facilitators and state/country contacts; Expand PR program to raise the visibility of straight spouses and their post-disclosure issues and awareness of Straight Spouse Network services

Ways to make it better...

SSN had existed when my husband came out

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of public awareness that straight spouses exist or have unique problems and lack of funds for maintaining a minimal staff to coordinate its worldwide services for straight spouses and mixed-orientation or transgender/nontransgender couples.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Straight Spouse Network is a unique service for women and men whose post-disclosure needs are usually overlooked by outsiders including professionals. Potential constituents: up to 2,000,000 are or have been in these marriages,whether or not they know it

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I founded the Straight Spouse Network so that no straight spouse, wife or husand, would ever find herself or himself alone to deal with the devastation of having his or her spouse come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.