Mission: Who we are:
Current and former Straight Spouses/Partners of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people, Mixed Orientation Couples and our Families and Friends.
What we do
Serve straight spouses, mixed orientation couples, families and community by:
* Reaching Out
to increase visibility of straight spouses and accessibility to support
and empowering straight spouses to cope constructively
* Building Bridges
between spouses, within families and with the larger community through support, education and advocacy
The Straight Spouse Network (SSN) is an international organization that provides personal, confidential support and information to heterosexual spouses/partners, current or former, of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender mates and mixed-orientation couples for constructively resolving coming-out problems. SSN also offers research-based information about spouse, couple, and family issues and resources to other family members, professionals, community organizations, and the public. SSN is the only support network of its kind in the world.
As outreach, the network offers information about spouse and family issues, mixed orientation marriages and spouse resources to professionals, community organizations and the media.
Results: * 53 support groups in the US and other countries
* Spouse contacts for individual sharing in most US states and several foreign countries
* Eight online support groups, most with chats and webs attached
* Best of Northeast in the 2009 Pride Choice Awards, sponsored by GreatNonprofits
Geographic areas served: Worldwide
Programs: Provided for continuing avenues of communication with new and existing straight spouses who seek and require support. Promoted meetings of straight spouses. Provide on going web related information services, on-line bulletin board communications and live gatherings for direct communication among spouses.
produced newsletter for constituents who sign up to receive it.
fostered collective understanding and support for the rights and needs of the straight spouses in mixed orientation relationships.
Back in 1987, when my ex-husband came out and my marriage ended, I was devastated and humiliated. I didn't know another person in the same boat, and I had nowhere to turn for comfort. No one ever knew the depth of my despair. I helped my therapy clients all day, then came home every night and sobbed. Every night. Those were dark and lonely times.
A couple of years post-divorce, a friend told me about a book called "The Other Side of the Closet" by Amity Buxton. Amity is the Founder of the Straight Spouse Network, on whose Board I proudly serve.
Every year the Straight Spouse Network helps thousands of spouses whose partners come out. We don't have the financial heft, marketing savvy or paid staff of larger organizations, but our work is crucial. I know my journey would have been shorter and faster had I had the support of other folks who have "been there."
As a therapist who now specializes in working with other straight spouses, I refer clients to the Straight Spouse Network regularly for support and information. Discovering other straight spouses and knowing I wasn't alone was a godsend for me, and every day I see it serving the same purpose for others.