A Destructive Stereotype

The stereotype, the quick and easy packaging of a person into a neat category based on the most obvious cues, is one of my favorite targets. Stereotypes often (but not always) contain a hint of truth – you can generally find someone who embodies most stereotypes. Gaydar is nothing more than a facility for spotting stereotypes.

I have no gaydar. I think it’s a function of my Aspergers [a form of high-functioning autism for those unfamiliar with the term]. Most of the “gaydar” stereotypes have nothing to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with violating gender norms. For example, the ways that I “do queer” in order to be visible include wearing pink, long dangly flashy earrings, painted nails… all things that are generally associated with gender presentation.

(As an aside, I just participated in a “Guess the Straight Person” panel, and only got 3 votes for straight, I guess being poetic about what love is and reading books are also markers for teh queer as I took off most of my rings, ear and finger, and have plain nails this month. I would like to give kudos to my LGBT Resource Center, because the activity was originally called “Guess Who’s Gay” but my school works for inclusivity.)

Some stereotypes are based on finding that a lot of people meet them – there are more than a few effeminate gay men out there, for example, as well as plenty of lesbians who present as butch. Of course, my straight wife presents more butch than I do.

Some stereotypes are utterly untrue and very, very harmful. The gay child molester, for example, who gets dragged out at every opportunity by people who want to try to get rid of us. Some of the more pernicious bi stereotypes exist in straight, gay, and bi communities, but are laid specifically on teh bi – promiscuity is a big one. In this month’s “31 Days, 31 Icons” project from LGBTHistorymonth.com, for example, not only do they eschew the word bisexual, but they reinforce myths and stereotypes about us.

The most glaring is Marlene Dietrich, who, while tagged as bisexual in the database, has a writeup that not only doesn’t use the word but points out that she “had affairs with men and women”. Really? Couldn’t you say “relationships”? Why use the emotionally loaded word? (And for another look at the same issue, here’s a post from Bialogue.)

One stereotype that does significant, measurable damage to the queer community and especially to the bisexual community comes from researcher Amity Buxton. I’ve heard she’s a nice person. But her Straight Spouses Network and the research being used to support it by the leaders of the SSN organizations is harmful and, as far as I am concerned, inadequate, biased, and downright shoddy. Yes, those are fighting words, and I stand by them.

Here’s an example, from her book “The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families”.

Besides the relatively small number of couples who stay married, the lack of information about enduring marriages is further explained by their invisibility. Mixed-orientation couples are generally indistinguishable from heterosexual couples, especially when they remain closeted because of privacy concerns or a fear of being stigmatized and rejected by their family, friends, employer, or community (p.161).

Let’s examine these two statements. The first question I asked upon reading this is, if most mixed-orientation marriages are invisible, how can you possibly make a broad statement about how small the number who stay married is? Buxton’s bias is clear – as a researcher, and as someone who is setting up “support networks” for the poor damaged straight spouses who have been betrayed by those awful cheating lying gay men who were never really sexually interested or in love with them, she has a vested interest in only presenting the cases where the marriage either doesn’t work at all, or works only by becoming an open arrangement, something I’ve seen decried by supporters of the ideas of the SSN as “making your poor suffering wife into your housemaid and babysitter while you go out and play” (something I’ve seen both alluded to and spelled out in comment threads).

Buxton also identifies as one of those straight former spouses, and claims to be working for LGBT rights. As I said, I’ve been told by people who know her that she’s a very sweet person who honestly thinks she’s being helpful. I don’t know her personally, but I will say this: you don’t get to have “working for LGBT rights” credentials when you are going out of your way to perpetuate harmful stereotypes about us. Sorry. It’s like some limousine liberal advocating against welfare cuts because poor people are unable to hold down jobs due to their lack of motivation and intellect. Thanks for your good intentions, there is a well-known road paved with them.

This sort of attitude destroys marriages that could work just fine. There are many mixed orientation marriages that are working – there’s a recent dissertation about them that I am reading right now – but either Buxton or the people working for the Straight Spouses Network are ignorant (to be charitable) or ignoring the existence of mixed orientation marriages that work.

Her most recent work was highlighted in the Huffington Post just in time for Bi Pride day – check out some clips from the article, with my comments in brackets.

“Those in mixed-orientation marriages, like their partners, feel unfulfilled by the sexual mismatch, often blaming themselves and accommodating their partners’ wishes at the expense of their own.” [Because obviously someone identifying as other-than-straight can’t be fulfilled in a marriage to someone of another gender… This is a mere reiteration of the “Bi Now, Gay Later” stereotype, the good old “One Drop” come around again.]

“Though some couples work out ways to stay together, most divorce, their children now in a broken family.” [If only the couples who are under so much stress that they are falling apart come to your attention, because people in mixed-orientation marriages that work or whose marital problems are unrelated to orientation aren’t part of your statistics, it is frankly irresponsible to make such a broad and sweeping statement – and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, if the organizations you have set up to “support” straight spouses start off by telling them they must be sooo traumatized!]

“It’s time to pay attention to this invisible group. A new book does just that. Unseen-Unheard: The Journey of Straight Spouses, of which I am a co-author, opens the window onto their emotional, sexual, cognitive, psychological, relational, and spiritual trauma.” [The insensitivity, and erasure of the invisible group she’s ignoring – marriages that can and do work – is stunning to me.]

The Straight Spouses Network is an organization with arguably good motivations, but that in practice has done some real damage to those people who it does not recognize, such as bisexual people and their straight spouses who are intentionally in mixed-orientation marriages. Are there marriages that break up because one member decides that they must for their own sanity pursue attractions outside of the marriage? Obviously. Funny thing – most of those attractions are to people of the same gender as the spurned spouse. But you don’t see psychologists advocating the destruction of these marriages purely on these grounds, and an organization like this that focused on ending the marriages of straight spouses of heterosexual philanderers would not be hailed as “doing so much good”, rather, it would be brought into question as a biased and potentially damaging group, as a group with an agenda to see to it that what it defines as “unsuitable” marriages don’t continue. What you see with the SSN is an organization that is reinforcing myths and stereotypes that destroy marriages rather than helping people work through them and make their own decisions.

The point of The Other Side of the Closet is marriages where the queer partner comes out during the marriage. Can there be trauma? Sure. Can there have been a problem with the marriage being fake? Absolutely. But, please, Ms. Buxton – consider what you and the people running the organizations founded on your work are doing to the marriages that do have the possibility of working and being happy. In the cases I mentioned, the problem isn’t that they are mixed orientation, it’s that they are founded on a lie – and there are plenty of marriages founded on lies that have nothing to do with orientation.

Another piece about the “coming out during marriage” is that while in some cases, these marriages are undoubtedly beards, some of them are due to the queer member not knowing themselves. As bisexuals are at least as large a part of the population as people with only same-gender attractions, painting people who discover some same-gender attractions while in a marriage to a partner of another gender as not having authentic other-gender attractions? My Stereotype Alarm Bell is ringing. Discovering that you share some attractions with your partner would seem to be the kind of thing that could strengthen a relationship, if the communication is good.

Buxton’s work perpetuates the stereotype that the worst thing a husband can do is be queer. I recall as a child hearing whispers about the neighbor’s husband, who left her [sotto voce] for a maaaan. It was considered so much worse then, and the SSN is not doing anything to help change it from being considered so much worse now.

Why is the perception that the worst thing that can happen to a marriage be same-gender attraction (with a spouse transitioning gender a close second)? There are so many other things that can go wrong. Instead of perpetuating and amplifying the stereotype, if the SSN really wanted to make the world a better place for these “discarded, traumatized, invisible” spouses, they should look at the models of what makes marriages work rather than blasting people who might have a chance for happiness with messages of victimhood and betrayal, with their own anger.

My wife was originally attracted to me in no small part because I am bi (although she didn’t put it in those terms, she said that I had a refreshing gentle manner) and has known it all along. There was no betrayal, no problems with accommodation – I forswore all others to be with her, because those are the terms of our relationship. We did a little couples counseling at one point, and thank the heavens that we didn’t get a therapist who came out of the Buxton school, because if that had been the case, we might not be together today. Therapists who are operating from her research without looking for other resources may very well be in serious violation of the codes of ethics and competence for working with LGBT people – and their Allies.

Something else about mixed-orientation marriages: I presume that the marriages that consist of one bi partner and one straight partner are probably more stable and have a better chance of working than ones with one exclusively straight and one exclusively gay partner. It seems that mutual sexual attraction is important, nu? But there is no problem having authentic mutual attraction if one partner’s attraction spectrum is broader than the other’s, as long as that attraction includes one’s partner. The Straight Spouses Network, and Buxton’s research that it is founded upon, doesn’t seem to understand that.

There is very little research out there on working mixed orientation marriages. I hope to add to that body of research someday.

Mixed-orientation Marriages -- families and the Bi Pride Flag

Some useful links:

Some Yahoo groups that don’t follow the “Oh your marriage is doomed” model:Alternate Path, Making Mixed Orientation Marriages Work, and HUGS. If you are in a mixed orientation marriage, and are looking for support, I urge you to avoid the Straight Spouses Network and check these out instead.

And some good definitions of bisexuality can be found here.

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About fliponymous

Bisexual activist, thinker, writer, husband, father, Licensed Professional Counselor.
This entry was posted in Bisexuality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to A Destructive Stereotype

  1. judyt54 says:

    I just love poor researchers, don’t you, flip? There is just sooo much meat on the bones to drool over. One thing that she doesnt mention (at least you don’t mention her as having stated it), is there are, in the population at large, a relatively small number of “legal” marriages (i.e., recognized by the state, the gummint, the church they belong to) between same sex and bi couples, that the data has to be screwed to the sub basement to make it come out right.
    And of course she never mentions (and why would she) the appalling number of straight marriages that go belly up, that make counselors wealthy, that end in divorce or worse; no no, that would mess with the empirical data, wouldnt it. And of course none of the kids are traumatized…
    Also, if a marriage between a straight partner and a bi or gay partner comes unglued, it may be (and this is something to consider) that the marriage is already in trouble, no matter the orientation of anyone. The old wives complaint, “I could compete with another woman, but how can I compete with another MAN?” misses the point–one, it is not a competition (and if it is, something is horribly wrong beyond sexual orientation), and two, a marriage between two people is just that, an expression of trust. If he (or she) is philandering, no matter with whom, the real question is, why?

    • fliponymous says:

      Exactly! The only mixed orientation marriages that come to the attention of researchers looking for crumbling marriages are, er, the crumbling ones. Seek and ye shall find exactly what you’re seeking for.

      I cannot even begin to express how happy I am to see you here!

      • judyt54 says:

        well ive been reading since the curtain went up, but frankly a lot of it is nothing that I can really comment on, not having the er experience/credentials to do so, but now and then something strikes a chord, like this. It’s nice to be here. Thank you.

  2. Blown says:

    A great post. Thanks for the insights!

  3. sam says:

    This needs to be shared,i think!
    This is what you get from Bonnie Kaye after reading her article 50 ways to say no to your wife.In case anyone doesn’t realise,there is no such thing as bisexual in Bonnie’s eyes,it’s just a layby on the way to Gaytown(yes,her words).I was interested as my partner is bisexual but our sex life is still fantastic and he’s never said no to me,in fact,i don’t even need to ask!She gets rather snippy and tries to make me feel/look bad for wanting to stay with him!By the way,he’s never cheated on me,something Bonnie didn’t ask about.Please feel free to share,i think she needs to be outed!

    BonKaye@aol.com
    00:00 (1 hour ago)

    to me
    Sam, there are exceptions to the majority. Maybe your partner is one of them. Just be aware that no matter how great your sex is, it won’t stop him from having sex with men. But if you don’t mind, then there should be no problem. I work with women who don’t want to live with a man who desires a penis. But I’m sure there are other people there that live with it as well.
    Best regards,
    Bonnie

  4. dan says:

    She is a mess. She either talks out of both sides of her mouth, or else she doesn’t realize how she contradicts herself. On one hand she’ll say these men are in denial about who they are, and in the next breath, she’ll call them liars and deceivers. How can you be lying and be in denial at the same time? She doesn’t know what denial really means. She’ll say she truly believes these men got married with the best of intentions, and then in the next breath, she thinks they should be sued for committing marital fraud. She’ll say she believes these men genuinely loved their wives when they got married, and in the next breath she’ll say they are all narcissists and sociopaths. She says she doesn’t believe in traditional counseling, but she calls herself a counseling expert.

    Can you imagine the hell she put her husband through? Oy gevalt… She be one great big ball o’ crazy. You gotta feel sorry for anyone naive enough who goes to her for help.

  5. sam says:

    God Dan,she is dangerous!I read her blog the other night and i was wide eyed,she seemed to get crazier with every post and changing the words of Elton John’s Rocket Man to ‘Penis Man’…i have no words!She isn’t even bloody qualified,how does she get away with it?I’m not saying she didn’t go through a rough time with her ex but ffs,that was over 30 years ago,it’s probably time to let it go now.She is grabbing these women when they are at their most vulnerable and will latch onto anyone/anything they think will help and she’s fully aware of that.She’s like a cult leader,the way these women stick up for her is scary.

  6. Dan says:

    It is a wonder that she has not been investigated by the authorities. It’s obvious that she is not licensed, not supervised, has not been educated or trained in basic psychology, and her books are nothing more than her uninformed and uneducated opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the women who stick up for her have even less education than she does; and that is how she gets away with it. She makes outrageous claims, for instance that she is the leading expert on mixed marriages (says who?), and that she has personally counseled upwards of 100,000 women! That’s a medium-sized city! Look at some of the reviews of her books. both positive and negative. Who is she fooling? Only the women who have already had the rug pulled out from under them and never question her motives. Exactly the same way they ended up in miserable marriages.

    As they say, there’s a sucker born every minute. Too bad for the women who are her victims, who not only got suckered by their husbands, but now by their “counselor” too. She’s raping them all over again and calls it “healing.” How many therapists and counselors do you know who accept Paypal or self-publish their books without putting it through a formal editorial process first?

    • sam says:

      I wonder how many women have been talked into jumping ship from their relationship on her say so and insistence that,’He might not have cheated on you yet but believe me,he WILL have sex with other men.’There is nothing positive that comes from her and the more of her blog you read,the scarier it gets.
      I agree,i thought it seemed like an awful lot of women,i can’t imagine it’s true and i frigging hope not!Her uproar over the tv show about a mixed marriage was incredible,i’ve never seen it as i don’t think we get/got it here in the UK but God,there isn’t a tv show in history that someone,somewhere couldn’t be offended by if that’s how they choose to be.Just don’t watch it!To suggest the writer make a show about her own rape so that Bonnie Kaye can laugh at it struck me dumb.How can you even think such a thing as another female?She makes me shudder.

      • dan says:

        No kidding. I wonder how many women have not only been talked into getting a divorce based on her “advice” but how many of them either regret it later on, or get the divorce and then remain stuck being angry and bitter, and never move on. And how they fare financially and health-wise. And what it has done to their kids, too. And then I would like to be able to compare her results to real marriage counselors… you know, the “real” kind of counselors who went to school, and passed their exams and been trained by a supervisor and work in a clinical setting, not from a website and an email address. I wonder if anyone has ever filed a complaint against her. I read once where she said “it’s been 30 years and I am finally almost over my anger.” After 30 years??? She’s “almost” over it??? What does “I’m almost over it” mean anyway??? It means she’s NOT over it.

        She also had a lesbian daughter who committed suicide at age 22. I wonder why…

        • fliponymous says:

          I’ve been following these comments. No Lie Detected.

          • sam says:

            I’m really enjoying this blog,by the way.So many interesting things i’m reading and it’s giving me a whole new way of looking at certain things,thanks for that.

        • sam says:

          But she also claims that had she known at the time,before her marriage,that her future husband was gay,she would have married him anyway.WHAT?!So then why 30 years of bitching and gringing?I’ve been trying to find out more about any complaints she may have received,i can’t imagine that every one of those ‘100,000’ women who have been fortunate enough to be counselled by her have come away happy…

          • dan says:

            sam:

            Check out this review of her books. It’s impossible for her or anyone to have counseled as many people as she says. This guy shows why it’s impossible: the math just doesn’t work. It’s a LONG review, but he holds nothing back, especially about how she lies or makes things up or how far she goes to make herself look innocent, like she’s the real victim here.

            https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/RB7THWLS77K18?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

            Someone really, truly ought to expose her loudly and publicly. I’ll bet a few women would step forward and tell their stories.

            • fliponymous says:

              Holy crap. She’s worse than I realized.

            • sam says:

              Did you see,the same guy wrote reviews for a few of her books?She really gets under people’s skin!I was talking with a friend yesterday and i think she could be right,she said that Ms.Kaye probably counts the 3 or 4 emails she sent me as having counselled me,after all,i did tell her my situation briefly and she certainly gave her opinion.Speaking of which,i came across this earlier,sorry it’s long-winded but i wanted it to be in context.

              (Bonnie says);”I hear it all the time and I’ve heard it for years. “My husband is not gay, he is bisexual. Or, I hear from the husbands that, “There’s no way I am gay, I have bisexual tendencies.” Fifteen years ago when I first started counseling wives and straight/gay couples, I would get angry when those words would start the conversation after the informal pleasantries. I was in the beginning stages of my own recovery, and my anger from the lies and deceit of my ex-husband during our marriage was still too fresh in my mind. But now, years later, I can calmly discuss this issue with objectivity and understanding because most of my pain and anger is gone. I do admit, though, that the whole issue still irritates me.
              Let’s talk reality. What is bisexuality anyway? A married gay man who has sex with his wife but still sexually desires a man? A man who lives a straight life with a wife and children to shield him in public while he has homosexual encounters on the side? A man who claims he is attracted to both men and women but still needs a man when he’s with a woman? I think not. Bisexuality is an excuse. For gay men it is an illusion, creating a picture that allows them to fit into the straight world. For their straight wives it is a delusion, creating a justification for keeping the marriage together.”

              Just to start with,is that what you need from a counsellor and would that be considered professional,getting angry at what is simply your perception of what your situation is?!Then…’objectivity and understanding’????What the actual $&*£?She really believes this is how she is coming over?
              And then lastly,her description of a bisexual man.I admit,i’m not even a man,let alone a bisexual one but how is one man both bisexual and gay?I can’t even go further down that road,she makes my head hurt.
              But to finish on a lighter note,i’d forgotten this,me and my gay bisexual boyfriend did laugh at the serious,heavy tone.And also wondered where these FACTS are coming from,maybe someone can shed some light on that?http://www.gayhusbands.com/index.html

  7. dan says:

    She makes no distinction between gay and bisexual. I doubt she has ever met one, or if she has, she didn’t accept what was in front of her. She has no idea what bisexuality is; that’s too complicated for her narrow little mind. “Life was never meant to be this complicated” is her motto on her website. Really? Says who? I guess I didn’t get that notice; I didn’t know there was a rule like that. My life has been plenty complicated. She must think it’s supposed to be like a Disney movie.

    Sam:
    That show you said you didn’t see was probably “My Husband’s Not Gay” and it was on the Learning Channel in the US. There was a big hubbub about it when it aired a year ago, but I thought they made it pretty clear to anyone with eyes and ears and a brain that the men were quite gay and the women were in denial about it… and miserable. The only people being deceived were themselves — I thought the show made that pretty clear without spelling it all out. You can find most of it on youtube,

    Somewhere too, Bonnie had something to say about transgenders, when Caitlyn Jenner was all over the news. It was just as idiotic and dangerous as the other sh*t she says. She said something like: “I don’t understand this gender, transgender stuff myself, it’s new but it seems to be happening more and more, we never had that when I was growing up, but I’m still here to help any of you ladies deal with it.”

    WTF ???? I don’t understand leukemia, but I’m here to tell you what to do about it.

    Fliponymous:
    Can just anyone at all report someone like her, or does it have to be someone that she has harmed? What she is doing can’t be legal if she’s charging people for it. I don’t know if she’s crazy, has personality disorders, or if she’s just a scam artist, or maybe all of it, but I can’t believe any licensing board would allow her to get away with this.

    • fliponymous says:

      I’ll need to do some research on what credentials she has or claims to have, as well as the rules of the state she’s in. A lot depends on how she defines herself — for example, here in MN if I call myself a “Life Coach” there is no regulation, but if I use the word Counselor then the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy has something to say about it. Problem is there are multiple licensing bodies.

  8. dan says:

    Fliponymous:
    On her website she specifically says she offers “counseling” and uses that word, She also posts her fees (with discount savings! the more you buy, the more you save! Wow, Such a bargain!)

    http://gay-husbands.blogspot.com/
    http://www.gayhusbands.com/index.html
    http://www.gayhusbands.com/gay-marriage-counseling.html

    QUOTE:
    “Other women have wasted thousands of dollars and years of valuable time going to therapists who have no clue about this situation that affects MILLIONS of women. Bonnie’s no-nonsense and reality-based style will help you quickly make sense of what is so hard to understand. She believes in finding a solution to your problem, so you don’t have to waste time fighting a losing battle.”

    AND:
    “Payments must be made in advance via check or PayPal. (eliminate my phone number)”

    Amazing. Anyway she’s in Philadelphia, and she says she has an M.Ed. At least that what she said in one of her interviews. I think it was in Out.com or the Advocate, but definitely in Philly. The article said she also runs a GED prep center or college testing prep center or something like that.

    • fliponymous says:

      I don’t see any indication of licensure, and I find it difficult to believe that any licensed professional would omit that in their professional space. (I don’t list my license here because my blog is separate from my counseling career.)

  9. dan says:

    I was re-reading this thread just now, and caught this part of Sam’s post; it didn’t sink in the first time I read it, but this part where Sam shared Bonnie’s email: ” … anger from the lies and deceit of my ex-husband during our marriage was still too fresh in my mind. But now, years later, I can calmly discuss this issue with objectivity and understanding because most of my pain and anger is gone. I do admit, though, that the whole issue still irritates me. Let’s talk reality….”

    Okay, let’s talk reality in her terms then: decades-old anger => calm objectivity and understanding => most anger is gone => issue still irritates her => “what is bi-sexuality, anyway?”

    She ends up right back where she started out. This “expert counselor” must not understand such basic psychological concepts as counter-transference or repression or cognitive dissonance (or maybe what she understands is that they don’t apply to her). My, oh my. Caveat emptor.

  10. Miriam says:

    breaking news… Bonnie Kaye’s ex-husband has apparently decided to come out and challenge her bullsh*t and lies publicly. Take a look at the comments section in this article, from a fellow named Robert Kassoff:

    http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2015/8/13/meet-women-who-pick-pieces-after-their-husbands-come-out

    and also in the comments to this review on Amazon (the book is called Bonnie Kaye’s straight talk, and her husband replied under the comments for a review by a Jacquie Dallenbach.:

    http://www.amazon.com/Bonnie-Kayes-Straight-Talk-Newsletters/product-reviews/1926585046/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#R1668KP19ZS8CS

    He sounds much more believable and sincere than anything I have ever read from her.

    • robert kassof says:

      Thank You Miriam, What ever I wrote or said is the absolute truth. I have nothing to hide from a predator who has spend the last 3 decades ripping and shredding my life apart. Robert Kassof.

      • Miriam says:

        Robert:
        First, let me say how sad I am to read about the loss of your two children. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing a child, let alone two. My heart goes out to you.

        Secondly, I applaud you for speaking truth to a bully. How you were able to live with her for a month, let alone a few years, and then have to put up with what sounds like stalking and harrassing behavior ever afterwards, is beyond me, I hope you will continue to do whatever you can to put the truth of your story out for the rest of us to hear. Your children deserve that, and so do you.

        Third, I was a member of her “support group” (as she calls it) for a short time. It wasn’t helpful at all, and I dropped out after a few months. Her support consists of a private chat room where women can vent their derogatory remarks about their ex-husbands, in some of the most homophobic ranting I’ve ever been ashamed to read or listen to, and they don’t see how they are contributing to their own misery. Bonnie herself is rarely present and when she is, it’s either to laugh, or give a thumbs-up or to be rude and sarcastic. There is no leadership, no organized discussion, no rules of conduct. It’s a free-for-all snake pit, where the main activity is gay- or bisexual bashing. It’s all opinion without substance or information, and they go round and round and never move forward. I once dared to ask “why do we keep doing this?” and you’d think I had killed the cat the way I was shouted down.

        Bonnie sees no value in talking to a real therapist because “they haven’t lived it and they can’t understand.” She has this mantra that she repeats like a broken record: only women who have been married to a gay man can truly know what it’s like Well, you can say that about anything. Only those who have eaten a hamburger know what a hamburger tastes like. Only an astronaut who has walked on the moon knows what that’s like. Only someone who has gone swimming in the ocean truly knows what that’s like. So what? There is no “then what” in Bonnie’s support group. You kvetch and that’s the extent of it. Nothing about how to move forward, nothing about how to repair or maintain a relationship with him afterward. She’s like quicksand, but that probably sounds familiar to you.

        PFLAG was great. They understood my story, were sympathetic, found me a good therapist, and treated me and my ex both with equal respect; they were fair and neutral and authentic. I can’t say enough good things about them. Bonnie’s “sympathy” goes more like: “You don’t have to feel sorry for those poor sick homosexuals, they were born that way, and they can’t help themselves. But it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for how they took advantage of you, and it’s okay if you never get over it.” I wouldn’t be surprised if some of her support group have been there for years or even decades. Sad.

        Keep speaking out, Robert.

        • robert kassof says:

          miriam, I want all the people who are involved with Bonnie to realize that she has made up so much of her stories and the best way you can find that out is just look at book 1 and 2 and see how her stories have become more alarming and intriguing with each exaggeration she shoves down the throat of anyone who will listen to her or buy one of her illusional books on Me and My Children. I am devastated by what she has made my daughter into. This is worse than anything she can concoct about me. First of all my daughter died from a having an asthma attack while she was doing drugs with her friends. Second to claim my daughter did horrible things while my daughter is not here to defend herself is just beyond my comprehension or the comprehension of any mother who wants to protect their child. I do not care if anyone believes her garbage about me but to write a book about our daughter Jennifer is just sick. Please have patience my time will come………My father use to say if you spit hard enough it will eventually land on the other side of you face.

  11. sam says:

    Wow!Thanks for sharing this,it’s well overdue that the ex husband has his say.I agree with you completely that his views and story sound far more rational and sane than one word she has ever written down.

    • robert kassof says:

      Sam, everything I ever wrote or said is the truth. Please know I left Bonnie 34 years ago. To realize that so many books were written by her stating how I nearly destroyed her life 34 years ago when I left her is almost beyond belief. In fact my friend it is completely beyond belief. Be well.

  12. Sheila says:

    There is a collective building that is working toward exposing her and holding her accountalble. Her activities as a fake counselor are now becoming common knowledge, well, to everyone except some of her cult members. As one of the book reviews states better than I would have.. her actions are irresponsible, unprofessional, unethical, immoral, and illegal. Plain and simple. Keep your eyes open for more information but in the meantime, keep sharing the the information, links, shed light on the truth.

    Check out these great sites about Bonnie Kaye!

    BonnieNotOkaye: http://bonnienotokaye.tumblr.com/

    Silence of the Sheeple: https://silenceofthesheeple.wordpress.com/

  13. Marie says:

    Bonnie Kaye is of a somewhat similar mindset as Amity Buxton – that finding out your spouse is gay is the worst thing that could possibly happen to a straight wife. In fact, think she’s actually much worse. She lost both of her children within a few years of each other when they were young adults. And she still says the worst that happened to her was 35 years ago when she found out that her husband (of only four years) – was gay? That was worse than losing both of her children? That surely says something about her. I don’t mean that one kind of loss is worse or more painful than another; my point is how – or even, why? – would you even try to rank them? Unless it’s to demonize your ex-husband.

  14. Marie says:

    There is no way, absolutely no way, that woman is licensed to do counseling or therapy. She has a podcast on blogtalkradio. I was just listening to one for Oct 28, 2012, and she and her co-host were talking about suicidal ideation and what to do when a client might be truly suicidal or it might be emotional manipulation. I couldn’t believe what I heard next. Bonnie Kaye said, “If someone wants to commit suicide, you can’t stop them. I hear it from gay men all the time, and I get so frustrated, so I just tell them, well, then just go ahead and do it… and I had two men who actually did it.”

    As if that were a perfectly natural response, normal and standard routine for a licensed counselor.

    Thank God her co-host countered that, saying, “well, you can never truly know if it’s manipulation or real, you just don’t know, so I always take it seriously…” Which is what I would expect a licensed, board certified counselor to say.

    In that same podcast, Bonnie said she “knew” that there was a higher percentage to have a gay child if one of the parents is gay. Then she added that “surveys she has done” show that “the likelihood of having a gay child is almost twice as high if you have a gay parent.”

    Really? Then why hasn’t she been awarded the Nobel Prize for her discovery? I think what she was really saying is this: “It wasn’t my fault my daughter was lesbian, it’s because my husband was a gay man; it was his genetics that caused it, not mine.”

    Unbelievable…

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