Guilt is the reason I agreed to go on vacation together while my ex-wife and I were going through divorce. It may have been FOMO (fear of missing out!). But Family Week, a Family Equality Council sponsored yearly event in Provincetown, is the place to be when you are a LGBT family with children.
There is nothing like a vacation in a place where you don't have to worry about being judged for being gay. Once a year during the last week in July, gay families from all over the U.S. come together to enjoy each other's company and to offer their children a vacation where they aren't the only ones with two moms or two dads.
Some divorced LGBT families continue this tradition. The exes either rent different places and co-parent or stay in the same place and split the week. Either way, the children get to experience all that Family Week has to offer. You might think this is crazy, especially while you're going through divorce, but some families make it work.
I couldn't make it work.
Even though it had been close to a year since the break-up, the drama that ensued each time we happened to be at the same place while on vacation was plain awful. And, unfortunately, our daughter had front row seats.
My ex was determined to make me out to be the monster that destroyed our "happy" family. And no one loves drama more than my ex. She portrayed herself as the victim in our divorce story. And she told this story to everyone we had befriended over our years of attending this family event.
This vacation experiment of ours failed miserably.
I so craved the opportunity to tell my side of the story. I was no victim. I saw myself as the brave one. I had mustered up enough courage to end a bad marriage. I just wanted to give our daughter the Family Week she had come to love and treasure. But as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.
Divorce is not something our community takes lightly. At the time, the LGBT community was still fighting for the right to marry. Our married friends, whether they want to admit it or not, didn't really know how to deal with us during that time. I don't know if it was shame or fear that made them uneasy.
Ultimately, Family Week became a part of our divorce negotiation. It may sound nuts to you, but finding a slice of heaven on earth as a LGBT family is worth its weight in gold. I can't imagine heterosexuals going through something like this. The world is your oyster to explore without reservation. I found my oyster in Provincetown. But, I gave it up for the sake of our daughter.
Marjorie Soto's gay marriage ended in divorce. Marjorie believes that there is a persistent denial that lesbian divorce exists. She blogs about this and other LGBT divorce issues at LifeInJeans.com. She helps lesbians impacted by divorce find community so they don't have to go at it alone. Life in Jeans provides support through real stories and experiences.