Matthew met his future bride, J, at a gay bar, where he was quite popular for his drag routines. The two became friends, and after a time she informed him that she was in love with him, and wanted to get married. Was she aware of Matthew's sexuality at the time? Well, since she met him in drag, at a gay bar, you'd figure. But...
"Did I sit down with her and say the words 'I am gay'? No, but it was extremely common knowledge. I can't express enough how out I was at that time in my life."
Once again: dressing in drag at gay bars out in the open.
But ready to settle down and left without any other (legal) options, Matthew agreed to go along with the wedding. He confesses that neither of them had put much thought into the decision, and both may have been less than sober. But more than that, there was pressure to fit into a societal box, to meet expectations and behave the way the world wanted them to. And behave they did.
Still, that nagging feeling of wanting a stable life was also a powerful motivator: "I call it white picket fence syndrome. I wanted something more stable than the guy of the weekend. J happened to ... well ... happen, and I followed that path. My parents' marriage was never great -- dad was distant and cheated, mom was Joan Crawford without the hangers, so I thought just having a friendship/partnership was good enough, and in many ways it is." Hey, marriage comes in all sorts of forms. Take us, for example: We're holding out for "the sea." It hasn't called yet.
"I really think of you more as a friend."