Hello, We are Arnold & Jerry.
We have been members of PFLAG/Detroit now for 9 years. It has been a rewarding experience to have PFLAG as a family. We have met some wonderful understanding people who have been willing to share their lives and we have shared with them.
Arnold, who was married for 14 years, had four children. I, Jerry, was married for 8 years, with two children. I had custody of my two children for several years, when they both returned to their mother for a couple of years.
We both found a partner after coming out, but because they did not have children, it proved to be a very difficult relationship with our partners. Jealousy of the children became greater with every year, and the children felt more and more distant. Arnold and I met, under the premise of "the next partner would have to have children", fell in love and started our journey as partners.
Within the first two months, Arnoldís daughter, battling drugs, came to live with us, wearing a body cast.
By the end of the 3rd month, my daughter, also battling drugs returned to live with us. We purchased a new house to accommodate the kids. We made one mistake: the house had too many bedrooms. By the springtime, my son decided to move home also. We had 3 teenagers, 17, 16, 13. It was quite a house full. In the summer of that year, still having one bedroom available, Arnoldís Mother moved in.
One by one, each moved out on their own.
Arnold and I began to build a house of our own. We decided that we would build a house with only 3 bedrooms. One for an office and one for overnight guests. For One year and a couple of months, we were alone. But not for long. After that, Arnoldís granddaughter, about to be sent to a foster care program, came to live with us. She was 11 months old. Today she is a fine lady of thirteen. My daughter came home from California for four years. Arnoldís Mother came back to live with for a couple years, until she passed away in 98. A year later, my own mother was packed up from South Carolina and moved in with us.
As you can see we are not "the normal" gay partners that people think. Itís been an experience that Arnold and I have shared with other parents of gay children. Hopefully, showing them that gay men and lesbian woman do lead the same kind of life as our counter parts. By the Way .. Arnold and I will be celebrating 20 years, in 2002.
We have spoken to different PFLAG groups and College classes. Arnold and I , also, have setup Gay Men coming out marriage support group, to help with the transitions of a divorce.
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