DEAR ABBY: I am a gay man who is in the middle of a nasty divorce, ending a 10-year marriage. I married to hide the fact that I am gay from my conservative religious parents and family.
This divorce has been a terrible experience for both my wife and me, and we will bear the scars of this broken relationship for many years to come. The irony is, my parents have fully accepted my homosexuality and are extremely supportive.
How I wish I had waited until I was strong enough to deal honestly with my sexuality instead of getting married. Young men who are in my shoes need to heed my advice: "Give yourselves time to come to terms with your sexuality." Lesbians, too, should know that they can be happy and live rewarding and productive lives if they accept themselves as they are.
Abby, my effort to become a heterosexual was a total farce for me! Gays and lesbians should find a supportive therapist and give themselves time to mature. If one person learns from my terrible mistake, it will make it worth the pain. -- 20/20 HINDSIGHT IN NEW YORK
DEAR 20/20: Thank you for sending a message that many people -- gay and straight -- will appreciate. I am reminded of a quote from Shakespeare: "This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."