Young, Gay, and Still Married

Posted by Benoit Denizet-Lewis on

"In April of 2008, I wrote a cover story for The New York Times Magazine about the first generation of young married and engaged gay couples in Massachusetts. (All of the couples I profiled were white. In Massachusetts, 91 percent of gay men who are married are white—and the vast majority are college-educated and have high medium incomes.)

"At the time, I was surprised by the number of emails I received from jaded (and presumably single) gay men promising me that the 'naïve' young men I profiled would soon be divorced. Well, it hasn’t happened yet. All of the couples I interviewed are still together, and one of the two young gay men who had already experienced a divorce has chosen to marry again.

"Since my piece was published, the number of young gay men getting married in Massachusetts has held steady. In 2008, 218 gay men under 30 entered into marriage. In 2009, 228 did. Young lesbians are about twice as likely to get married as young gay men. Though it’s clear that marriage appeals to some young gay people, the vast majority aren’t seriously considering getting hitched until their 30s or 40s.

... "Aaron Pike and his ex-husband, Stephen Schonberg, were both 22 when they became the 44th same-sex couple to wed in Massachusetts. (They were one of two couples profiled in an MTV documentary about married gay couples.) But they didn’t last long, and when I spent time with Aaron for the New York Times piece, he was trying to make sense of being a young and divorced gay man.

"Aaron recently married again—this time to an older man.

“'Everything is great on my end,' Aaron told me. 'I’m happily married, and so much has happened since the NY Times cover story that has made being young and gay and married so patently accepted (by my parents, my husband’s parents, everyone at work, the gate agent at Logan Airport) that I can actually say I’m very proud to have been a visible part of the equality transition.' ”

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