Just how common it is for men to marry women, even have children with them, and then come out as gay later in life? Consistent statistics on “lavender marriages” (when a man marries a straight woman, with or without her knowing that he is actually a closeted homosexual), or gay men with “beards” (girlfriends present to convince others and themselves they are not in fact gay), are obviously hard to come by, however there is much evidence to suggest that it is far more common than many straight people realize. 10% of the population is estimated to be born homosexual. It is a myth that gay men can’t or won’t have sexual relationships with women, even for decades.
Societal, familial, and religious pressure can be faulted for leading individuals to this sad and inauthentic outcome. Yes, it is the individual man’s moral responsibility to not be pressured into a suboptimal relationship, however our society idolizes romantic love, partnership, and marriage.
The homosexual community has by necessity been built on very subtle messages to one another; in America and many other places in the world, it can still today be considered dangerous to be out. Therefore, most gay men admit to having become very attuned to details and aesthetics, almost as a means of survival. So, almost all gay men know how to successfully imitate straight masculinity via observation and study.
However, there is usually a line between The Real McCoy and a copy.
Gay men may successfully mimic straightness for the sake of female validation and companionship (cf: the signaling theory of behavior. In the animal community, too much “dishonest signaling” actually threatens the species). Fisherian runaway in sexual selection means metrosexual and dandies likely evolved out of female preference.
Many lavender relationships involve a female considered to be less conventionally attractive than the man, and/or is a female who gives of the impression of being superlatively sexual and plastic. It is not what a straight guy would find most attractive, but is someone’s best guess of what they think a straight guy would find most attractive. I call this the “uncanny valley” of heterosexuality.
“The uncanny valley” is a term that was coined in the realm Artificial Intelligence (AI): the closer something comes to successfully approaching our reality, the more repulsive the simulation becomes to us humans–this space is called the “uncanny valley.” For example, cute, non-threatening humanoid robots make us feel comfortable (think C3PO from Star Wars), but those sexbots that are covered in fleshy plastic and hair can be alarming to our senses.
What is a girl to do? Simply be aware that our society has placed enormous pressure on us all to live out expected roles. Straight ladies, just because a guy asks you out does not guarantee you will be able to make him happy for life. But if he is self-actualized first (sexually or otherwise), the chances of success increase dramatically.
*There is a special place in hell for people who out people before they are ready, or who even start rumors.