Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Nightingale’s on the TEDx Stage





Luanne: I began the most significant walk of our life.

Matt: But, I have a secret. A secret that I live with everyday of my life…I feel guilty all the time, like I am failing everyone.

Matt and Luanne Nightingale got to share their own unique journey on the TEDx stage in Sonoma County. Their story is very familiar to me, as I could relate to much of what they shared. You might, too.

I am very proud of them for their courage and collaboration, and I hope that you will take the time to listen to their story. They are very beautiful individuals, and to share what they did was surely not easy.

I am grateful for their friendship. You may glean something for yourself in it. Whether you’re a straight spouse or the LGBTQ spouse, I think you will appreciate them.

Matt and Luanne Nightingale’s TedxSonomaCounty Talk

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily Reese

Matt and Luanne have chosen hope over regret. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

The Implications of the Election for Straights

There are many things I would love to say, but I don’t want to turn off too many readers. If you voted for Trump/Pence, it is your right to have done so.


If you’re a straight spouse, I hope you can think clearly about what the implications of those two leaders are for straight spouses in the future and their husbands or wives who come out of the closet.

Trump stated very clearly that marriage equality could be overturned if the right justices were in place (1). Pence has deliberately tried to pass a bill that would make it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on religious grounds (2).

Now, before you say: “I don’t really care what my Gay or Lesbian ex-spouse does; they shouldn’t get to marry. It’s bullshit.”

Fine. I get where you are in that place. I have been there myself, actually. That is coming from your place of pain and I will honor that. But I want to talk about what Trump/Pence means for future straight spouses.


In a nutshell, this type of thinking is partly WHY LGBTQ spouses don’t come out to us. They are already afraid of the ramifications with us; but what about what happens to them AFTER they come out, should anything change according to what Trump and Pence would like to accomplish?

They’ll be even more afraid. That’s what will happen. The very atmosphere that has existed for centuries, which has kept men and women closeted and in heteronormative marriages, will continue to possibly keep them there.

With more pain and more suffering and more lying toward future straight spouses.

This might seem alarmist, but it is the truth. If you don’t see that yet, it’s okay. I don’t want to minimize your pain right now in the middle of your crisis, and I definitely am not advocating that you should become an LGBTQ activist. You may not get to the place I have been led to travel.

But if you’re like me, and like so many straights who are far removed from their initial knowledge of their spouse, you will see the wisdom in what I am saying here.

I think of my own ex-husband, who is happily married now to his husband, and my own kids, all of whom support LGBTQ rights, and the ramifications for THEM. I am sickened and sad.

Now, I have to believe in the checks and balances of our glorious Constitution. I have to have hope that something drastic doesn’t undo what has been accomplished in the last eight years.

But I am alarmed. Big time. Please keep these things in mind as you watch the new President and Vice President try to implement what they want to do, even if they don’t really have a plan yet. Remember what I said here and keep an eye out for those who might harm others to keep them hiding their sexuality.

Because we know what happens when they do hide to straight spouses and families.

I will support our country. But I will speak up if I see someone harming us straights and the families that are affected by someone being too afraid to come out because of policies of Trump and Pence and those who make and pass laws.

Thank God for checks and balances. And thank God for all of you, whom I love and want to see succeed and heal. I will be praying and sacrificing all of the small chickens I have saved up for just this occasion.


Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily Reese



Thank You, Straight Spouse Network

The Straight Spouse Network, or SSN, is something that many of us have found some solace through as we began our journey on the road we never pictured. If you’re looking for resources on your own journey, there are many out there, and the primary one I use is SSN.


I just wanted to give them a shoutout to thank them for mentioning the podcast I was on with Rick Clemons and The Coming Out Lounge. One thing I have found in this 10 year journey I have been on is that healing is possible, and bridge building between straight spouses and the LGBTQ community is something that I find myself venturing into. Rick was great with this idea, and I have found a new friend and confidante in him.

So, thank you, SSN, for bringing the conversation full circle from his original article, a response written by Kristen Kabli, and our discussion on his podcast. I think it is a good start to getting some more acknowledgement, and I hope that more and more people in counseling roles can find resources that will help us all on our journey.

Blessings, Healing, and Conversations,

Emily Reese

Off Topic and the Feels

As a bit of a side job, which has turned into a huge blessing, I have been given the opportunity to be the official Editor of a newer magazine in my area called Bliss Babe. The circumstances that brought me to it are purely from being open to new and interesting things.

This is one of the things I discovered about myself in the last 10 years: I enjoy the English language and writing with a nerdy, fiery passion, and it has given me great opportunities to be open to what is out there for my future.


So, I am going to attach a link to the magazine, and while I want you to read it all, I would love for you to turn to page 20 and 21 in order to read about a Shero of mine named Brittany Gaines.

It’ll make you feel all the feels.

I am planning on doing a topical review of a book I am reading as well as an interview and a couple of articles regarding straight spouses. Keep a lookout in a few months for it, and I will share it here.

So here’s the link to Bliss Babe and turn to page 20. I hope you like it.

If you are interested in connecting with the Gaines family, you can do so at the following links:

Camo Queen: The Elegant Outdoor Woman (owner Wanda Gaines)

Miss Shingle Springs Cameron Park Facebook page (Brittany Gaines)

Brooke Gaines Professional Singer (Brooke Gaines)

Thank you, Brittany Gaines, for being available to inspire others. I consider you a friend, and I am grateful for you and your family.

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily Reese