Charles Rowan Beye is a professor who’s been married three times - to two women and a man. From Maureen Corrigan’s review of his new memoir “My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey”:
Eventually, however, even Beye’s mother couldn’t blink away his budding homosexuality. Beye was in junior high and enjoying a limited menu of sexual adventures with mostly straight boys, when the local Episcopal priest informed Beye’s mother that her son’s name was scrawled, along with a sexual slur, on a men’s room wall. Mother promptly dispatched her wayward son to a psychiatrist who — counter to almost every other psychiatrist in every work of gay literature ever written — turns out to be a compassionate man. The shrink simply counsels the 15-year-old Beye to be more discreet.
Things take an even more unexpected turn when Beye meets an intellectually sparkling woman named Mary in college and, at the end of their first hour of conversation in a drugstore booth, Beye looks at her and declares: “This has been great … I think we should get married.” At 21, he had never slept with a woman. Nevertheless they do marry, happily, and when Mary suddenly dies of a freak heart condition a few years later, Beye remarries and fathers four children — all along maintaining his core identity as a gay man and enjoying an abundant sex life, described in great fleshy detail here, with gay and straight men.