GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios Divorcing Husband

Sad words in today's Boston Globe from GLAAD President Jarret Barrios:

Barrios I was one of the first elected officials in the country to marry his same-sex partner. In part because there were so many naysayers, we worked to be a model couple — with each of us trying be the perfect husband. Like other lesbian and gay couples, we hoped to show our relationships for what they are: loving partnerships that deserve the possibility of “happily ever after” that marriage promises.

But as our families continue the march towards equality, the gay and lesbian community often doesn’t talk about divorce, even though some of the most important protections associated with marriage are exercised at the end of a relationship — protections that help the more economically vulnerable partner, give a formula for sharing the care of the children, and establish how two people can disentangle a life’s worth of acquisitions, compromises, and dreams.

Just as gay and lesbian couples share the joys of marriage, we will share the pain of divorce, something for which we have no template. Divorce plumbs impossible depths of sadness. It involves separating the dishes and the books and all the other things you acquired back when you both still felt the lightness of love, asserting to a judge at a public trial that, yes, your marriage has broken down irretrievably, and telling your parents whose marriage of 47 years hangs heavy over your anemic explanations to them.

Read the rest here. Barrios and his partner were together for 16 years and married for five.


  1. TANK says

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, so sad, too bad.

  2. Joe says

    Not that I’m happy they’re getting divorced, but this headline really made me smile. There’s something quite nice about being able to read about two men getting (married or) divorced. It just seems so normal and a lot more serious than “ending relationship with partner.”

    As marriage equality moves forward, I hope to read more headlines, like this one, that make gay relationships seem just as evevryday as hetero ones.

  3. JTlvr says

    That’s sad. But best wishes to them.

    He’s right, we’re pushing head-long into this fight for marriage and not fully having the appropriate discussions: What beyond marriage? How can the LGBT community support LTRs and same sex commitments since the greater society won’t?

    From the first wave of gay marriages, under the intense pressure and scrutiny, there will probably be a lot more gay divorces.

  4. Bart says

    Sory for the loss of his relationship after 16 years. That’s rough.

    Not every gay marriage will last forever. We’re not living a fantasy. It’s real life and real life ain’t easy sometimes and shit doesn’t always work out the way you think.

    But divorce makes us seem almost…hetero. And I mean that in a good way.

  5. TANK says

    Divorce is for losers. If there’s a problem in your marriage or relationship, you’re supposed to completely ignore it, and pretend that everything’s okay. Alcohol is useful, because it makes it easier to sustain the illusion of a happy relationship. Supress any problem, stuff it down deep and never talk about it, and continue to have a loveless, lifeless marriage/relationship punctuated by epic fights, constant dissatisfaction, and above all, no sex life whatsoever (cheat, though…cheat when you’re drunk, and feel miserable about being a low down no good stinking cheater). Just clink the cubes in your tumbler and pour another round…alone in your “space”. Goddamnit, this is what I’m fighting for!

  6. reality bites says

    look for the other man or 2 other men they felt the grass was greener with than with each other. Unless there is physical abuse people dont tend to divorce till one or both have the sure thing of newer pussy/cock/ass/whatever

  7. Daya says

    Thank you Tank; I mean it sincerely.
    During our head-long rush to marriage equality may be we should ask the question, “Do we want the hetero-normative marriage? I know straight couples that had a great long term relationship while just living together but were divorced after 3-years of marriage. Along with marriage come all the emotional expectations, the baggage which comes along with it. I am not saying don’t fight for this right to create our families. I am saying to go into a legally sanctioned relationship with open eyes, keen awareness, open communication with your spouse and recognition of external pressures to conform. As someone pointed out above we need to support our relationship pioneers and just hope that they are willing to be open about their journey so that we can all learn. Just my thoughts…

  8. reality bites says

    Grabb then they will hit the wall of lack of info = no one knows if these two were monogamous prior to marriage nor if they entered marriage with the plan to keep it monogamous

    for all we know these two had an open raltionship to begin with , entered marriage intending to keep it open and married solely to be one of the first couples “PUBLICITY” to get married to bolster their jobs = head of GLAAD

  9. TANK says

    Whatcha talkin’ about?! I’m serious! I strive to one day come home from work to my husband of twenty or more years, sit down to dinner and remark casually, “what did you FUCKING EAT YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP? BTW, YOU NEVER COULD COOK WORTH A FUCKIN’ DAMN, SO WHY PUT ON THE CHARADE!” To his equally prosaic yet accurate invective, and then after that exhausting exchange, spend the rest of the evening in my study with a tall sweaty glass of scotch and my books…and he at the other end of the house…see, the secret is to have nothing to do with each other…that’s how our grandparents made it work, and by god, that’s how we should, too. Heternormative? Puhleeze. The reason why so many relationships (and yes, gay relationships do have different dynamics…but not that different) fail is because people spend so much goddamn time with each other…leave a little.

  10. TampaZeke says

    Mr. Barrios divorce is just as much a testament to the need for marriage equality as his marriage was.

    In the REAL world, marriage, gay or straight, has MUCH more to do with what happens after a marriage is over (through death or dissolution/divorce) than it has to do with what happens while a couple is married.

    If there’s anything that gay people are missing in the marriage discussion it’s that many marriages fail, regardless of the gender pairing of the participants. That doesn’t mean that they are not valuable. To the contrary, it shows how important they are in legally protecting each of the participants’ interests once the marriage is over, either by death or dissolution.

    Please don’t fall for the hook of those who will claim that this is a sign that marriage for gay people is invalid. Don’t apply different standards to gays than has been applied to straights. Even with FULL societal, familial, cultural, religious and peer support, 50% of Straight marriages fail. How can gays, with virtually NO social, cultural, familial, religious OR peer support be expected to do better?

  11. Geoff says

    Wow, some heartless pricks out there. His 16-year relationship is ending. Have a little heart. Divorce is a sad thing – I hope they can both find happiness apart.

  12. TampaZeke says

    Geoff, spot on!

    I meant to add my condolences to Mr. Barrios and his family. I wish him, his husband and his children all the best. May they all find happiness.

  13. reality bites says


    Reality might be that he is a douche that cheated on his husband and thus the divorce.

    For all we know his partner is at home with a fat lip from being punched.

    Why should anyone get worked up feeling sorrowful for someone who is irelevant (GLAAD does nothing but line their own pockets) to the gay rights movment today and especially from a white washed PR statment

  14. Alex says

    This is very sad news. I’ve known Jarret (slightly) since college, and he used to be my state senator here in Mass. People should know that nobody would even be talking about the possibility of marriage equality if it wasn’t for activists like Jarret Barrios, who has been working for gay rights since his freshman year as I recall.

  15. TANK says

    And that was bad joke, son…the only thing missing was the cliche,”…waiting for the sweet release/embrace of death to free me from my bond.” Just so sick of the poly crowd and open relationship crowd selling the line. Good for them! Whatever works. And I’m sick of the monogamy crowd selling that line, too.

    But hey, excluding domestic violence (a serious problem in the lgbt community as well as the straight community…very, very serious problem)…people deserve the people they’re with, more or less. And when a relationship ends, that can be a good thing for both parties.

    But marriage equality proponnents are fighting for the right to divorce just as much as the right to marry. Don’t forget that…full equality.

  16. Brains says

    Marriage is not puppy-love, it is utter dedication and almost blind devotion.

    The rewards of marriage only come to light when you hit those “Golden” years and the only person that can tolerate you, is your spouse!

  17. ratbastard says

    Barrios was my state rep for a spell….a very short spell as I recall. He’s a guy who always came across as somebody in a big hurry to go places. I’m surprised he stuck it out with someone for 16 years. Politically he was always jumping from one post to another after a year or two. I believe he currently works a specially created hack position at Blue Cross/Blue Shield where he champions health insurance access for ‘people of color’…strange because he’s as white as they come…I look like a ‘person of color’ by comparison.

  18. daftpunkydavid says

    it’s sad. i hope they are not too hurt: but the fact that this painful episode is public, given mr barrios’ stature, will only add to the pain they may e going through…

  19. Joe says

    @RATBASTARD, you do realize he’s Latino(cuban). He also has pretty distinctive cuban features as well.

  20. ratbastard says

    LOL Joe! Duh!! OF COURSE I KNOW WHO HE IS AND HIS ETHNICITY! I grew up in a ‘latino’ neighborhood! The white Cubans owned all the businesses. Barrios is WHITE! MOST of the Cubans who escaped to America are of course of white European descent. So what’s your fucking question or issue? I said he’s white which he is LOL…

    Distinctive Cuban features LOL…YEAH I guess everybody has ‘distinctive’ features huh Joe?

  21. ratbastard says

    WHITE ‘Latinos’ / ‘Hispanics’ who try and pretend they’re a ‘minority’ get under my (pardon the expression) skin.

  22. RP says

    Makes me wonder how the stress of having to fight for one’s own freedom to marry contributed (or not contributed) to the stress that eventually caused the marriage to end. Hrm.

  23. Sancho says

    Barrios lost me in the Op-Ed piece the minute he referenced “Eat, Pray, Love” as his jumping-off point for discussing his divorce. If the most meaningful parallel you can find for your life’s struggles is Julia Roberts’s latest summertime search for love (oh, the suspense! will Julia meet anyone who might find her attractive?! will she learn to love and trust again?!), you should be keeping those thoughts to yourself (like the self-pitying poetry you wrote when you were 13) rather than publishing them in the Boston Globe.

  24. mike flower says

    Barrios reminds me of Jeraldo Rivera, working the “minority” side of the street when it benefits his career.