Brian & Len

Brian (he)

Len (he)

Region: Gaspésie

gay couple, coming out, prior heterosexual relationship, chosen family

Brian had his son in a traditional heterosexual relationship with his then-partner, to whom he was married for 24 years in a context where homosexuality was taboo. Brian and Len have been together for 25 years and have lived in the Gaspé since 2006. They are surrounded by two chosen families: a heteroparental family where the parents are the age of Brian’s biological son, and their son is the same age as Brian’s biological granddaughters; and a lesbian-parented family with three children whom they see less often, though they are very close.


Brian describes the creation of his family as heteronormative; at that time, it was not possible to conceive of living his real sexual orientation and so he repressed and refused it.

He had his son in a relationship that he describes as a real romantic relationship, and he has a great affinity with his ex-spouse with whom he lived for 24 years. But in retrospect, it was a relationship doomed to fail due to his repressed sexual orientation. He founded his first family in the context of a Catholic, homophobic society where homosexuality was considered a deviation, an illness, a crime.

Brian and Len are very proud of the ties they maintain with Brian’s biological family and with his ex-spouse, which are strong despite the geographical distance that separates them. His son leads a very successful university career and promotes the recognition and inclusion of diversity in the various spheres in which he works; his spouse is also an engaged professional and their granddaughter excels in everything. As for their two chosen families, they are part of their lives a bit like uncles and/or grandpas, present but not annoying! It should be mentioned that Brian and Len have been very involved in the LGBT+ community in Gaspésie and are among the co-founders of the Baie-des-Chaleurs LGBT+ Association.