Why did this happen? Why now? Why me?
They're the first questions we ask ourselves after a breakup. And usually, the answers change every time. Unless you're me; in which case, all your exes would have one thing in common: they're all gay. "Complicated" is too simple a word to begin to cover the confusion heaped upon me, a heterosexual women, when I found this common thread among my past boyfriends. Forget the emotional "roller coaster" -- this was a fucking avalanche.
The good news? I'm so familiar with the post-breakup-with-a-gay-ex process I can recite it by heart. Here's a cheat sheet for escaping the minefield of post-breakup self-doubt you'll undoubtedly be in after finding out that special someone you used to get naked with actually prefers a different set of parts to your own.
You want to hate them. Don't.
The problem in this situation seems pretty obvious at first glance. Your ex is gay, and you are not. That is just the dash of rainbow sprinkles on top of the breakup ice cream cone. After all, if you had known they weren't into your assigned gender, you probably wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.
The actual problem, to be blunt, was this: your relationship was based on a pretense. You have every right to be upset, even irate, about this. But before you curse them out or call names, stop and think for a minute. Ask yourself that one simple question: why would someone lie to you about his or her sexual orientation?
Generally, the answer boils down to one of two possibilities. One, they were genuinely unsure of their preferences; or two, he or she felt the need for "straight" camouflage. In the former, the lie was unintentional. There’s not much either of you could have done to avoid the outcome. And to a certain extent, this person liked you enough as a human being to find out if things would work... and actually, that's the whole point of dating.
Try to be grateful about the breakup, which in the long run saves you from any additional heartache. Breaking up is hard no matter what... and is only made more difficult when one of you has the added challenge of coming out of the closet.
What if your ex knew his or her sexual proclivities before the two of you started going out? In such cases it is about 9,000 times more difficult to be understanding. It might take everything you've got not to think of this person as a horrible, lying, backstabbing so-and-so. But again, try to consider the motivation. Nobody hides out in the closet for kicks. Maybe she was afraid her parents would disown her. Maybe he worried his social circle wouldn't accept him. Maybe she didn't want to be the next victim of a hate crime.
Despite the leaps and bounds modern civilization has made in the realm of civil rights, it’s still not easy for an LGBT person in an all-too-often unforgiving world. Lying to you was wrong. Still, the situation wasn't designed to hurt you.