Australia: Gay men in straight relationships: The website helping those who 'fall out of the closet'

Michael O'Hanlon was your typical Australian man — married, three kids, living in the suburbs with a corporate job.

"Mortgage, four-bedroom house, the whole catastrophe," as he jokingly describes it. He loved his wife and his children but by the time he reached his early 40s, he reluctantly realised he could no longer live with the huge secret he had been hiding for years. He was gay.

"It was after the year 2000 actually, I remember being very unhappy around that time," he said.

Ultimately the forces keeping his sexuality a secret, such as a lack of gay role models and a strict Catholic mother, were overpowered by the need to be honest to himself and others. Mr O'Hanlon is just one of many Australian men who have struggled to come out to their wife.

Now to fill the gap, a website has been created called DALE (Digital Acceptance Learning and Empowerment) to give men like Mr O'Hanlon a safe place to share their feelings and get help from others, particularly those from regional areas or ethnic minorities. 

Caleb Hawk from the Victorian AIDS Council, which helps run the DALE project, said so far the site had attracted about 70 registered users and 10,000 unique visitors.

"One of the researchers that was looking at this population has done some modelling to actually suggest that there might be up to 17,000 men in Australia who are same-sex attracted and living in a heterosexual relationship or lifestyle," he said. Read more via ABC