“ 'You’re Doing What?' On coming out as polyamorous.” And other coming out tales.
Tied with jealousy for first place among poly discussion topics is whether to be out, and to whom, and when.
This piece appeared in the online magazine She Does The City ("An Imperfect Life Guide for Women"):
“You’re Doing What?” On coming out as polyamorous
When my partner and I decided to open up our relationship, we did it slowly and gradually.... We checked in often and talked a whole lot about how we were feeling. When we got comfortable enough about what it was we were doing and what we wanted to call it, we started telling our close friends.
For me, this was something I wanted to do in person. It’s kind of difficult to explain our exact deal in a text or a Facebook message, and I wanted to gauge people’s genuine reactions — you can learn a lot about someone by telling them a surprising truth about yourself, and watching what their facial muscles do.
...I tend to stick with telling people in person mainly because of the time and effort it can take to explain polyamory to those who may not know about it. There’s usually a lot of questions that go along with my revelation, and seeing how people respond helps me tailor the way in which I tell them. Each person I’ve told has taken it differently. Some people have been overwhelmed by the idea, and it becomes a fairly large discussion. Others take it quickly in stride, and that’s that....
It has a novelty factor for some people; others just like to know the general details about what’s going on in my life.... Then there are my favourite reactions, delivered by some of my closest friends. They’re excited for me, and that excitement comes from a genuine place.... I’ve even had some people want to hop on the open/poly train themselves, they just hadn’t known anyone that had done it. I’m not out to convert anyone, but that’s a pretty awesome response too.
...Polyamorous/open folk, how did your friends take it when you told them? I’m curious to hear any outlandish or perfectly ordinary stories you have to share. Have you told your friends, or is it something you keep to yourself?
Last time on the Poly Diaries: What Poly Means to Me.
Read the whole article (April 14, 2014).
And here are 16 other coming-out resources and articles, collected by GreenFizzpops in South Africa:
Opening Up by Tristan Taormino – Chapter 16: "Coming out (or not), finding community, creating families"
Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits by Deborah Anapol – Chapter 7: "Coming Out Poly"
My own posts tagged Coming Out (including this one; scroll down).
Labels: coming out