"Why I’m Still in the Polyamory Closet"
Making the list of Slate's most-read articles yesterday (briefly) was this piece by a poly man using a pseudonym:
Why I’m Still in the Polyamory Closet
By "Michael Carey"
...These days, you know who your gay neighbors are — gay people no longer have to seek out loveless heterosexual relationships to hide behind, or move in together but pretend to be roommates. Meanwhile, you don’t know if your neighbors are poly (or whatever other term they may use), because they’re still afraid that if they don’t hide that aspect of their lives from you, something bad might happen....
Photodisc / Thinkstock
I have identified as bisexual since my first year of college in the mid-’90s and as polyamorous since a few years after that. Over the last two decades, I have always been out as bi.... On the other hand, I have never, ever been out as poly in a workplace. Start trying to explain consensual non-monogamy, and some people — a lot of people — are going to think you’re obsessed with sex. (Never mind that I’ve been with my wife, Rose, for 10 years, have been married for three, and in all that time the two of us have dated fewer people than plenty of serially monogamous singles I know.) Some co-workers may avoid polyamorous colleagues because they’re paranoid that they may be on the prowl. Others will become distrustful because they think that poly is an attempt to re-label behavior that they consider cheating, and cheaters aren’t trustworthy.
...Over time, the weight of many such small nuisances adds up. At first you don’t know how people might react, so you conceal things, or tell a few little white lies. Before you know it, it’s been months, or years, and maybe you might like to come out, but that would force you to admit past deceptions. So you go on, wasting energy on these internal conversations about things you don’t think you ought to be ashamed of, trying to evade questions without raising suspicion.
...The contrast between these two experiences was impossible to ignore. It forced me to notice the closet we’re living in. It’s hard to even describe my feelings about it. It’s not exactly anger, or sadness.... What’s more, it’s hard not to feel that hiding the relationship devalues it. I’m continuing to hide behind a mask....
Read the whole article (September 5, 2013). There are nearly 1,500 comments, and my random skim found many of them pretty good. Don't be a comment-phobe, go say something. I did. Tip o' the hat to PhysicsGirl and Happy Harpy doing fine work for us there.
Labels: coming out