Coming out poly while gay: "This revelation I am more fearful about"
The gay world is becoming less scared to show acceptance of polyamory, but it still has a ways to go. And, like straights, many still don't get the concept.
This coming-out declaration appeared yesterday on the website of the UK's big mainstream liberal newspaper. It's gotten hundreds of comments and thousands of shares and is making its way around the webs.
Dating two people at once: why I'm polyamorous and proud
Simon Copland was 16 when he came out as gay. Now – with two partners – he faces a much more difficult coming out
James, Martyn and Simon: ‘There is no limit to the amount of
love we can feel.’ (Photo: Simon Copland)
By Simon Copland
This is my coming out story. My second one. When I was 16 years old, I first came out as gay.
Coming out then was hard but this time is much harder. This revelation is something I am more fearful about, but I have to come out.
I am polyamorous.
I am dating two people at the same time – James and Martyn. They are both fully aware of and happy with the arrangement and are able to follow suit by dating or having sex with other people if they wish (as am I).
...Over the past year I have faced the same anxiety and fears as I did as a nervous gay teen. But coming out as poly has required vastly more explanation – not only have I faced the fear of people reacting badly, I have faced a barrage of questions about “how it works”. So here is the simple explanation....
The biggest emotional challenge, however, has been the social barriers we’ve encountered. Along with the questions we’ve faced, James, Martyn and I have all faced a range of prejudice – even from those I consider to have progressive social and political values.
Unlike many others I have been very lucky. I have not lost my children, nor lost any friends or family, owing to my relationship status. But our collective coming out has been met with differing levels of hostility, derision and bewilderment.
Martyn, for example, has been told by friends that he should “be careful” that I’m not “using him”. I have had many insinuate – openly or otherwise – that I am being selfish, judging me for the way I am “treating James”. More commonly though, I have often been told how “weird” my relationships are; a subtle form of judging that follows me wherever I go.
I am not surprised by this but it hurts. And it definitely confuses. Polyamory is based on the simple principle that love is limitless. To me there is little more beautiful than that. Yet even from those who consider themselves to be “lovers, not haters” we have often faced derision and discrimination.
That is why, despite my reservations, I – like many in my community – feel an ever-greater need to be out. I write this explanation as a call to embrace poly people and our relationships....
Acceptance for me would mean making sure Martyn is treated as a full member of my family and friendship group (just as James has been), talking to me about him as one would about James, and not overwhelming me with questions about “how it works” (I don’t mind the odd question but it does get tiring). Many have already done this, but it is not something I should have to ask for. We’re not any stranger than anybody in a monogamous relationship and it would be nice to be treated like that. Relationships are infinitely diverse.
I am polyamorous and I am proud.
Read the whole article (May 26, 2015).
Update: The Guardian put up a video by the author on the same day: Dating two people at once: why I'm polyamorous and proud.