Coming out to my Dad as Gay and Polyamorous
In a couple weeks, during Pride week, I'm coming out to my Dad as Gay and Polyamorous. I need some advice on how to go about it, so here's the background info on me:
I actually came out to my parents as bisexual when I was 19. Having been raised in a strict Irish/Polish Catholic household, I was kicked out of the house for a week, stayed with my best friend, and was let back in with my mother saying that she accepted the fact I was bi, and I could have a boyfriend, but she and Dad didn't want to know about it, and I definitely wasn't allowed to bring him home. I accepted this as a partial victory and moved back in (and seeing also that I have cerebral palsy, living on my own was really out of the question for me personally).
A couple years later, I started dating my wife to be who I'd been friends with since high school. We were in a monogamous relationship for most of the 7 years we were together before getting married. My wife knew I liked guys, new I identified as bi at that time. I knew she was also bi and liked girls, but we both agreed that an open relationship was out of the question. We thought polyamorous people were out to lunch, so to speak.
Well, two months before our wedding day, I realized I couldn't do monogamy. I'd never been with a guy and it was killing me to find out what it was like. I came to my wife, then my fiance, and asked for a "hall pass" in regards to men. She granted it with a don't ask don't tell policy and was pretty pissed with me. It created a big strain on our relationship, as we shared everything with each other, and I so wanted to tell her about the happiness I was experiencing in talking to guys online in trying to facilitate that "hall pass", but couldn't.
At the end of those two weeks, one night, my wife turned to me and asked, "you're polyamorous, aren't you?". I broke down in tears saying yes I was and she said to me "I want you to be happy. Don't do random hookups for the rest of your life: we'll find you a boyfriend/husband together. He can come live with us and we'll be a family together". We opened up the relationship, got married, and shortly after I met my first boyfriend who I fell in love with. My wife over the months accepted and became okay with my polyness and I realized that I was Gay. I came out to her a second time as a gay man, we sought counseling together, and with the help of a wonderful therapist we realized that I was both gay first and bisexual second, having realized that the majority of my attraction is to men, but on occasion, there are women that I can be emotionally, physically and sexually attracted to. Discovering such wonderful things as sexual fluidity, homoflexibility and ambisexuality has helped me to deepen my understanding of my sexual identity. Throughout it all, my wife has been my biggest supporter, and we love each other more deeply now than ever because we accept each other and allow each other to be who we really are. I am out to the majority of my friends, the rest of which i will be slowly coming out to, and they have all been either supportive and/or making a valiant effort at understanding me.
Our families, however, have been clueless as to the true arrangement of our marriage and my identity as a gay poly man. We have both agreed that it's time we started to slowly come out to them, as we no longer wish to live in fear and hide ourselves. I suspect that when I got married, my parents thought I'd gone through a "phase" and that when I met my wife, I stopped "being confused". We've both agreed that the first person we should come out to is my father: when I originally came out as bi at 19, although he didn't personally agree with my being bi, he made every effort to try and talk to me and understand me. My wife and I both agree that we should come out to him first, and wait until he slowly adjusts to the reality of things, before coming out to my father in law, mother in law, but more importantly, my Mom, as she'll be the real challenge. I will definitely need my Dad to be there for her and calm her down and assure her everything will be ok.
Coming out as gay is going to be tough on him, I suspect the first question out of his mouth will be "how can you be gay if you're married to and love [my wife]?", but I think the bigger challenge will be trying to explain that our arrangement of a poly marriage is ethical and that I am not cheating on my wife and that I date men with her consent, knowledge, support and blessing. Poly can be a very difficult subject to convey to people, and coming out as poly now is a lot like coming out as gay in the 80s: there's a ton of stigma attached to non monogamous folks, even a lot of LGBT folks are opposed to the idea of ethically being with more than one romantic/sexual partner.
Any advice you guys can offer would be great. I am currently dating a wonderful guy who I've been seeing for the past couple weeks, and there is a very strong connection between us. I remain hopeful, but I realize that once I find the guy for me, whether it's with this guy or someone else, and he comes to live with me and my wife, I will no longer be able to hide myself from my family. For this reason, my wife and I have both agreed to start coming out to our families now, slowly, to give them time to adjust to things. Hope any of you can help! Thanks!