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Old 04-11-2009, 11:21 PM
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River River is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NM, USA
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Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
If we treat it as normal, somebody newly exposed is more likely to treat it as normal. If we offer it up as spectacle, then they're more likely to treat it as something weird.


I fear a large-scale coming out day offers our relationships up as a spectacle--and NOT as a rebuttal to or rebuke of the extreme mono folk.

I am a little surprised at how sympathetic to your point of view on this matter I have become. So much so that it almost takes the wind out of my sails, or the enthusiasm out of the atmosphere around the idea.

I have made a comparison, and it is worth the effort to examine whether and to what degree my comparison is valid. I have compared polyamorists of today to pre-Stonewall gay people. That's a rather large claim to be making. As a queer man, I'm very aware of the extreme challenge many guys have faced when contemplating "coming out", and am well aware of the psychological/emotional issues we queer guys have to deal with as a result of living in a heterosexist and homophobic society/culture. I have had intimate freinds, people I love deeply, tell me that this challenge included fantasies and even attempts of suicide. While I never seriously contemplated suicide myself, I simply could not so much as have imagined "coming out" untill I was well into my twenties -- while heterosexual folks don't have to deal with hiding--or feeling the need to hide--their sexual orientation at all! Now I'm in my forties, but I'm still in recovery from the damage done to me because I am a queer man living in a homophobic and heterosexist cuture.

However --- !!!! ---, however, things are much, much, much, MUCH better than they were for us queers AFTER Stonewall than before. And, as I said, the rally cry of Stonewall and the gay movement which followed in its wake was "Out of the closets and into the streets!" In other words, the very motto of that movement was about visibility, outwardness with the truth, the ending of hiding and pretending.... That was healing balm for all of us queers.

Was it a spectacle? Damn right it was! IT HAD TO BE! What could be less "normal" in those times, times when people like me were given labotomies--ice picks in the brain--or shock treatment, considered mentally ill and in need of such "treatment"..., in need of "fixing", "cure"... times when good people lived with excruciating shame and fear..., were driven underground, in fact DID become emotionally ill ... not because they were bad people but because of society's "normal" -- to which they were expected to conform, demanded to conform.

I do not think that my comparison is quite apt by matter of degree--degree of pain and suffering--, but I DO think it is apt as a matter of kind.

Closets inevitably cause avoidable suffering.

I see that in your hope that polyamorists can be accepted as "normal" that you also are wanting to avoid unnecessary suffering, and I cannot say that you are wrong in your point of view on the topic. I may be wrong. The coming out day may be a bad idea looking like a good one. But the idea is thought by many in the poly "community" to be quite timely and good. Some think the event should already have happened. Neither you nor I can control this seed which is already planted in the poly discourse.

Tell me. If you could push the big red button which would put a stop to this idea, would you do it? Would you really?
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