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  #21  
Old 12-13-2011, 01:11 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
But at the same time I'm never afraid of "spilling the beans" because even if I did tell people something that helped them figure it out, I have no problem with them knowing.
I do think this creates some grey area. If you're not as open as you would be if you were mono, but also not actively trying to hide things, I'm not sure someone could categorize you as either in or out. I think a lot of poly people, and a lot of queer people too, end up living comfortably in this in-between space because it just causes the fewest problems from all angles. I see this as a perfectly valid choice in our society.

Ftr, I don't think one's happiness or unhappiness is what defines closetedness. After all, people who are out can still be unhappy. I'm just thinking about it in terms of how we acknowledge, or don't, our relationships in various situations. Partnered polys who don't have other complications, like Rory's, don't generally have to actively "hide" because it's normal for adults to have close friends.
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  #22  
Old 12-13-2011, 01:30 PM
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To further the thought above, I think poly people who are not in an openly acknowledged primary partnership (such as a marriage) but are in one or more emotionally significant relationships that they may not be acknowledging are in a somewhat different position when it comes to how easy/comfortable it is to be closeted. Friends and family ask questions like "So, are you seeing anyone?" and are generally more curious when you appear to be single. It can be very nice to have a partner to mention in terms of relating to other partnered people, letting the people in your life know you're supported and loved, or just enjoying the simple pleasure of talking about how cool your loved one is and how lucky you are. For those reasons, I think it can be tougher when you don't have at least one partnership that you freely acknowledge for what it is.

On the other hand, I think people in primary partnerships who come out as having other lovers/partners face a greater stigma -- "you're cheating on your spouse??!"
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  #23  
Old 12-13-2011, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I was actually hoping the quote would be taken as a stand alone regardless of who said it and in what context as I thought it would be interesting to discuss on its own as much as in the context it was in. Sorry is it pointed you out Somegeezer. Thanks for clarifying your stance.
I guessed you did, I just wanted to make myself more clear. It is an interesting subject. =]
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  #24  
Old 12-14-2011, 02:24 PM
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I very nearly almost came out as poly to my parents. But, I covered it with a lie. Why? I am not ready yet.

(Shannon and I have a longterm flatmate. In fact she has been my flatmate through various places for about four years, and predates Shannon. My mum was stating she seemed so much more sensible than Shannon <there was a story as to why this was so!>, so why couldn't I be with her? I said "Oh, her boyfriend would object" - "Wouldn't Shannon?" "Oh, right. Well, the boyfriend is scarier than Shannon."

Why didnt I come out? Perfect opportunity. I dont know why.

We are also not out with Shannon's family. Although, two members (same age, and occasionally hang out with our social group) are aware. Because we had to explain it to them as it was in their faces!
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  #25  
Old 12-14-2011, 09:18 PM
OpenandCountry OpenandCountry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
To further the thought above, I think poly people who are not in an openly acknowledged primary partnership (such as a marriage) but are in one or more emotionally significant relationships that they may not be acknowledging are in a somewhat different position when it comes to how easy/comfortable it is to be closeted. Friends and family ask questions like "So, are you seeing anyone?" and are generally more curious when you appear to be single. It can be very nice to have a partner to mention in terms of relating to other partnered people, letting the people in your life know you're supported and loved, or just enjoying the simple pleasure of talking about how cool your loved one is and how lucky you are. For those reasons, I think it can be tougher when you don't have at least one partnership that you freely acknowledge for what it is.

On the other hand, I think people in primary partnerships who come out as having other lovers/partners face a greater stigma -- "you're cheating on your spouse??!"
There is a different stigma for the different kinds of poly situations, it's true. People have called me a slut and a homewrecker, My husband is a cheating b*stard or even creepy, and my boyfriend has lost friends because they don't understand why he's dating a married woman, and he has to deal with this every time someone says "so, are you seeing anyone?"-which is pretty much the single equivalent of "when are y'all having kids?" (A question my husband and I get quite frequently this time of year, lol)
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  #26  
Old 12-14-2011, 11:25 PM
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I personally don't understand the idea that by refraining from talking about your partners you are "sparing" other people who "don't want to know".

It's an argument I've heard before, but mostly from the bigoted side (not calling anyone here bigoted, let me explain).
You hear people say "I'm fine with people being gay (or poly) but why do they shove it in our faces? I don't need to know about it."
Yet they mention their wife or girlfriend, invite them to work-related things, talk about women in general, etc. They shove their straight (and/or mono) orientation in people's faces ALL THE TIME.

If you talk about your husband, do you refrain from saying he's your husband? If not, why would you refrain from saying your boyfriend is your boyfriend or your girlfriend is your girlfriend? Don't they deserve the same respect and acknowledgment?

I feel people's narrow minds are their problem. When you say "my boyfriend" and they say "I really didn't need to know that" I don't feel they are any more justified than if I talked about my husband and they went "Jeez I respect your right to be straight but can you please stop shoving it in my face?"

I feel that by caring that much about how people will react if they her about it, by feeling the need to "protect" them, it's really saying "this is a bad thing that needs to be hidden". I feel that it's saying "poly/ non-heterosexuality isn't normal, and therefore I need to hide it".

I disagree with that statement so much. I don't have to think about hiding the fact that I'm interested in males or that I have a husband. I see no reason to hide that I have a boyfriend too. It's NOT "too much information" any more than mentioning my husband is.

Some people are very private and never talk about their personal life. You don't know what their orientation is, if they have someone, who that person is or these people are, etc. It makes sense for me that people who keep everything secret do. They don't have double standards.
But if you're open about one of your partners, I feel you should be open about them all on the same level.
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  #27  
Old 12-15-2011, 12:08 AM
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I don't think we can fairly say that everyone "should" be out.

I think it's great when people choose to be out, whether they're casual about it or whether they do a bigger coming out announcement, because it'll make it that much easier for everyone who wants to do the same to follow suit. I also see it as part of creating a more accepting world generally... when people can put a friendly face to a threatening concept it can really shift their thinking about it.

But you take on significant risk when you do so, in some scenarios more than others. People have had their kids taken away over this sort of thing. Everyone has to choose their own level of comfort and their own place of safety. Not everyone is ready to be pushed into the role of activist, and they shouldn't be shamed for that. Personally, I have a bi pride sticker on my car, but I'm not ready to potentially jeopardize my prospects at my new dream job by being out about poly. Maybe someday.

I both agree and disagree with RP. I think that we're usually just protecting ourselves by not outing ourselves. After all, if the worst that would happen to the person learning about your poly is that they'd be grossed out, well, it's good for people to be challenged every now and then... broadened horizons, etc. But in some cases there's more harm than good to be done. For instance, I'm out to my parents but telling my grandma would just make her confused and upset and not bring us closer, so why would I?

Coming out to friends is very important when poly relationships start to get serious, I think. After all, you need someone to talk to honestly, and if you can't trust your friends who can you trust? Parents is a toss-up. If you're gay it's a different story, if you're not out they don't really know you, whereas with poly they just don't know about a particular relationship or relationships in your life and may still be able to be very close to you even without the info about poly. A lot depends on your relationship with your parents. Work and the wider world is a question of personal risk assessment to my mind.
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  #28  
Old 12-15-2011, 02:15 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I'm not saying everyone should be out. I'm saying that I don't get the argument that it's to protect other people from knowing it. If it would hurt them to know, then they're bigoted and you shouldn't care about not hurting them anyways.

But I guess other arguments, such as wanting to keep your job, not wanting to lose custody, or wanting to keep your private life private. I just don't get that other one. It seems to me the only reason why people would have a hard time processing it is that they thing it's not normal, and the reason they think it's not normal is that they're not used to it, and the reason they're not used to it is that people try to protect them from feeling awkward.

If someone asked you what you did last weekend, there is a difference between saying "I fucked my boyfriend" and "I spent time with my boyfriend". You shouldn't have to stop yourself and say instead "I spent time with some people" or something.
Just like if someone asks where you've just been, you can say "Oh, I went to the bathroom" or you can give gross details. Gross details are unnecessary, but mentioning you use the bathroom shouldn't be something you have to avoid. If you find yourself constantly saying "oh, you know, I was somewhere" specifically to protect the people you're talking to from knowing you use the bathroom, I think there is something wrong there.
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  #29  
Old 12-15-2011, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I personally don't understand the idea that by refraining from talking about your partners you are "sparing" other people who "don't want to know".

It's an argument I've heard before, but mostly from the bigoted side (not calling anyone here bigoted, let me explain).
You hear people say "I'm fine with people being gay (or poly) but why do they shove it in our faces? I don't need to know about it."
Yet they mention their wife or girlfriend, invite them to work-related things, talk about women in general, etc. They shove their straight (and/or mono) orientation in people's faces ALL THE TIME.
What I am suggesting about people not wanting to know is more to do with their apathy rather than hatred. Good point though. Valid for sure. I think if they hated poly then I would talk about it all the more! Apathy ain't that great either though really....
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  #30  
Old 12-17-2011, 02:52 AM
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On this topic. I have an interesting story from my weekend that left me feeling quite warm and fuzzy but also very nervous.

My partners(who are married to each other) and i were shopping. My wife and i were bent over a display counter at a jewelry store when behind us from out of no where we hear a woman ask us "so which one of you is the wife?" She and i look at each other quite shocked and splutter that she would have to ask our husband. After he watched us squirm unsure how to answer because we didn't know who she was or why she was asking he informed us that he knows her and that he told her we are both his wives. She didn't believe him or us. We explained that they are legally married but both consider me their wife and I consider them my spouses( this is very rarelymentioned past the realm of our triad). Afterwards reliving the entire incident was quite funny. That same day i was introduced as her girlfriend to someone she has known her entire life. Also we finally filled in his mom who took 24 hours to process it before she cornered him the next day.

Being introduced as the wife/girlfriend in public for the first time was pretty nice. I smiled the rest of the day, because for me it meant that I'm being publicly recognized as having a bigger role in their lives than just a friend would. All of our close friends know about our relationship and now all of our parents know but 1. That 1 will never be told by us because it would cause more problems than it would fix or prevent.

Now, I'm just a wee bit nervous about the holidays with his family. They to my understanding tend to be very judgemental and while i dont mind someone judging me without knowing me I'm worried someone may say something hurtful towards one of my partners and I will become defensive and protective and make a stressful situation worse.
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