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  #1  
Old 11-24-2012, 03:27 PM
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fauxsisticated fauxsisticated is offline
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Default Are You "Out"?

The older I get, I wonder how many more closets I will find myself stuck in, from being queer, to being an atheist, to be trans*, to being non-monogamous... All of these pieces of my identity are valid parts of my life that are, unfortunately, contentious to some, or even appalling. (If any of that seems weird to you, bear in mind that I grew up in the Midwest. Anything deviating from the God-fearing heteronormative is seen as bizarre and/or threatening.)

My partner and I are planning to be married in March, yet we have been actively pursuing play with others. Many of our friends and chosen family know we are non-monogamous, but our biological families do not. I usually divulge such information on a "need to know" basis. (Like the fact that I'm running a porn company? If my parents and I never discuss it, I'd be totally fine with that.) My mom is not in my life anymore, but she got to know people I was dating when I was polyamorous in my last serious relationship. I could talk with her about jealousy and other issues that surfaced during that time. In a way, I miss having that counsel from an older, more experienced person.

How do we decide who to tell? What forces this issue into the limelight? I suppose it would be different for me if my partner or I were dating someone else, or if someone else were living with us, but for now it seems fairly moot.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:12 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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There are tons of threads about this already. Here is a link to one from the "Golden Nuggets" master thread:

Coming Out

here is another link to a Tag Search on Coming Out.

You can also refine these searches to search for specific details that you're interested in.

This is probably one of the most talked-about yet re-asked questions that shows up on these forums. Right up there with "What about raising children in a poly family" and "How do I deal with jealousy?"
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2012, 07:13 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fauxsisticated View Post
How do we decide who to tell? What forces this issue into the limelight?
It's really a personal decision that you'll need to decide for yourself.

For my wife and I, we remain closeted with the biological family, although I'm looking to change that with my family, and use them as a test run before we tell hers. However, we have kids, and we figure the kids will out us at a time least convenient to us...so if we beat them to the punch, we at least have control over the timing and our own preparation rather than having it be a surprise.

As for friends, that part is a little easier. Most of our friends know. But we also intentionally surround ourselves with open minded people, and various members of poly and LGBT communities and their supporters. Since we're surrounded by people who are happy to let us live as we like, it makes me very intolerant of bigots and close minded fools, so there's little hesitation in cutting them out of our lives.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:23 PM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I outed myself to most of my closest family as soon as I *knew*. I'm very close to many of them. They all knew both my men, as I had previously been with each of them mono. But when I tell, it's like i have the coolest toy in world: 'I've got TWO boyfriends!' 'Yes, they both know' 'Yes, they're fine with it.'

My parents did recommend against telling my step-siblings. I'm certain they'd be confused. If it ever gets to the point where I want to bring them both for holiday, I'm thinking I'd tell. But FBF is not big on family holidays, nor on my family. CBF has not told his mom, and there's no reason to. I figure she's not mine to tell. But again, she knows FBF and has had him to dinner, before, when he and I were mono, and when I was mono with CBF. It wouldn't be a huge leap.

I'm not out at work, again, except to three close friends. It's a little challenging, managing my language, remembering that FBF is my friend, and CBF is my 'boyfriend.' When it's so natural to call them both boyfriend. Then again, I feel a little silly saying boyfriend, as that should be the province of teenage girls.

On the one hand, I do feel strongly that it's nobunny's business what anyone does between the sheets, or even what bedroom they might sleep in. On the other hand, when loving someone, I always want to shout it from the rooftops.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:42 PM
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fauxsisticated fauxsisticated is offline
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Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
...we also intentionally surround ourselves with open minded people, and various members of poly and LGBT communities and their supporters. Since we're surrounded by people who are happy to let us live as we like, it makes me very intolerant of bigots and close minded fools, so there's little hesitation in cutting them out of our lives.
Yeah, I live in a pretty supportive bubble for the most part. I think because I've been out about so much else in my life, the number of people I have around who would potentially care about this is relatively small. It's astonishing to me that as each new aspect of myself comes forward, there are some who can tolerate X but not Y, or Y but not Z. For instance, someone might be fine with me being open about my pansexuality, but would balk about being trans* (I have lost some friends and family over this). That's the puzzling thing to me about human nature.

It also intersects kink. How much of that do I mention to friends? I have a friend who is a kink educator and has had problems recently from the cis gay guy community for being poly.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:47 PM
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Then again, I feel a little silly saying boyfriend, as that should be the province of teenage girls.
Um, yes. There's very little space in our language for "people who are more important to me than friends, but I don't want to marry or am not married to yet." I default to "partner" because I and my spouse are genderqueer, which makes this conversation extra special, but before we both moved into a more gender neutral space, we were each others' girlfriends. It does feel a little sophomoric.

I think work can be especially challenging. We both worked on a same-sex marriage campaign for the last year, and there was a LOT of emphasis on the importance of stable, monogamous households that was pretty hard to stomach. It wound up getting the issue passed, but at the cost of distancing polyamorous folks, many of whom did work on the campaign.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:52 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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There are tons of threads about this already. Here is a link to one from the "Golden Nuggets" master thread:

Coming Out

here is another link to a Tag Search on Coming Out.

You can also refine these searches to search for specific details that you're interested in.

This is probably one of the most talked-about yet re-asked questions that shows up on these forums. Right up there with "What about raising children in a poly family" and "How do I deal with jealousy?"
You know what? I never understand why people feel the need to reply with 'this topic has been talked about before'.

If I read a thread that doesn't interest me, or I have seen the same thing before and don't feel like repeating myself, I just don't reply. It's not hard. Just move onto the next thread. Or post something that you deem refreshing. Or reply with something useful, then go the extra mile and make the helpful suggestion of previous threads at the end of your tailored advice.

People will come to this forum because they are new to polyamory. People who are new to polyamory WILL be wondering how to cope with jealousy. People who are at any stage of polyamory WILL sometimes want some interaction... not just to read reams and reams of old threads. People won't even necessarily know how to use the search facility - it's not exactly prominent. In fact, I find it quite shit

The Golden Nuggets are extremely useful, as is trawling through other older posts. But sometimes a person just needs a sense of community.

If nobody posted anything new and just read through old posts, there wouldn't be the sense of community that exists here.

Nothing against you, Boring Guy, but your post here just pissed me off a little and I personally get more tired of seeing 'this has been talked about before' than 'how do I deal with jealousy'.

Anyyywhooo....

I am out to anyone that asks. At my last workplace, we all talked a lot, and I was there for four years... so all of them heard all about it. If I employed someone new, we'd end up talking about partners and I would tell them the truth. But, I don't work in corporate environments and I don't have much to lose if someone doesn't like it.

I am 'out' as poly and bi/lesbian (whichever my current mood tells me I am) to everyone. I started a new job this week and a girl I was working with asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said "no, I have a girlfriend!" I didn't add that she had a husband, because we had a lot of work to do. If we get on well and she asks about my relationship again, I'll tell her the rest. I haven't told my bosses, because a) they haven't asked and b)I'm on a trial period and even though I don't care what they think, I do care about earning money!

To be honest, I've never cared what people think. I came out as being a lesbian when I was 13. As for family, my mom, dad and sister know that I am bi/lesbian and poly. My Dad and Sister are fine about it and recently posted nice comments on a facebook video of me with our (their) three year old daughter. I haven't told the rest of my family (grandmas, etc) because I don't see them much. But I would tell them. As I say, I really do not care what people think.

My girlfriend, who is now 38, recently came out to her family and it hasn't been pretty. She came out as both bi and poly at the same time. She's been married to her husband for 13 years and her family are not happy bunnies. Her dad and sister are pleasant to me/us and don't like the idea, but are polite to me. Her mom is horrid to both me and my GF. Though, on the plus side, she has always been horrid to GF's husband and now suddenly loves him... hahaha.

When we first met, she loved walking around with her hands all over me... it was the first step in her liberation, but I could tell, it was also a novelty... These days, she holds my hand, rather than holding me like a trophy, and I can tell that she isn't out and proud - she's out and comfortable.

((Unless we walk down a really dodgy street... then we stop holding hands. Hahaha.))
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:42 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
Or reply with something useful, then go the extra mile and make the helpful suggestion of previous threads at the end of your tailored advice.

People will come to this forum because they are new to polyamory. People who are new to polyamory WILL be wondering how to cope with jealousy. People who are at any stage of polyamory WILL sometimes want some interaction... not just to read reams and reams of old threads. People won't even necessarily know how to use the search facility - it's not exactly prominent. In fact, I find it quite shit

The Golden Nuggets are extremely useful, as is trawling through other older posts. But sometimes a person just needs a sense of community.

If nobody posted anything new and just read through old posts, there wouldn't be the sense of community that exists here.
I totally agree with this and have said something similar before, but I feel like you put it better.

In that vein, there's also How "out" are you as poly, really? And why?, which I've quite enjoyed reading.

I'm out about being agnostic. I'm mostly out about being bi (I'm really pan, but I don't get into that whole explanation for most conversations). Being out about my sexuality is a little complicated, since over 15 years ago I promised my mom that I would not "come out" to my extended family while my grandparents were living. Since I lost my last grandparent in August, I haven't done any deliberate "coming out", since I don't feel the need to rub anyone's nose in it, but I'm done hiding it. It just hasn't come up much. They already know I'm an LGBTQ rights advocate, so either they figure I'm not straight and are ignoring it, or it hasn't occurred to them to question since I'm married to a male.

As far as being poly goes, everyone is aware that TGIB is part of my life. Family members (except for my sister and a few select cousins) think he's a close family friend to me and MC or my best friend. Which is true, but doesn't tell the whole story. However, right now I don't feel like them knowing we sleep together would accomplish anything. He's long distance at the moment, and when we live closer or he lives with us he'll be included in as much of my family stuff as he wants to be, and my family can either accept that we consider him part of our family or not. They still don't technically NEED to know about the sexual relationship, though it would make the kissing/cuddling boundaries disappear, which would be nice! I do plan on coming out to my family at some point, though, because eventually my kids will be old enough to figure out what's going on, and I won't lie to my kids, nor will I put them in a position to feel like they need to lie or hide things from their family members. My friends all know, 'cause I feel if you can't be your true self around your friends they aren't really *your* friends, if you see what I mean. They're friends with the person they THINK you are.

Slightly off-topic, Faux, may I ask what the purpose is for putting an asterisk after trans? I noticed you did that a couple times but I'm not sure what it means. Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:52 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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You know what? I never understand why people feel the need to reply with 'this topic has been talked about before'.
You know what? I was trying to be helpful. I put in links to threads that are on topic to what the OP asked.


Quote:
If I read a thread that doesn't interest me, or I have seen the same thing before and don't feel like repeating myself, I just don't reply. It's not hard. Just move onto the next thread. Or post something that you deem refreshing. Or reply with something useful, then go the extra mile and make the helpful suggestion of previous threads at the end of your tailored advice.
THAT IS WHAT I DID, SHERLOCK. So take your own advice and "move on to the next thread". Or don't reply. It's not hard.

You're the one who made this all negative. Put me on your Ignore list if you can't handle my posts like a grown-up.

Sheesh. Some people around here...

Last edited by BoringGuy; 11-25-2012 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:09 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Pointing out something that irritated or aggravated one is not being negative. YOU are the one being negative with your sarcasm and condescending attitude (Yeah, calling someone "Sherlock" isn't name calling, but it's hardly complimentary either).

Why is it that so often when someone takes issue with something you posted, Boring Guy, you blow up at them? Perhaps you need to think more about taking that poster's advice and applying it to your own behavior than worrying about them taking their own advice. What I and sparklepop are trying to get at (correct me if I'm wrong, sparklepop!) is that it's fine to provide links to other threads as long as that's not your ENTIRE reply. Yes, you were trying to be helpful, but you also didn't respond with any personal perspective. Compare it to walking into a cell phone or electronics store, asking a question about a device, and being told to "Google it". Would you be very happy with that response? Or would you feel like the person was blowing you off?

ETA: And I've talked to other posters about this issue of only replying with links before, including a mod who used to do it quite a bit, just so you know I'm not picking on you alone.
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 11-25-2012 at 01:17 AM.
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