Being OUT

Being OUT

(this news item posted on February.04.2007)

There are a lot of different questions that people ask me when I tell them I'm polyamorous. One of the ones that really sets me to thinking is the one that goes something like "Yeah but, aren't you afraid people are going to find out?"

The answer has to be a fairly obvious no. I've written an autobiographical book, much of which is about polyamory, and published it on line. I then write two novels with polyamory as a central feature. Anyone who asks me about my relationships in any way that requires me to bring up the subject gets an honest answer. So, apparently... no, I'm not afraid people are going to find out.

That's not the part that requires much thinking. The part that I often think about for hours afterwards is 'Why do so many people think I'm supposed to be afraid that people are going to find out?'

I suppose that's all easy for me to say. Most of my close family --my maternal grandparents and my mother-- have passed away and that frees me from worry about "What is my family going to think?" I have a forgetful uncle that I'm pretty close to who is always asking me questions about "my girlfriend" which prompt me to ask "Which girlfriend?". I've revealed to him that I'm polyamorous enough times to make up for not having a large immediate family.

But before not having a lot of close living family members even becomes a factor, the real heart of the matter is that my mother taught me not to do things that I'd be ashamed or embarrased about or didn't have a good reason for doing. And so I've gotten used to being able to easily and explain and talk about all of my life choices. Having taught me that, she then became very accepting of whatever the actual choices were that I made in life. I have no doubt that if she'd have still been alive and I'd have brought Heather home to her and introduced her to my new polyamorous girlfriend she'd have responded with "As long as that's what makes you happy." And a year later if I'd have told her "Hey mom, I'm becomming polyamorous myself now." she'd have responded with "That's fine if that's what makes you happy." She'd have been needling me for grandkids along the way probably, but that's the basic jist of how it would go.

So, I am comfortable with my decisions. I'm secure in the knowledge that my loved ones are or would have been comfortable with my decisions. So, who else am I supposed to be afraid of finding out? I've told my coworkers. I would tell my boss if the topic ever came up. I've told people I felt would be completely comfortable with it and weren't and I've told deeply religious Christian types who I've expected would wig out (some of whom haven't). I basically can't find anybody to be afraid of.

It's very liberating. Where it harms none and makes you happy, do what thou wilt.

This journal entry was inspired by having --on a whim-- decided to type out the story of meeting Heather on the UUPA listserve. And then someone on the listserve suggested that I should submit it to Polyamorous Percolations to be published. And I said sure. And I did so. And now, there it is for the whole world to see. And the editor asked me what I wanted to use as an alias or a pen name, and that question boggled my mind for a second. Like "Hey, that was some good writing. What, you think I don't want to take credit for it?"

I like having difficulty relating to fear of consequences. Liberating. That's how we eventually get free; we remove the smelly buckets of festering consequences from above one another's heads.


justwhen aka rachel said...

Alex, I'm so happy for you (and the others on the UUPoly list who don't use pseudonyms) that you feel free to reveal your identity to the world! I can imagine being out is a wonderful place to be.

At this point, what's stopping me from joining all you out folks is that my partner would not be okay with it...

Tom Paine said...

Found you from Rachel's site. Polyamory, now THAT's a topic I've heard about....

justwhen aka rachel said...

Well, Mr. Paine...fancy meeting you here. *wink*

Alex, do you know why Tom's avatar shows up here in your comments, but mine doesn't?

AMPro said...

No idea.