Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coming Out to Respect Makes Life Better For All

I really need to catch up on my reading. I was going through some stuff from October and there were a couple of entries on Polly’s blog I wanted to point out. She’s polyamorous, having two husbands, and she’s a mother. She has a very good blog talking about these subjects.

Because of other changes in her life, she decided to come out to more people on National Coming Out Day. She had already been out to close friends and family, but she decided to come out of the closet on Facebook.

Truthfully, I was crying a little bit as I described what I expected to Stuart: I expected to have a number of people defriend me (especially my old Mormon friends from my growing up years). I expected to have some nasty messages; perhaps something reminiscent of my mother-in-law's horrible e-mails. I didn't know if people would freak out, or what. We came to the conclusion that the peace of mind was worth the risks.

So she posted this…

"Today is National Coming Out Day. I am bi (although I "pass" since I am happily married to a man). I am also poly - I have two adult partners, both of whom I love dearly (and love each other dearly) and want to be with forever. Poly does not mean "any," and yes, my parents know. :) I share this because I want to help make a society with zero tolerance for hate against non-mainstream identities and relationships."

Go see what the reaction was.

In a subsequent entry, she talked more about how one husband’s father, who is transgendered, continues to show a lack of solidarity, and how it got her to thinking about whether or not polyamory is a choice and whether or not that even matters.

There are many people out there who get obsessed by whether polyamory is more "evolved" or somehow superior to monogamy. They cite that only 15% of all cultures in the world are monogamous, or that monogamy occurs only very rarely in the animal world. A lot of time and energy is spent on determining whether polygamy and polyamory are something that is "natural," or whether monogamy is the default paradigm. In other words, they want to know if it's a choice. While it's an interesting intellectual exercise, I really don't think it matters if monogamy or polyamory is more biologically prevalent. What matters is what makes you happy and healthy and sane!

I am much happier as a poly person than I am as a monogamous person. The idea of giving up either of my guys makes me ill. It would be like being asked to cut a piece of my own heart out. I believe that I am at least somewhat "wired" for polyamory. I function better with two partners than I do with one. My family is happy and our children are healthy and cared for. In addition - my husband has known about me being poly for longer than *I've* known it. This didn't just crop up when I found my extra partner. We went in with our eyes wide open, and with a lot of consideration and emotional experience.

In addition to compassion and respect, why should others support this freedom?

Also, I guarantee that I am a more productive and useful citizen and worker when I feel that I am welcomed, cared about, and respected. Me being treated as someone who is unworthy or immoral may feed someone else's superiority complex, but it certainly isn't going to help me produce the best neuroscience research I am capable of. Employers may wish to consider that happy employees are the ones most likely to produce great results. I felt like I could tackle anything when my department chair approved of my coming out. It may seem like a small thing, but it meant a lot to me.

Conversely, bigotry harms.

Choice only matters when that choice has the potential to harm others. And while Stuart's mom contends that our family will be harmed by poly - we have yet to see anything but greater love and happiness. She hadn't come up with any specifics on what she believes the harm would actually be, after many months of being asked. And now, we have no contact with her at all. Our family suffered a loss of a mother and grandmother, but it was intolerance that caused the harm, not poly. By insisting that the only right path was her own, she caused the very pain she had hoped to avoid.

Yes. Isn’t it interesting that some people say the relationships that others have are harmful, but the harm seems to be due to the prejudice and bigotry of the people who disrespect the relationships? It’s self-fulfilling. Drop the hate, and everyone is better off.
— — —

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE. If your comment includes graphic descriptions of activity involving minors, it's not going to get published.