The poly closet: It’s not just about you

A wonderful and insightful essay on “being in the closet” – or not – when it comes to nonstandard relationships. These concepts and ideas can be applied to all sorts of relationships, from nonmonogamy to power dynamics toqueer/LGBT families. I am out as I think is possible for a person to be – my birth family, friends, and aquaintences all know I have nonstandard relationships of many kinds. It was not easy, and there were prices to be paid, but in the end being *honest* about how and who I love was too important to me not to risk possible rejection. And most people I’ve come out to, even people I was afraid would be violent or abusive when I told them, usually come around to the opinion that as long as I am happy, and everyone involved enthusiastically consents and is happy, that’s all that matters.

SoloPoly

It’s Pride Month — hey, President Obama just proclaimed it so — and that’s not just for gay people. How out are you about your nonmonogamous relationships and partners? That’s a pretty touchy question for many people who are polyamorous, swingers, or have otherwise honestly open relationships.

I talk to a lot of people in these communities, especially through this survey for my forthcoming book on nonstandard relationships (basically, everything that’s off the relationship escalator social norm).

One theme is clear: Most of these people (and I’ve heard from hundreds so far) are not out about their relationship choices and preferences in at least some important contexts. They either don’t mention their choices or partners, or they only mention the ones that meet social norms, or they lie. They choose the closet, in whole or in part, for a lot of reasons.

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