Monday, November 14, 2011

Nobody's Business, Really?

I came out as poly to my Mum yesterday.

It went much better than I'm sure it goes for many of us, but worse than it did coming out to Mr Wrong's parents.

However, I've seen a theme in these "coming out" events that has bothered me a lot.

In both cases, we were told that this whole polyamory thing is a "private area" and "nobody's business" and "people don't need to know about your private lives".

I think this is complete bullshit. I could understand if it was a friend with benefits sort of arrangement, or if me and Mr Wrong were swingers - but we're not. Just because something makes someone uncomfortable, doesn't mean that they should be protected from ever encountering it.

If I was a monogamous lesbian and my mother told me that my sexuality is a "private area" and "nobody's business" and "people don't need to know about my private life", I think that notion would offend a lot of people - doubly so if she said she wasn't interested in meeting my girlfriend, or didn't think my Dad should know she existed, or even that I was a lesbian at all!

I mean, if I were single and began dating Mr Oldman, my parents could both be reasonably expected to meet him, to hear about the progress of our relationship (you know, "I went on a date with that new boy of mine today! He took me to the park and we fed the ducks!", nothing risque), to comfort me in the event of a heartbreak, and so on. The hardest thing about being poly was when I saw Mum the next morning after a particularly enjoyable date with Mr Oldman, and she asked me how I was going, and I wanted to tell her that I was seeing this new guy and he was very sweet and making me happy and all the rest of it, but instead I had to sheepishly reply "good".

I understand that in modern society, people aren't as open minded as we'd like and that, yes, there are many lesbians who have to keep it a secret from their parents, and I do agree that telling my Dad would be a bad idea. But that doesn't mean it's okay that we have to keep these parts of our lives secret.

In more personal news,  my Mum specifically said that if my new boyfriend  Mr Oldman were to be at my house for a party along with a bunch of other friends, it would be 'innapropriate' for me to hold his hand. That just pisses me off. She also called him a "friend with benefits", which amused me to no end given I already have one of those in Number 3 and it's a very different dynamic than the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. I didn't tell her of Number 3's existence, though, lest she think I've further sunk into the depths of depravity.

She also thinks that polyamory amounts to the first step in me and Mr Wrongs's inevitable breakup. But oh well, I guess I'm going to prove her wrong.

And to her credit, she said it would be OK to come out to Dad after I was in a more long-term secondary relationship - she put one year as her litmus test, and hey, I fully expect to have held down a secondary boy or girlfriend for that period of time at some point in the next five years.


  1. So I take it your mother doesn't read this blog then?

  2. If something is important to you, your parents should be able to respect that.