Transparency is a defining feature of poly life. We all know that having sex on the sly is called cheating, so total honesty in poly relationships is paramount. But what about being honest with all the other people in your life?
Because polyamory is still considered taboo, it can be difficult to come out about it to friends and family, but keeping that secret can become burdensome after a while. What better way to get things out in the open than to reveal your poly status in one grand, widespread declaration… right?
My partner and metamour did it about a year ago and while they have no regrets, there are definitely a few things you’ll want to consider before hitting SEND on that mass email.
Are you Feeling Strong Enough?
Hopefully you’ll find lots of support in response to your coming out, though depending on the collective attitudes and coping strategies of your friends and family, you could be hit with complete silence, staunch opposition, or some combination of the two.
Be sure that you’re psychologically prepared for some kind of unwanted response because it will probably occur at some point in the process.
Are All Your Partners on Board?
It’s really important that you talk to each of your partners before outing yourself, just in case they have reservations about it. Perhaps they have ties to people on your notification list that you don’t know about. In other words, maybe your decision will have greater impacts than you realize.
You can always opt for a somewhat limited reveal where you don’t divulge anything other than the fact that you’re poly, though let’s face it; if you want to come clean about your relationship status, you probably want to introduce people.
Is Your Career Safe?
It’s sad that we even have to ask this question, but in our mono-centric world, we absolutely do. If you’re a professional in any capacity, there’s a danger that coming out as poly could hurt your career.
I recently heard of a professor in my city who began receiving hateful emails and threats to her job after it was revealed that she was in a poly relationship. Depending on your career and the level of security you experience therein, you might choose to limit your coming out to friends and family only.
Do You Have a Game Plan?
Have you thought about how you would like to deliver the news? Would you opt for the mass reveal mentioned earlier, or would you talk to people individually? There are definite pros and cons to both approaches. Getting all over with in one big email is a bit easier on the nerves, but it might feel insulting to the people who are closest to you.
Take your time to really think it out and do what you feel is best. Your poly status, though nothing to be ashamed of, is no one’s business, unless you want it to be.