by Micah Schnieder
I always love it when the Universe provides me with ready-made answers, don’t you? When I was first asked to write a column on polyamory for fearlesspress.com, I was immediately hit by all the possibilities. What to write about first? Where to start?
Two weeks later, I found my answer.
I attended the first meeting of a new poly discussion group not far from where I live. It was held in a local sandwich chain restaurant. The group that sponsors it is actually run by one of my partners. A surprising number of people showed up, representing a wide cross section of poly people. The topic was on being out.
During the course of the discussion, someone asked why we thought it was important for poly people to be out of the closet. I jumped on it immediately, because, to me, it’s obvious. It is just as important for poly people, poly families, to be out and visible now as it was for gay and lesbian people to be out in the 1960s and 70s. In June of 1969, New York City police battled with the gay patrons of the Stonewall on Christopher Street. Forty-one years later, I watched the openly gay and lesbian members of the New York City Police Department parade past the very same spot in full dress uniform.
That is why we must be out. Gay rights didn’t advance while people lived their lives in secret. Poly rights won’t, either. Today, a large number of people, perhaps even a majority in some places, know at least one person that identifies as gay, bisexual, lesbian, even trans. Imagine if in forty years, we could say the same thing about polyamorous people!
There are a lot of ways to be poly, and there are just as many ways to be out and poly. Tell your family. Take your husband and your girlfriend to the company picnic. Register all three of your partners as emergency contacts at your child’s school. Join poly support groups and mailing lists. Go to public poly events. Write letters to newspapers when they run articles about polyamory. Read blogs like this one, comment on them, share them with your friends.
I can hear some of you thinking it. Aren’t I preaching to the choir, on this website? Yes and no. There are plenty of kinky people that are poly. But I bet that many of them are as closeted about their polyamorous lifestyles as they are closeted about what they like to do to their loved ones in the bedroom. If even just one of you comes out to a friend or family member because you read this, if I caught you at just the right time to give you the nudge you needed, we are all lifted up. The more of us that are visible, in whatever small way we can be, the better it is for all polys everywhere.
I can hear some others of you thinking something else. Not everyone can risk being out. Maybe you are one of them. Sadly, this is true. There are poly people that have lost their jobs, their homes, their children, because close-minded people held their lifestlyes against them. The parallels between us and the early gay rights activists are numerous. Hell, to the current gay rights activists, too. And like many of them, I believe that poly people like me, who can be out, must be out for those of us that can’t, so that some day, all of us can be.
What better way to begin a new blog on polyamory than to come out? I already live my life about as openly as anyone can, but I don’t know very many people on this website. So…
Hello! My name is Micah. I’m a poly, kinky, pagan, heteroflexible, sex-positive, pro-feminist, almost-forty white male. I live in a large home in western Massachusetts with my family of four adults. We have a dog, four cats and a pretty interesting life. I’m going to share some of it with you here, and talk about our issues, problems and triumphs. We’re all activists, and I’ll probably talk about that a lot. We’re all kinky, too, and I’m definitely going to talk about that.
I hope you’ll join me!