(From my examiner.com page.)
Being “out” as polyamorous can be scary, worrisome, and confusing. Public opinion, while changing, is still not that positive about responsible,ethical multi-love relationships. There are laws (although most are now unconstitutional) that can still affect polyamorous people. And polyamorous people often get confused with other non-monogamous groups like swingers and polygamists. In light of all this, being out is important.
A presenter at Atlanta Poly Weekend 2012 (http://www.atlantapolyweekend.com) said in their speech, “Not being out means we are giving our oppressors the power to keep oppressing us.” How does that work? It works because if we hide, they think we went away. They keep us quiet and in the shadows. We can’t be equals if we chose to stay hidden. It works because if we hide, the people who want to see us and find us and know we exist, cannot. Then we cant grow as individuals and a community.
If we are quiet and don’t fight back, won’t our opponents just ignore the Poly Movement? Not exactly. In a recent tweet the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) said, “Nearly 1 in 4 now believe #marriage can be legally redefined to include more than 2 people: http://myop.us/HajZyQ”. The Conservative media has turned its eye toward multi-partner relationships as well. So has liberal media, in a positive way. (This is very encouraging for polyamory activists because it means non-monogamy is gaining support in the public eye. That’s what being out does. It raises awareness and acceptability in the mainstream community.
You don’t need to be an activist to be out. You don’t need to flaunt it. As my wife say, “You don’t have to wave a banner in order to carry it”. Being out simply means deciding to not live in fear, and to be open and honest about your life as the subject arises. It’s about being visible as who you are. By being visible in the local community and being out about your relationship status, you help lift the taboo of the word polyamory. This can show to the mainstream community that while yes we are polyamorous, we are otherwise just like the rest of the world. We have jobs, bills, and stress. The only major difference between poly folks and mono folks is that poly folks have more support when it comes to dealing with those jobs, bills, and stress. More hands to fold the laundry, more help unloading the groceries, more shoulders to cry on after a bad day.
So I encourage you to be out and be proud to be polyamorous. Do it however you can, whether by wearing a hat with the infinity-heart symbol or hosting a Town Hall about polyamory, or just being honest when discussing your life with friends and family. Being poly should not be shameful. Be open, be visible, be “OUT” I AM and its not as scary anymore.