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5 Steps to Help You Come Out as Polyamorous

5 Steps to Help You Come Out as Polyamorous

5 Steps to Help You Come Out as Polyamorous

Coming out as polyamorous isn't the same as coming out as gay or bisexual. 

ZacharyZane_

Photo: Alexis Brown

Unlike being gay or bi, being polyamorous can be viewed as a lifestyle choice. While I think there may be biological underpinnings as to who is more likely to enjoy and choose to be polyamorous (or identifying as such), it’s not like being gay or bisexual because it is not a sexuality. In that regard, coming out as poly is different. Here are some steps you can take to help you come out as polyamorous.

1. Explain what polyamory means

Many people think that being polyamorous and being a swinger are one and the same. Additionally, your version of polyamory undoubtedly differs from others. You may be in a closed triad. You may have various rules and veto power. You may have gendered monogamy (meaning that your partner is only allowed to date/sleep with people of a different gender than you). There are many configurations of polyamory and no hard-and-fast rules. So when you come out, explain what polyamory is. Acknowledge that you have the capacity to love and be intimate with more than one person at a time. Then explain the manner you're engaging in polyamory.

2. Explain why you’re doing it

People often think that polyamorists are using the label as an excuse to go screw around. They don’t realize polyamory is so much more than that. Explain how you’ve felt inhibited by monogamy, and how your previous monogamous relationships always left you wanting more. You think, personally, that you are better suited for polyamory. You have the capacity to love multiple people at once and won’t feel fulfilled unless you’re able to explore your attractions.

3. Don’t be ashamed

Do not be ashamed or embarrassed. Don’t feel guilty either. You’ve done nothing wrong. You’re simply open to the idea of having an intimate relationship with more than one person.

4. Have them meet your partner(s) first

This is a scenario I heard on the Savage Love podcast, and I think it’s worth repeating. Back in the day (i.e. a few decades ago), gay men would have their family members meet their boyfriends under the pretense of “just friends.” Then after the family grew to love and bond with the friend, the son would say something like 'I’m actually gay. And that guy you met—the one you threw some beers back with and said you liked—he’s my boyfriend.' You can do this for polyamory to. Have them first meet your partner(s) as “friends” and once your family likes them, tell them you’re polyamorous, and the people they met are your partners.

5. Field questions

Get ready to answer questions, but at the same time, never feel as if you need to justify or prove the reasons why you’re polyamorous. If the people you are coming out to are asking inappropriate questions, or asking things that for any reason you don’t want to answer, don't answer it. It’s as simple as that.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.