Dec 3 2015

Coming out to your parents as polygamous

It is very exciting to live in a day when previously ridiculed and marginalized people groups are receiving legal and social recognition and rights. Blacks, women, and now homosexuals are finally finding their place in the sun as decades, even centuries of discrimination are being dispatched to the dust bin of history.

But the fight is not over. There are still plenty of persecuted minorities being discriminated against in our culture including immigrants, the unborn, and those who feel called to have multiple marriage partners at the same time.

I remember the first time I saw the Olsen twins on TV. As a newly pubescent boy, I was smitten. How could a man choose between two such beauties? And then I asked myself, “who is demanding that you can only have one, and on what authority?”

olsensThat thought quickly passed, but the theme kept popping up into my mind at every turn. First, it was the wedding of my best friend’s brother, who married his gay partner. Then I was asked to the prom by two different, but both beautiful girls. Why did I have to choose only one?

Under pressure, I tried going to the prom with only the first girl who asked, but the whole time, I was thinking about the other one. Having one girl just seemed so… unnatural to me, so boring, so unappealing.

For reasons I could not explain, I was always thinking about a threesome, a foursome, or even more. What was wrong with me?!?

When I went to college, all bets were off. The narrow, legalistic and religious views of my parents, who expected me to find one girl and marry her for a lifetime, were far away. I accepted that I could not be with one girl, and began dating many. At once. Literally, like more than one girl on one date.

Sometimes in bars, I would see the awkward glances of others when I kissed one girl on the cheek, then the other. Sometimes macho guys would try to bully me, calling me a ‘polly’ or ‘mormo,’ or asking me how large my penis must be.

Well meaning friends would suggest that maybe my stern religious upbringing was to blame, or the fact that I was molested by a group of female camp counselors when I was younger. My religious family and friends would question my moral character, slinging Biblical epithets like ‘promiscuous’ and ‘whoremonger.’

So for a while, I hid my sexuality. But as I saw the incresed boldness of the gay marriage movement, and realized that their arguments supported a much broader set of romantic configurations than just theirs, and I decided to come out of the closet.

As long as I can remember, I have not been attracted to just one girl – I was BORN this way. I can not change. It is unnatural, even cruel, to expect me to live within the narrow bounds of monogamy. Your antiquated notions of sexuality and reproduction, of the family unit, of what is best for children, are all meaningless to me. I must live with integrity and honesty with who I am – who I was MADE to be. I tried changing myself, including ex-poly therapy, and it did not work. All it did was make me feel bad, suppressed, and irreversibly broken.

What to say to your parents

My parents were not that understanding, and your may not be either. You can only pray for parents who love and understand you enough to confirm your own mature choices. I have the following recommendations for you:

a. Delay telling them for as long as possible, esp. if they are religious. When you are older, you will have the emotional resources and friends to help you through what could be a difficult time.

b. Find friends who agree with you. If you’re a poly like me, you’ve probably got that extra sense for who is a poly (some call it ‘polydar.’). Be strong, and realize that you are not alone.

c. Don’t be belligerent. Just accept that many people won’t understand your choice to be polygamous.

d. Love yourself. And let yourself love others – preferably in groups :D.

I hope your coming out is as painless as it can be. One day, everyone will accept that enjoying multiple partners is normal, biological, and morally upright. There are no victims here, only people loving one another.


Nov 17 2015

These Leaves

Original Publish Date: 11.1.00

I got a Thanksgiving card from Mom today
With the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall
Cut out of the cover into a string of leaves and a pumpkin.
She is always on time with cards

Inside, some pressed leaves, real ones
Presumably from her yard,
Or somewhere down the country road
Where we all like to walk

I am in the summer of my life
And soon, I will be in the fall
Is there more I can plant before it ‘s too late?
Why have I no family to invest in for when I am old?
I sit in specification review meetings all week
And silently ask myself repeatedly
Is this what you wanted to do with your life?
You are in the prime of your life!
This is your life!
You will never get this day back.

I must reach inward again and move
Toward the dreams of my heart
What sorrows, what sins lay unresolved?
What guilt, what hatred that should be brought to light?
There is no more time to palliate wounds
With potato chips and television

Unless that is what I want to say with my life
That life is too hard, and the best you can do
Is strive not be poor, or out on the street
That living a noble life
Is for those who are lucky
Who started on the right track earlier.

I may never reach the heights of some
But I can reach the heights of peace,
And usefulness, and some level of love
If I try. If I try.
God help me to try.


Nov 9 2015

Remembering

“Where am I?” Horace asked himself as he walked out of the doors into the afternoon sunshine.

This was the second time in recent memory that Horace had experienced some disorientation when exiting a store – or was it the third time, he wondered? Standing in the doorway, he didn’t panic – years of martial arts training had taught him the difference between an imaginary crisis and real emergency. “Heck,” he thought to himself somewhat unconsciously, “even in a real emergency you can’t lose your head.”

Horace turned his torso half way around to look up at the name on the store. “Ahh, the pharmacy.” He was beginning to get his bearings – at least he knew that he was in his home town. But where was his car? And what did he come to the pharmacy for?

He glanced down at the flimsy white plastic bag in his left hand, and brought it up to his face to peer into it as he pulled it open with the other hand. “Nail clippers,” he said out loud, with a slight hint of recognition – “I came here for nail clippers.” Holding his hand up in front of his face, he surveyed his nails and grimaced. “I hate when my nails get long.”

In reality, his nails were only showing about a millimeter and a half of white beyond his nail bed, but for Horace, they had to be kept trimmed flush. Continue reading