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.