I’m out when it comes to poly. People who know me well know I am. I put my poly writing and stuff on my CV. Plenty of people who read this know my “real name”.
Given the US political climate these days, I’m occasionally concerned about it. But since one cannot stuff the genie back in the bottle, I’ve decided that since I’m out anyway, it’d be nearly impossible to change that.
Has it hurt me? I genuinely don’t know. I’ve never been confronted about it, but it’s possible a client has done a search on my name1, and decided not to hire me. If so, I never heard about it. I’m even teaching a class in social networking, and I can’t imagine that none of my students have done a search on me. Nope, no confrontations.
There was a time when my version of “out” involved explaining to all and sundry. It’s a not too unusual pattern when one has a Big Life Change and it’s something that one is personally obsessed about. These days, I’m more obsessed about other things in my life and my relationships are my relationships rather than a project – which suits my tastes better.
Thing is, right now, it’s pretty easy for me to “pass”. I’m married and have been for a couple of decades. Never mind that the closest the relationship ever was to closed was when we were part of a group marriage! The fact that we’re poly doesn’t show unless one looks pretty carefully. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I’m about as out as I could be without wearing a sign, but my household isn’t in a position where we’re being too closely examined by anyone. We live in a very mind-your-own-business type of area, and we don’t have relatives that are controlling enough to cause trouble, so we’re extraordinarily lucky.
Which brings me to the real point of this. How out are you? What drives that choice? What consequences have you faced? What consequences are you scared of? I think this is an important discussion. Most poly activists are out, out, out. I don’t hear them talking about being in any real trouble because of it. Is it because we who are a bit more public are lucky in our life situations? What do you think?
1 I have an unusual name. Though the very first results seem to be more about my various (rather conventional and homemakerish) hobbies than anything salacious.