Recently Cleveland told me that he’s increasingly thinking about coming out. I have to admit I’m excited for him. Traveler also said he’d been considering being out, and might after certain conditions are met. This surprised me.
It’s nice to be out, and I have to admit I agree with Dan Savage’s call to come out. Lots of bisexuals are still closeted and this does contribute to the stigma about bisexuality and the lack of percieved support. Even more non-monogamous people are not out. I can’t remember the figures, but I think it’s something like only 20% of bisexuals are out and I have no idea what percent of non-mono folks are out. Much like homosexuals, most people know a bisexual or non-monogamous person or a few, and if more of them were out there would be more people who knew they knew a bisexual or a non-mono person and it’d be that much less weird. I’ve been out about being a bisexual since I was a teenager and came out as non-monogamous in stages over the last year.
I can’t agree more that it’s important to be out if you can. As more and more gay people came out there were more and more places and people with whom being gay was okay. I think a lot of people talk about coming out “if it’s ever a good situation to do so”, and I think it doesn’t really work that way. I can’t wait for the climate to change so it’s easy to come out before I come out. We need to come out to change the climate. Those first lesbians and gay people didn’t come out to rosy acceptance everywhere. Someone had to start and it might as well be me… or you.
I know not everyone can come out for a variety of reasons. Some people fear losing their children or risk their careers and ability to care for themselves and their families. Some people might fear violence or reprisal. I think there are LOTS of reasons people might not be able to be out, and I respect that, but as much as humanly possible.. and even if it costs friends and family members and acceptance, I think it’s important for me to be out. My religious father (who later relented and became less religious) and I fought bitterly for years about my bisexuality. It finally reached a point where I told him that I had heard everything he had to say on the matter and had told him everything I had to say, and that we needed to not talk about it or I could not have a relationship with him. Eventually we built a very good and loving relationship and we had a number of great years before he died.
Traveler’s Wife made the point that some situations for non-primary partners aren’t going to improve much as long as their significant others are closeted because it’s just the way it works, and she’s right. Now, having said that I have to admit that I will not ask for, demand, insist or require my loves to be out. I knew the score going in with them and it’s not a choice I or anyone else needs to make for them. I was very well aware that my honeys are both married closeted men and I accept that. It may increasingly make some things harder, but it is what I signed on for. If they decide at some point to come out it would of course make me happy and would likely make some things a lot better for me down the road, and I would support them whole-heartedly, but in my case I’ve decided to take them as they are and if they NEVER come out I will accept that and its consequences.
Both of my loves have families that are far away and don’t regularly impact us, but I do love the idea of the freedom of out. It makes me excited that maybe things won’t always be limited and that there may be the potential of some really cool things.. you never know. It makes me excited for them, but it makes me excited for me too.
One of my sweeties is thinking they might come out when they no longer have to worry about their grandparents, and they think their parents may be able to take it and that they can weather their sibling who likely can’t. Another is being sensitive to his wife’s feelings and hoping someday she’ll okay him coming out and outing her in the process. I don’t know when or how or even if my loves will come out but I find it exciting and kind of affirming that they are thinking about it. I asked one “If I was with you for a very long time, do you think some day I could meet your parents? I mean.. not necessarily as anything to you.. maybe just as a friend of you and your wife.. but do you think I could meet them some day?”. It made me happy that he was a little surprised I’d doubt it and said “of course”. So out or not, maybe there are some cool things that can happen anyway.