ZAPoly Discussion Topic : Coming Out Poly

Coming Out

Coming out describes the process of telling the truth about oneself - that might be received negatively. Someone who has not yet come out is said to be in the closet.

Coming out as a participant in a new relationship style isn't exactly the same as coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI for short) but there are a lot of similarities. Members of the general public often have inaccurate and derogatory stereotypes about people in both groups. Our coming out about our differently-defined relationship(s) is often met with hostility, misunderstanding, or dismissal. If we can meet these reactions with good humour and aplomb, however, it is also often possible to use these instances as occasions for education and expanded awareness. Taking inspiration from what LGBTI people have learned about coming out in defence of their own orientations is a good start.

Coming out is a process. First – admitting to yourself that you really are the way you are.  Next – letting people know about your polyamorous self. Finally – no longer being afraid of being discovered.

Benefits of Coming Out

Risks of Coming Out

How Not to Come out

How to Come out

Specific issues related to coming out to:
At work
To your Dr’s (NCSF What psychology professionals should know about polyamory)
Your children
Your spouse
The general public

It is up to each individual to decide if the consequences of coming out to their families is worth the acknowledgement and respect due to their loved ones.

Useful resources

Generic LGBTIQ+

Polyamory Specific

Chapters In Books

-- South African Polyamory

Return to Discussion Topics page