I know that both out here in the cornfields, and in society at large, not everyone is going to “get” polyamory. Yes, some people get it, but some can’t wrap their heads around it, and others disagree with it further. They may think it’s an aberration, an excuse to have all of the sex could possibly want, or any other number of perversities. Usually I can kind of ignore that, educate, or if it’s really bad, just walk away. Sometimes though, it comes from someone who you can’t just ignore; sometimes, it’s from a friend.
I shared a post that someone brought to my attention on a popular social media site in my own feed, a video from Big Think that featured Dan Savage. I think he’s a wonderful, if not sometimes abrasive, sex and relationship educator. However, my friend disagreed. Vehemently. I was asked to stop “posting this crap” and told that what I was saying was “very offensive” to my “MARRIED friends” (emphasis his.)
It’s been a few weeks since he posted that and it still hurts. It hurts to be told to go back into the closet, to stop talking about my views on relationships, and that by being different, that I am somehow wrong. It hurt when he claimed that he was “sure that most people who claim to be polyamorous are just looking for an excuse to sleep around and not think with their mind and heart or make any sort of real commitment,” because to hear something so blatantly untrue, and said with such a holier-than-thou attitude, that I am made to feel inferior.
I responded a few hours later, after reading a few responses from a couple of my monogamous friends telling him that he was out of line, and expressed that, more than anything, I was hurt. That I felt shunned and ostracized. I invited him, that if he was truly that upset, to remove me from his account on the site, something he decided to do.
I knew that when I decided to be open about my lifestyle, that I would lose friends, that I would upset other people simply by existing. I just couldn’t take living in a closet anymore. It felt too much like a lie. And for every “friend” like the person I’ve mentioned here, I have several who are incredibly supportive of me and my lifestyle choices, regardless of their own. That doesn’t make losing the ones that I do hurt any less though.
Out here in the cornfields, and in the rest of the world, you can’t please everyone. Some people are bound to disagree with you, regardless of what you do. And it’s going to leave you feeling hurt, confused, and maybe a little lost. Still, walking through the cornfield, I don’t regret my choice to forge my own path. I want to make it visible, so others can see that this is okay. In order to do that, I can’t be silent, and sometimes that ends up with other people feeling insulted, offended, or hurt. I have refused, both to him and in life, to go back into hiding about this. I will stand here, proudly in the cornfields, as a beacon to others like me.
I am so sorry Derek, that your friend was not mature enough, or open-enough hearted a friend to you to #1. express his feelings to you in a private message or phone call rather than “call you out” basically in front of all your other friends (though massive kudos to THEM for calling HIM out on that rude behaviour) #2. bother to do a little research on his own if he wasnt comfortable talking to you directly. I think you know already his behaviour is a reflection of his personal issues and baggage regarding relationships and sexuality, and nothing to do with you, but since I know how it feels to have someone you cared about so thoroughly slap you in the face, I will reitterate the point anyway – its HIS problem not yours.
I grew up in NY but have lived in the bible belt of NC for over 20 yrs now and I am constantly amazed at how ridiculous and immature people can be, mostly because when I decide Im going to share something about my personal life, I just do it, damning the consequences. Which means I too have lost friends, had friends “publically” express their narrow minded opinions, opening me to the criticism of even more people (because especially in social networking arenas, there is a mob mentality). I just has to take each painful altercation as my sign that I had outgrown that relationship, or arena even, and the screwed up way they acted was the only way it COULD have ended, because otherwise I would have kept trying to make someone understand my life, when really *I* am the only one who has to understand.
After the last “public display” of so-called friend breakup, I just had enough, talked to my hubby and outed EVERYTHING about me to our coven and friends – the people I cared most about first. I figured I might as well shake the tree good and hard, so every single person who was going to have issues could just fall out then, while I was already in shock and pain. From that moment on I have lived completely outloud and proud with I “if you dont like it, you cant have any” attitude. Life is too short to waste worrying about what other people expect or want.
So now I know that the people in my life, and especially the people who love me, love ME, the real ME, not a mask I wear, not a compromise. They know Im an opinionated & passionate bisexual, non-monogamous, kinky, Pagan, Qadishtu who is willing to talk about those things, fight for the rights for those groups, and that Im not ever changing any of it for anyone and they stand by me, sometimes even WITH me and when you can get to that place – where you know everyone you care about knows, and stands with you anyway – it’ll be worth all the pain you’ll feel weeding that garden. I promise.
Meanwhile, know that there are ALOT of us that understand, and are with you in that cornfield, and together our beacons equal one hell of a bright light 🙂