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Last week, I uploaded pictures of my boyfriend to Facebook.
For most people, this isn’t a big deal. Your friends “like” all the pictures, you get told how cute he is (he is cute…), people tell you how happy they are for you. Fairly typical. For me, however, it was a bit different since I am also happily engaged and have been for two years.
Yeah, you read that right. I have a boyfriend and a fiancé. I am what the kids these days are calling polyamorous, and I happen to think that I am one of the most fortunate people alive. But more on that in a second.
I was, shall we say, aware of posting the pictures of our hiking trip. Polyamory is one of those things that people (a) aren’t quite familiar with yet or (b) tend to have strong reactions toward. An online acquaintance called poly people “psychotic” and “unbalanced” in a thread I was on. As a woman, I can face a lot of backlash for sleeping with more than one man at a time, regardless as to whether or not I love them both.
I also have a fairly conservative Christian family whose patience I continually test with my Pagan, sex positive, living-in-sin ways. My mother’s infidelity with my father and the never-healed scars it made in my family also weighed on my mind—despite the fact that she lied and cheated and I have the full, enthusiastic consent of my partners.
So, yeah, I was a bit of aware of this particular event. I was braced for a bit of backlash. I wouldn’t, however, say I was nervous or afraid.
How does one “come out” as a lover of many people in a slut-shaming world and in the midst of a family with a somewhat narrow view of a proper life? Simple. I told the people closest to me, those who I thought needed to hear it from me and I knew trusted me to make decisions that were good for my own life. Then, I invoked the honeybadger.
I didn’t bother to hide it. I had nothing to hide. I called myself polyamorous, made references to my boyfriend in my writing, and just carried on living my life. It wasn’t until this week, on the photos of my boyfriend (with my cat, naturally), that my cousin commented, and I made the first explicit statement about it that I had ever done.
And you know what? Honeybadger don’t care, and when honeybadger don’t care, neither do anyone else.
The people who judge me know I don’t care about their judgment. They know they won’t change my mind, so they don’t waste their energy trying to make me feel bad. The people who don’t judge are excited to ask me things. I am more than happy to tell them about a development in my life that has made me happy and fulfilled—not to mention incredibly busy!
I know that my relationships are positive, healthy, and consensual. I am living according to my principles of honesty and integrity. I do not fear being shamed because I have nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I feel so lucky to be surrounded by people who care intensely about me—from my close family, to my friends, to my romantic partners. They are all dear and special to me, and I am blessed to have them in my life.
So, yeah, kids. I’m poly. Expect more obnoxiously cute pictures of me and my boyfriend, me and my fiancé, me and my cat, me and my friends and family. Look for them next to my progress with Thoughts on Liberty or my next sewing project. It’s just me, living my life. I’ll let you know when something noteworthy happens (Did I tell you about my new boyfriend?).
What questions do you have for me? I am hardly an expert on poly, but I would be happy to answer any questions you have about my life, my relationships, or point you to some great poly resources!
Gina Luttrell is an almost-anarchist, polyamorous, Druid, sex-positive, social justice advocate who leads a team of amazing libertarian women writers at her online magazine, Thoughts on Liberty.