Does being under-privileged make it harder to come out?

Shaya

New member
Some are out, others aren't. There was a recent thread about how to deal with society's labels, that discussed coming out to family and friends about poly.

I'm wondering if those who live with the 'double stigma' of polyamory and something else not mainstream, find it harder to come out?

For those in this situation, do you see being able to come out as a privilege you don't have because of society's double (or triple) judgement of you?
 

powerpuffgrl1969

Active member
I've read some articles about how living polyamorously is much easier for the white middle class. I have neither the patience nor the linguistic ability to summarize what I read in a way that does justice to the topic, but that's what Google is for.
 

Taramafor

New member
I'm "different" in a fair few ways. Poly is just one of those ways.

Doesn't matter what way it is. Used to care about what people thought of me. Felt like I had to hide away and so I did. Losing my mind. Hell, I lost it.

Then some of the people, the ones that matter, started being there for me. Because they realised it's important that I go about "wired" things in the way I do. They no longer judge. Strangers do but fuck them. The people that care look past weird shit. If they really care they even try to understand why it affects me how it does.

Fuck judgement. Anyone gives you a hard time, just don't listen. Not like they even try to care about you after all. Why be bothered about someone not even willing to glance at me and viewing me as a freak? Why let them affect you like that? It's what they want and it's how they win.

Being open and honest about who and what I am makes it easier to get closer to people too. And I'm happier for it. With those I already know and those that I have yet to know that don't avoid me. Anyone that doesn't want to give me the time of day can just keep on walking. They try getting up my grill and giving me an ear-full they'll be getting a lecture about acceptance and about if they were in such a position. If I don't just walk away right off the bat. :rolleyes:
 
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Emm

Stealth Mod
If being seen to live by society's rules is required to ensure you have the necessities of life then you're going to be less comfortable displaying "deviant" behaviour than if you know you have a safety net. Someone with a nice fat savings account might not feel they have much to lose by being out, but someone living pay cheque to pay cheque isn't going to do anything that could jeopardise the next one.

Fuck judgement.
Spoken like someone who has the privilege of knowing where their next meal is coming from.
Anyone gives you a hard time, just don't listen.
What if it's your super-religious boss, who thinks anything other than twice a month missionary position with your spouse is a sign of moral turpitude and sufficient justification for firing you?
Why be bothered about someone not even willing to glance at me and viewing me as a freak?
Because if they're in exactly the wrong position of power they can royally screw up your life, and if you don't know how they're likely to react then the safest bet is not to rock the boat
 

Tinwen

Active member
I'm wondering if those who live with the 'double stigma' of polyamory and something else not mainstream, find it harder to come out?
Everyone has something "out of the mainstream". An illness, a hobby, a trauma, personal strengths and limitations.
I am pretty priviledged, but being nerdy all my life, having had to come out with depression, having to admitt to myself my kink preferences and so on made it easier for me, not harder, to be "weird" by being polyamorous. You get used to it.
The area where you live and the job you work and family expectations probably influences your ability to come out most.
And your ability to be independent, as stated above.
 
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FallenAngelina

Well-known member
Many movements are driven by the privileged classes. The women's movement happened only because white women of privilege took up the cause and subjected themselves to banishment, torture, incarceration, ridicule and shame - because they could afford to. The American revolution, which radically upturned the worldwide acceptance of monarchy, happened only because white men of privilege were driving the effort. There's nothing wrong with being in a position to say "fuck judgement." This is what drives society forward to a better and safer life experience for everyone.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm wondering if those who live with the 'double stigma' of polyamory and something else not mainstream, find it harder to come out?

Yes. Because not everyone is safe. And it doesn't even need to be "double stigma." Just dealing with one thing could be hard enough.

They might not be safely employed. Like if they come out about whatever it is, they could lose their job or be stuck in low level positions, never promoted.

They might not be safely housed. Like if they come out about whatever it is, landlord, neighbors, whoever... will make living there in that area hell. It might not be "big" stuff. But a long series of "smaller" mean. Like "not getting" phone calls for making repairs and making you wait longer before a plumbing issue finally gets fixed. And when it gets fixed, fixing it, but not really cleaning up the mess from fixing it. Or doing a half assed job because they know you won't complain too much because you don't want to make waves.

They might not be safe in person. Like if they come out about whatever it is, they may become subject to hate crimes/attacks.

They might not be safe with their children. Like if they come out, some relative or some other person will try to sue for custody or make problems for them with Dept. of Children and Families reporting made up crap.

Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it is culturally accepted. That's much slower to change.

Because people sometimes have to live where they live, and don't have the money/ability to move elsewhere, they have to adapt to their conditions.

Sometimes that adapting means "passing."

Galagirl
 
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Shaya

New member
Interesting, Karen. I hear you say that in our history, sometimes the privileged mix with or identify with the so-called 'underdog', championing their cause which earns the underdog acceptance. I feel that a side effect of what you are saying is that a real underdog has no one to fight for them.
 

Shaya

New member
Thanks Kevin. That was an eye opener. Good to see that there was a massive discussion about this (22pages long) that happened 5 years ago. They talk a lot about race. Post#9 on your linked thread was an eye opener for me. I haven't read the whole thread but a large focus is on racial minorities. There are other ways to be in a minority as well. Sexual preference, gender identification, disability.

Disability is the one that makes me feel that my thoughts are inhumane. I'm finding it hard to imagine a person who is wheelchair bound being the hinge in a polyamorous V with two successful, able bodied white cis-hetero people. Even in saying that I feel dirty, like I'm discriminating against such persons. I feel I need to re-evaluate how open minded I think I am.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
Interesting, Karen. I hear you say that in our history, sometimes the privileged mix with or identify with the so-called 'underdog', championing their cause which earns the underdog acceptance.

I wasn't identifying an underdog, I was saying that forward social movement often happens when people in the privileged classes take up the cause, not because they are championing underdogs, but because everyone will benefit. It's a better country without a king, it's a better world when women are not lorded over by men, etc.
 

Ravenscroft

Banned
The framers of the Constitution didn't much represent the voice of the tenant farmer or the dock hand or the housewife. Almost all had previous political experience. Few were wealthy, but also few had much fear of imminent starvation or of needing to keep their families warm in winter. They therefore generally had the freedom to travel (often months at a stretch), & to sit around & talk, & think, & ponder, & write -- unimaginable outright luxuries for the common peasant.

The masses can always mindlessly riot, but real lasting change tends to come from a bit above the middle.
 

Taramafor

New member
Spoken like someone who has the privilege of knowing where their next meal is coming from.

More like spoken as someone that no longer has the patience for people that make too many assumptions and fear the worst of things at the first opportunity. I have the feeling you're making some about me too. Did it occur to you I might be "anti normal" (I use that term loosely) because it's better for my mental health and peace of mind to not be around judgemental bigots? Why on earth would I put myself in a position that comprises that, regardless of what other incentive there might be? I'm not looking to be "understood" in this situation. I'm simply looking to be accepted.

What if it's your super-religious boss, who thinks anything other than twice a month missionary position with your spouse is a sign of moral turpitude and sufficient justification for firing you?

You do understand this is illegal, correct? That to fire anyone for being different due to religious (or even none religious) beliefs is an illegal act, yes? I would REPORT them. Regardless I would value my own personal beliefs and opinions over a job. If necessary I'd walk away and find employment elsewhere if a boss is that stubborn. And if a boss IS that stubborn I wouldn't be having the job in the first place. I would also "flag" them for their disrespect of other beliefs that are not there own (if such disrespect is shown) and ensure they gain a negative reputation as a result. Which is why even stubborn people aren't stupid enough to cross that line. The last thing a boss wants is a bad reputation that could potentially kill their business. For my part I'm actually quite glad that church I did work experience in accepted my masochist/sub/poly ways without complaint (good on them. had a few laughs and chats to boot). Can the same be said for others? For my part if the price of "being me" is losing a roof over my head, then so be it. I hide for no one and place me and my personal opinions that matter as much as others over martial gain. That's the choice I've made. I have every right to be myself as much as others do. I'll stress "as much" and not "more" or "less" just so there's no confusion on the matter.

Because if they're in exactly the wrong position of power they can royally screw up your life, and if you don't know how they're likely to react then the safest bet is not to rock the boat

Boats get rocked for a reason. People can either be understanding or at least accepting, or they can be uncaring and judgemental and toss you aside. Nice if the former, move on if the later. As for power, see above. I've seen too many people get treated like shit for being "a freak". I will NOT stand for it in ANY shape or form. People can be stubborn prats if they like but if it reaches the point of bullying that's the line. I'm not going to "play it safe" if I see someone getting insulted just for being "a little different."

I get the feeling you prefer to hide. And that's your choice. But it's not a choice for everyone. Doesn't mean people should be in faces about how they are, just that they shouldn't HAVE to hide. Any boss that doesn't respect that doesn't get my respect. And I'll not be fulling a business that lacks respect for others. Use all the "But you'll be homeless" excuses all you like, but I'll have nothing to do with it. Too much past experience of people hiding away and going down dark paths to stomach it. Better that I be homeless then keep a company going that harms others.

Does being seen "A bit differently" make it more difficult? yes. Do I regret it? No.
 
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Emm

Stealth Mod
Well, bully for you. The question was "Does being under-privileged make it harder to come out?", not "Does Taramafor find it hard to come out?" Your experience can't be generalised to cover everyone.

Edit: for info, since you seem to be implying that my statements are an attempt to excuse my own lack of outness, I'm one of the lucky ones. My family and friends know I'm poly, as do the people at work responsible for such things a security clearances, etc. If relationships come up in conversation I happily explain that I have a non-standard number of boyfriends. I own my own house (along with another which provides a rental income), earn a (low) 6-figure salary, have enough cash in the bank to keep me afloat for 12-18 months if I was suddenly to become unemployed, live in a country with universal health care, and my only dependants each have 4 paws.

I recognise that not everyone has my advantages, so as much as I believe that everyone should be able to live their lives without interference or judgement, I understand that many don't feel safe doing so.
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Kevin. That was an eye opener. Good to see that there was a massive discussion about this (22pages long) that happened 5 years ago. They talk a lot about race. Post#9 on your linked thread was an eye opener for me. I haven't read the whole thread but a large focus is on racial minorities. There are other ways to be in a minority as well. Sexual preference, gender identification, disability.

Disability is the one that makes me feel that my thoughts are inhumane. I'm finding it hard to imagine a person who is wheelchair bound being the hinge in a polyamorous V with two successful, able bodied white cis-hetero people. Even in saying that I feel dirty, like I'm discriminating against such persons. I feel I need to re-evaluate how open minded I think I am.

!!! You are falling victim to the thinking that handicapped people can't be sexual or have successful careers.

My partner is handicapped in her arms, one is shorter than the other and she has no thumbs. She is also transgender and has anxiety/depression (on meds for hormones and her anxiety, and did many years of psychological therapy). And she's super cute and super sexy and sexual.

She has me, a female cisgendered woman, and her bf of 3+ years, a cismale. And she's a fantastic loving hinge.

I'm not "able bodied" at the moment, since I am still recovering from chemotherapy. Her bf is only in his mid 30s but is also a cancer survivor. He is missing a testicle. Do we deserve love and sex?

Ugh. Your admission was brave, but it made me feel sick.
 
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Ravenscroft

Banned
You do understand this is illegal, correct?
Doesn't matter in the least, really, because you'd have to prove it first.

All a superior has to do is find reason to critique your job performance, find the undesirable person somehow wanting, & under a typical "at will" employment contract they would be out the door.

So long as there's not a clear pattern of illegal discrimination, or some sort of "smoking gun" (memos, emails, witnessed overt mention, audio recordings), it probably wouldn't even get investigated.
 

Shaya

New member
I'm sorry, Mags, but thank you for sharing. I think everyone matures at different rates and I feel I'm still growing. I hope to be a better man tomorrow.
 
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Taramafor

New member
Well, bully for you. The question was "Does being under-privileged make it harder to come out?", not "Does Taramafor find it hard to come out?" Your experience can't be generalised to cover everyone.

I never said it did. At what point did I state otherwise? I also have only my own experience to draw upon and specifically said I won't stand for others being given a hard time. No matter what it's about. That's not "generalising". that's sticking up for difference itself. Different things, yes, but it's all "That different thing."

And I can also only speak for myself. I am not others. I don't have their experiences or yours. I can't speak for anyone but myself. I'd also never generalise. Frankly I'm insulted you'd think I would. Everything is case by case with me. I could give you stories about others, about how they got treated like shit, but I don't have their feelings. And those people might not want things said about them. I can only assume you feel some degree of jealousy due to my "loud and proud" nature. Yes I feel happy that I can flaunt it, no that doesn't mean I look down on others that don't. Furthermore by pointing it out you are only serving to encourage further conversation of the topic (in this case me). It's a little impossible not to make it "about me" when you're so fixated on me. But for my part I'll try to let that matter rest and leave that part of the conversation here. And what's more there's going to be people like me. In my position. If I go "This is what I been through" it's only to state "This could/does happen to others".

Doesn't matter in the least, really, because you'd have to prove it first.

I'm aware of this. But if any boss uses an excuse (with ANYONE. Not just me) for it then at that point I no longer want to work for them. That doesn't mean it doesn't matter. because it sure as hell matters to me and whoever the target is. You probably meant "Doesn't matter where the law is concerned" though. Sad to say people get taken advantage of due to lack of proof all too often.
 
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Emm

Stealth Mod
Taramafor, if you really believe that a reply to a stranger on an internet message board demonstrates "fixation" then to judge by sheer volume of text it would appear you're fixated on me rather than the other way around. I, on the other hand, see replying to a publically posted message as nothing more than continuing a discussion. I have no idea who you are and don't really care. You're right; It's not all about you.
 
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