How Do You Come Out To You’re Family That Your Non-monogamous? | Facebook Live With Reid

by Reid on March 4, 2021

How Do You Come Out To You’re Family That Your Non-monogamous? | Facebook Live With Reid





Reid: Hello Facebook, hello YouTube, hello internets and the world, good morning! We are broadcasting from Portland. We are in the hot tub. I’m back from my road trip…I think I’m sporting maybe not spectacular bedhead this morning but….but some decent bedhead. And…and today is an interesting day today is the first day since Allison and I bought our home but I’m wearing swim trunks, swinging to do some butt shot there. I’m wearing swim trunks because Allison’s parents are here, they’ve come for us to celebrate an early Thanksgiving and this was actually what sparked the idea for today’s video. So I’m in my hot tub, I’m in Portland. Where are you all are out in the world? And let me see if I can scooch over to give you a better view of the trees.

So with Allison’s folks here, it had me want to talk about coming out to your family and because Allison and I had to have a conversation about like I mean her mom and dad obviously know about our lifestyle and we just needed to kind of figure out like do we do we do we stay naked in the hot tub? Is…is the hot tub still clothing optional like how do we make our home safe or more less stressful for her folks? So like hide the dildos and…and you know like parent proof the house so to speak and it had me thinking ‘coz we’re laughing and texting back and forth with her family about you know being naked in the hot tub and whether that was thumbs up or thumbs down and …and we just kind of you know we laughed about it and chuckled on the family text about it which is also I just want to say I’m very grateful and I have a lot of gratitude for Allison’s folks for being able to welcome welcomed me into their home and I also grew up in a really lucky situation with my mom and dad because they certainly didn’t understand why I was non-monogamous and why I was queer when I came out to them but they…they basically kind of their party line was “as long as you’re happy, as long as you’re healthy we love you no matter what you do” and I just want to recognize that so many people don’t have that family situation going on for them and that that can make life really just suck you’re like just fucking suck but I think talking about coming out to your folks, to your family, to whatever that means to your kids even I think that’s really a really powerful and important subject and I just want you all to know who are watching that I don’t really have a judgment as to which choices you make. I think you’re the only one who can really make the choice for yourself in your situation and it can be tricky and if you’re lucky enough to not have it be tricky then you know acknowledge that you you’re lucky. It’s still was work, it was still work for me coming out with to my folks in my family but overall for me it wasn’t a lot of stress, for other people it’s a lot of stress I know people who’ve been kicked out of their home you know their homes as young adults or even as adults you know when they have to had to leave at home.

I know people who have had their…you know had to go to court and threaten to have their children taken away by you know parents or in-laws that were not excited about their life choices. Hang on there… I’ll make streaks the camera. And so I’m not saying it’s an easy choice and I’m not I don’t even want to say that there is a right or wrong choice. I understand from an activist perspective the more people kind of like a Harvey Milk situation where but if you don’t know Harvey Milk is you can you can Google Harvey Milk but the idea of the more of us that come out, whatever we are kinky, poly, gay, trans whatever, the idea that the more of us that come out the more people get to understand “Oh my neighbor is this that person is that and it normalizes things. I understand that argument but I still want to you know acknowledge in in you know my belief that people you need to make the choices for yourself, you need to do what’s healthy and right for you and so if you need to stay in whatever closet you need to stay in, awesome like I’m gonna I’m gonna support you in that even if…if I disagree in my head with your choices I’m still gonna support you in doing what you need to do because what we don’t need in the world right now…that’s my hot tub cover…what we don’t need in the world right now is more shaming and blaming and feeling broken or wrong about our life choices so that’s just kind of like my…my general context for that.

Tips and tricks and ideas about coming out and when you should come out…I’m gonna I’m gonna say probably not the best idea to come out at the Thanksgiving dinner table with everybody around you and just kind of blurted out in the middle of the family dinner probably not the best way although that’s definitely the way that we would write it into a movie and in Hollywood because then there’s that’s got the most potential for…for dramatic and comedic effect and I think that we get role modeled those kinds of popular media coming out and so I think it subtly affects people like how we….how some of us come out when…when it’s our choice to come out rather than you’re discovered or outed by another family member you know this has happened to my…my sex worker friends and my you know my friends who are gay and, and, and this and that poly and kinky like they get outed by a family member or you know some other situation and now all of a sudden you know they’re out and they have to deal with whatever family outrage or community outrage is happening.

You know Allison and I now live kind of in suburbia even though we’ve got all these beautiful trees like we’re four minutes away from the…the movie theater and home depot I think we’re six or eight minutes away from home depot so like we’re in in it there…we have neighbors and you know like a block up the street is where you know Billy starts to become kind of kid heavy in the neighborhood with like you know kids are like you know 7th and 8th grade and things like that in high school. So you know if and when our neighbors discover that Allison and I are sex educators and….and I outed our… myself you know the first day we met some of our neighbors you know as that we’re sex educators and Allison’s a writer and that we do a lot of talk about consent and you know how to avoid and lessen sexual assault on college campuses and things…things like that like I gave them a really little nice little pitch that we’re the safe sex educators you know if you if you have kids that have questions that are too freaky for you, you know you can send them to us like we’re the safe ones but at some point you know some of the neighbors might get concerned that I’m running blowjob workshops and teaching people how to throw play parties and things like that so we’ll see, we’ll see how it goes.

But what can you do to prepare yourself for if you ever get outed if…if you want to stay in the closet and again like the staying in the closet can also just be that your line is be like your party line for you is like it’s nobody’s fucking business who, who I fuck or how I fuck or who I love. So you know you can also be in the closet because it’s just where your privacy settings are set and not because you’re afraid of everyone knowing parts about yourself. I just think that’s really important in this day and age to really just kind of reinforce that you get to choose until that choice gets taken away from you and if it if…if you want to be private or stay in the closet and you know and you’re not thinking a little bit about well what happens if and when I’m non-consensually outed? It might be useful to put a little bit of thought into it just you know just so that you can emotionally prepare yourself or emotionally prepare you and your partners for those kinds of things.

How I came out to my mom and dad and my advice, what I did was and now this is kind of you know we’re moving into Thanksgiving territory, I had an opportunity to bring my boyfriend home and my girlfriend home for Thanksgiving and I never brought a male lover home for…for holiday before and I just wanna…for the person who…who knows who this I’m talking about, I want to thank her for basically telling me that if…if I didn’t invite my male of her home then she wasn’t coming with me for Thanksgiving. She basically gave me an ultimatum she’s like, “You can invite your boyfriend because he’s available and he asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving and if you don’t invite him home for Thanksgiving because you don’t want to come out to your family, I’m….I don’t feel comfortable coming home with you.” And that was where…where she drew the line and it really forced me to…to consider like “Oh well maybe this is time” because it also felt incongruent for me to bring my boyfriend home and then tell my family “this is my friend” and for us to pretend like we weren’t romantic that felt like it was gonna be me insulting him and insulting our relationship and so what I did was I used the Difficult Conversation Formula which you can go to CONVO and I wrote everyone in my family, my immediate family an email explaining to them that I had something to tell them that I had never told them before explaining why I didn’t tell them up until now like here are the things that I’m afraid of might happen if I told you this thing that I need to tell you. And then I listed a bunch of reasons what I would like to have happen by telling you and then I told them in two sentences you know I’m non-monogamous it’s called polyamory you can look it up on the Internet and I have…I’m queer, I have a boyfriend and a girlfriend and I would like to invite them both home for Thanksgiving. May I bring them home with me…may I invite them home with me?

Now in in the past with my mom and dad and also with my brothers I would kind  of spring things on them during the holidays, I would come home and I would tell them like whatever was new and…and usually right before the end of my trip and then I would hit the road and disappear and…or I would be bringing like my new girlfriend’s home for the holidays and…and not like not telling anybody but nobody knew who these people were like there was no prepping anyone and it…I got some feedback from my brothers that it was like you know it’s kind of weird like one year you’re dating and in love with this person and …and I’m trying to get to know them my wife and I are trying to get to know them and make them part of the family and then the next year it’s somebody new like we…we don’t know who we’re supposed to  be investing in and so it came to me with my lovers you know support like you know what, I need to give them a heads up. I can’t just show up with my boyfriend and my girlfriend like that would be totally shitty so that’s why I sent the email and at the end of the email it said you know “I’m sending you this email because I have had a tendency in the past to just surprise you with things. I will call you all in a day or two to just check in and see how you’re doing.” So I gave context to why I was sending them an email and I was giving them the email so they had a couple of days to in to digest the information before I called them up and this was like two weeks I think before two or three weeks before Thanksgiving. So that’s kind of how I…I figured out that I would do it and that would be the easiest way, it would make sure that everybody had a chance to kind of process and then I would talk to them in person.

The other reason I would I would recommend this as a as a an idea is once I hit send on the email to my first brother it was like the cat was out of the bag like I had to follow through on the other emails which were basically kind of copy and paste. And…and so once I sent the emails, I couldn’t there was no takesies backsies, I had to then call everybody like I mean I guess I could have checked in out and not called them but the cat was out of the bag and it was easy for me to call everybody. The irony was my mom and dad were the people that it was really hard for me to get a hold of I just kept calling and just kept getting a voicemail so I was getting anxious about not talking to them and it wasn’t like they had caller ID so it wasn’t like they were ghosting me and not picking up but uh but like I was nervous because this was a really big deal for me. And my conversations with my brothers went great, one of my brothers it inspired…he’s a born-again Christian so it inspired this huge conversation for he and I on the phone and we’d never you know like we’d always loved each other. I’m very lucky with my brothers how much we care about each other but like he and I had never had this deep of a conversation about identity and you know our spiritual beliefs and you know that was really meaningful and important to me that you know that conversation and it made our…our relationship much deeper and you know so that was a really good thing. With my family it went pretty well like even when I talked to my mom and dad they were less worried about me being queer and more worried about you know another you know another big man coming home for the holidays and my dad’s my dad’s concern was legitimately if the…the house septic system would be able to handle all the people having to go to the bathroom that weekend for Thanksgiving or that Thursday like that was his concern.

So you know I’m this vulnerable as I am and there’s actually really funny Bawdy storytelling story about this so I’ll put that in the link about me coming out to my family but you know one of my most vulnerable moments with my father and he’s worried about the toilet overflowing. It was really funny and it made me realize that this is how my dad says that he loved me like he just he’s like “We love you but is the toilet gonna overflow?” And my dad wasn’t much of a talker anyway so it wasn’t like we’re gonna have this big two-hour conversation about identity politics or anything like that so like you know maybe secretly I was hoping for that kind of father-son bonding but that that wasn’t what happened, we talked about the septic system.

So just recognizing that that went really well for me and for somebody else it could have been completely different and a horrific shit show no pun intended with you know a lot of family anger and upset and betrayal and all these other things. But the idea of having using an email that people can read over and over again to process you know that can be useful and it can also be challenging because if you have parents that don’t handle it well or family members and then they start forwarding that email to all you all of your second cousins just you know also just kind of try to consider or talk to other people who’ve…who’ve come out you know what are some of the things that could go wrong that you’re not predicting. I was okay like you know obviously my mom and dad handle it really well but I was okay if they forwarded that email to my aunts and uncles and stuff like I was gonna be okay with that but maybe you know for you that’s gonna be a whole different situation, it’s maybe your…your family your immediate family handles it well but your aunts and uncles are it’s going to be a shit show there. I…I don’t know really how to how to help you with that but I think this stuff you should consider before coming out especially if you have kids and things like that and coming out to your kids maybe I’ll do a fun interview with somebody…a peer of mine to talk about coming out to your kids. The general consensus with children is that after a certain age like when they you know their kids are really smart and they…they see everything.

So like if you’re kinky and you don’t know and you think that your kids don’t know, odds are they’ve kind of figured it out that mommy and you know mommy or daddy or whomever whatever adults around them are different and it seems to be from my friends and peers that have kids and as long as kids get consistent love and some consistency about certain kinds of like structure that as long as you’re having a healthy relationship and you’re being real with your kids, they and you love them they seem to grow up really healthy and resilient and it becomes problematic or challenging later when they go to school and they start telling you know mommy and daddy like to wear leather and one of them is a pony. So again you know having conversations about what happens…what do we do if blank around coming out that can be really useful.

So my phone’s telling me it’s about to…to run out of battery as it always does and thank you for joining me today. Happy Veterans Day! Happy Veterans Day for everybody here in the U.S. and…and Alex Morgan had Facebook posted or tweeted you know a little shout out to…to disabled veterans and family members and loved ones of disabled veterans so I just want to kind of copy and paste that and also just give a shout out to…to veterans and our disabled service members and that and just say you know thanks and Happy Veterans Day to everybody and I hope this video is useful now that the holidays are coming up so leave some comments and I’ll put some links in in the description when I get out of the hot tub and I’m done hanging out with Allison’s parents and I just wanna send love to everybody.

Mwah! Early Thanksgivings and all that and Thanks, everyone. Bye! Oh, wait if…and I’ll put the link for tomorrow we’re having a free webinar on relationship stuff, that’s gonna be awesome. So I’ll put that in the links as well. Bye!

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