Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Back In The Closet

My partner recently met my parents for the first time, and then a few weeks later I called my Mom up and let her know we’d gotten engaged. My mother is not really one of the most supportive people in the world, and I expected a fairly negative response. Instead she said she really liked my fiance, and that us getting married sounded exciting. She asked the usual questions (“Do you have a date set?”) and then asked a lot of probing questions about how “traditional” my fiance is, and finally got directly to the point of asking if we are monogamous.

My mother knows I was polyamorous in the past, and I’m just not talking about it anymore. I told her my future with my partner will be a much more traditional family structure. This is true – but neglects to mention my long-term relationship with my boyfriend, as well as the existence his wife, and their kid. I am actively involved in their lives and intend to stay that way. Its just something I don’t think Mom needs to know about anymore because she has been really truly awful about my non-monogamous past.

It feels like going back into the closet. I suppose it IS going back into the closet, since I’m not being entirely honest with her. I don’t like it, but I like her rejection less. Plus, this is the only way she’ll come to the wedding and respect my partner. She made it very clear that she would not attend if we were not going to have a “traditional” family.

Have you ever gone back into the closet about something? Why? Was it worth it?

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Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. October 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm —

    Yeah that’s rough. Do you foresee any awkwardness or weird questions coming up at the wedding itself?

    I feel perpetually gender-closeted these days, as I’m in a Trades School in a female-centred program for the rest of the semester. That’s a whole other story as to why I’m in that, but I feel pretty battered daily by the ladies-girls-women talk. It’s also not the safest place for espousing my political views (half the time we’re being fed dollar-sign incentives to go into the oil and gas industry in Alberta) and there are times when I wonder what I’m doing there. While I like my classmates and our dynamic, I wish there was a way for me to fit in without having to implicitly agree that I’m “one of them.”

    I’ve been pretty damn lucky to have a supportive family, although we just don’t talk about my relationships much.

  2. October 11, 2012 at 12:40 am —

    yeeaah, i kind of have had a couple experiences along these lines. first off, the first relationship i had after coming out as (female) gay was poly, so right off the bat i knew i wasn’t sharing that aspect of the relationship with the parentals.

    secondly, basically concurrently with coming out as trans (male), i’ve realized i’m as-much-if-not-more attracted to men. but i don’t really feel like sharing that with my parents until they fully accept me as male, because there’s no way i’m giving them the impression that i’m “going back” to being straight. so i’m pretending to be straight (in my mind) so they won’t think i’m straight (in their mind).

    tldr: being trans is a mindfuck.

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