This is my monthly column about our life, life in a triad in general, or whatever rants & raves I feel like talking about at the time.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Fear and Loathing

As many of you know, six months ago I started a new job. I'm now the Assistant Manager in a Subway Restaurant that is one of five store's in this area. Our restaurant has a very small staff (eleven people currently, myself and the General Manager included), so as one might expect you develop a family type atmosphere with your coworkers. This type of relationship is unavoidable, but like all families not everyone gets along and not all relationships have the same level of trust. My boss and I have begun to develop a good working relationship. She's quite a bit younger than I am, and at twenty-three years old has been managing this particular restaurant for almost six years now. I would consider our relationship to be a friendship as well as a working relationship, although we have never had any type of interaction outside of the workplace. She is very open in discussing her personal life, despite the fact that some disapprove of the way she lives it. She's a single mother raising a thirteen month old child; and actively dates more than one man. Obviously I have no problem with how she lives her life, but at the same time have not volunteered any details regarding my own personal life or the true nature of my family structure. I would actually like to be able to tell her about my poly family. I think she would handle it very well; more so in fact than just about anyone else I know. So what's keeping me from telling her?


History is full of people who have had to live in fear for one reason or another. Skin color, religious conviction, sexual preference and even political beliefs have all been sources of discrimination that have forced countless people to live in fear. Fear of retribution, fear of violence, fear of being marked as "outcasts" within their society, fear of losing everything that they hold dear all because of their desire to live their lives in the way that makes them feel the most complete. Despite the fact that mainstream society proclaims to not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, or skin color we all know that sadly it just doesn't happen that way. Because of this fact, many people have been forced to pretend to be something they're not in order to protect themselves or their family.

They've been forced to live in fear.

The fact that many polyamorous people are forced to live in "the closet" shouldn't surprise me. Gay and lesbian folks have been doing so for decades and possibly even centuries; why should we be any different? I find it refreshing that recently one state in this Country recently voted down a ban on same-sex marriage; yet at the same time one state out of fifty-one is hardly a landslide victory. I guess it goes to show that people can change their belief systems, people can reverse their fear and hatred for that which they don't understand, and that quite possibly in the distant future people might just be able to "live and let live". I honestly don't think it will happen in my lifetime, but it could happen in my children's lifetime. I don't enjoy having to live a lie just to protect who I really am and who my family is; but the sad truth remains that it is necessary to do so. It doesn't make me love my wife and family any less, but it certainly seems to go against everything this Country supposedly stands for. Wasn't our Country formed out of a desire to be individuals? Didn't we break away from our predecessors so we could allow our people to be different than they were? The levels of discrimination within our society seem quite hypocritical to the very Constitution we drafted for our people to live by.

Fear and loathing.

Fear of being discovered for what (or who) we really are leads to the sense of loathing that we are forced to live this way. Fear of losing everything we hold dear to us leads us to loathe the very Country that swore to allow us to be individuals. Fear of becoming "outcasts" leads us to loathe the fact that we must live in "the closet". There is hope, however. Every day that goes by brings more and more small victories. We might not get out of "the closet" any time soon, but at the very least we can certainly stick our necks out a little further each day. Who knows, one day we might not have to wear that bulletproof vest when we do so. One day we might wake up and no longer have to live in fear and loathing. Until then I'll be remodeling my closet, care to join me?

~ Chias, November 30, 2006


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