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Author Topic: bi gf 1/2 in closet
erehwon
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I'm a straight male and I've been dating this girl for a while now and early on I found out she was bisexual. It doesn't mean all that much to me. About the only thing different is that once in a while she notices a cute girl and comments to me, which is kind of fun to see who she thinks is cute and if we agree (turns out often we don't agree).

She is really into LGBT... rights and often talks about LGBT discrimination issues. She's very passionate about this and while I agree with her on the issues, I'm not as active as she is.

Here's the weird part, she's not really out. She's out when she's with her LGBT friends, but with other friends, she's silent and her family definitely doesn't know. I guess you could say she's 1/2 out, which is weird as is and even more so given how passionate she is on the topic.

Once in a while she lets something slip about a past girlfriend at a party (usually after some drinks). I can tell most of her friends already know, but she still keeps it a "secret" that I have to help her navigate. Sometimes it's awkward when she says something accidentally and a friend of mine looks at me. I usually just make an excuse to not be in the room when that happens.

I personally think she should just come out, but when I talk with her about it, she's afraid that something bad will happen. Family will be upset or she will lose her job, or... I don't think she should be afraid, but it's not for me to say.

It's her right to be in the closet and I should be supportive, but it is difficult at times to know which friend knows what and to navigate each situation. It also seems a bit unfair that I need to keep track of who knows and who doesn't.

I don't know if I have a question because most of this is probably just seeing if others are in a similar situation and if there are any suggestions. Meanwhile, I guess I just need to keep this secret, especially when I meet her family over Easter.

Vent over... thx

[Roll Eyes]

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Heather
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Ultimately, we can't say when it is right for someone else to come out, nor to whom.

Being out selectively is also not not-out: pretty much everyone is only out (or saying what their sexual orientation is, even straight people) selectively to some degree. Probably you are, too.

However, I think it makes sense for you to want to better negotiate the way this works with the two of you per who you talk about her orientation with if it is feeling like you can't know who to share this with or not.

It might help to maybe talk together about who either of you would talk about the other's orientation with. In other words, chances are good that probably it might not be as hard as it seems if you just start by together making a list of who either of you would talk about the other's sexuality with, period, and that probably will be a pretty short list. Might be more helpful, in this same vein, to talk and agree more about who you CAN tell than who you can't?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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erehwon
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I understand that it's not my place to tell her to come out. While I think she should come out, but I would NEVER do that for her and I would never pressure her to do it either. I'm far more concerned that I would be put in a position where I need to either say she's not bisexual (lie) or confirm she is (out her). When I've been asked in the past, I just say nothing and change topics, which is probably just outing her anyway.

For all the talk about my keeping it a secret, I will say, she's pretty careless about it herself. That's actually the most annoying part having thought about this more. I even found out because she wasn't careful herself, not because she decided to tell me. I don't think she understands that keeping a secret for her isn't easy and she should help me keep it if she want me to do that for her.

I'm not sure if 1/2 out is a good term and certainly "selectively out" is more descriptive, but I do think being asked to keep something a secret is different than having boundaries about when and who you talk to about your sexual orientation. I don't think these are similar issues because one is a secret you shouldn't tell others and the other is a matter of what is appropriate to discuss. If I mess up and discuss something socially awkward, I didn't give up any secrets about someone else, I just said something embarrassing.

I've talked with her about it before and I do point out to her when she's said something that outed herself. She's not nearly as careful as I am about it. Partially because if I accidentally outed her I'd feel terrible.

She has a lot of friends and I have only a few friends. I'm much less social. It's definitely not a short list to keep track of who knows and who doesn't. I can't even remember many of her friends names (especially the one's she sees less often), let alone who knows what about her past relationships.

We have talked about this and she pretty much just says I shouldn't tell anyone. So unless I know for a fact that she has told someone already (and maybe not then either), I don't discuss anything that could lead to this topic, I hope the topic never comes up, and when it does, I change topics. When I can't change the topic, I leave the room, remain silent or tell them to talk to her.

I don't think this is a huge deal. It's just something I need to deal with until she decides it's no longer a secret I need to keep for her.
I was really just venting and seeing if anyone else is in the same boat.

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Heather
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And when you have talked about all of this with her, how have those talks gone? Have you been able to yet come to any mutual agreements around all of this you both feel good about?

FYI with this, one easy option is just to not identify someone else's orientation for them to anyone else, period. After all, that is actually often not appropriate to do, about or for anyone else, since it is their personal information.

In other words, you do have the option of just answering any question anyone might ask about someone else's orientation with something like, "That is not for me to talk about, since it is not about me. You need to ask them about that."

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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erehwon
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We talked a little this weekend. We're working on what to do when I meet her family. What can I say about myself included, as they are very Christian and I'm an Atheist, which she says they will go nuts if they find out. I already know not to talk about her sexual orientation and that is very unlikely to come up anyway, so I'm not worried about that.

Basically on her end the rule is "I don't tell anyone."

I don't think you understand what is going on here. It's not that I would tell anyone, it's that as conversations go, sometimes that information just leaks out in unexpected ways. Once I was cornered by one of her friends, I said exactly what you suggested saying that they should talk to her.

However, what if it leaks with one of my friends present and they don't know her. All I can do is be silent as if there is some big secret problem, which there isn't.

If my friend asks me point blank to explain a statement my gf made about a past girlfriend of hers, what can I say to them?

"It's not for me to talk about her, you should ask her. "

That sounds very suspicious and pretty much says one of two things. Either, there is some terrible thing about her that I'm keeping secret, or, she's Bisexual and in the closet.

There's no good way to deal with this aside from the truth, which I have been expressly told to not do.

Again, probably not a huge deal except it's annoying knowing that the majority of her friends already know and that she doesn't know they know. When we started dating, one of her friends tried to warn me about some mysterious thing about her I didn't know. I asked her if it was something that would be dangerous for me, like, is she an axe murderer? When she said, "No. It's not dangerous.", I said, "Then don't tell me. She'll tell me if she wants to tell me." I figured it out by the end of the week because she mentioned a past girlfriend she had.

Also, she is less careful about keeping it a secret that I am expected to keep it. That just somehow seems unfair.

I have another week to work this out with her. This is all just unnecessary drama IMHO, but there's not much I can do about it.

Thanks, we will get it worked out.

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Molias
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If one of your friends overhears your girlfriend talking about a past girlfriend she has, it isn't really their business to look to you for an explanation in the first place. I know you can't control the questions other people ask, but hopefully it won't be too common that someone would do that. But if it does happen, then you really could just deflect it. If someone says "wait, [your girlfriend] mentioned an ex-girlfriend, what's up with that?" and she doesn't want you to talk about it, you really can just respond with something like "I haven't met her exes, you'd have to ask her about it" or "that's too personal for me to answer on her behalf, sorry."

It might feel stilted to you or like it's suspicious, but honestly if someone said that to me, my reaction would be "oh yeah, that was a bit of an inappropriate question to ask about her in the first place." Because a point-blank question about someone's personal business (especially when it's asked of a third party!) really is pretty rude. You aren't being suspicious by deflecting it, you're being respectful of her wishes.

I see that this is frustrating for you, but it really is your girlfriend's choice how to handle disclosure of her orientation. She's the one who is most aware of her personal safety & comfort level, and she gets to choose how and when to disclose to others. She's able to assess each situation and talk more or less openly as she is comfortable with, but again: that's her choice, and not yours. So she might feel like it's ok to talk more openly in some situations, and because she wants to be the one in control of outing herself (which is absolutely her right), that's fine. I don't think it's a lack of being careful, but just the fact that she's the one who gets to decide when to disclose.

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erehwon
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Thanks, sounds like you're getting closer to understanding. Let me say it again.. I understand it is totally her choice on how to handle disclosing her orientation. That is not an issue here and I'm NEVER going to do that for her nor do I think it is my place to ever do it.

I disagree that she is being careful. She does it by talking about ex-gf's at parties while drinking (among other stories). I point out to her the next morning she outed herself at the party with that story she told about her ex-gf, and she seems surprised.

IMHO, if you drink and tell stories that out yourself and then the next day seem surprised to hear that you told someone you didn't intend, I think that is not being careful. The next morning I go over the story she told, then she thinks about it and says, yeah, I outed myself last night, oops. It's her right to it, but IMHO, it's not being careful if it's done unintentionally.

I agree her friend that cornered me was rude asking me an inappropriate question. And yes, it does seem stilted from my perspective to evade questions when they come up. It feels like everyone is looking at me when she talks about her ex-gf's and I get very self-conscious that I know something and have to be quiet. Hard to explain, but that's how it feels knowing I have a secret that I have to hide for her and she's not being careful. It's not that I care, it's that I know she does care and she's not being careful about it that doesn't feel right.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable watching someone else do something you know they are unaware they are doing? Maybe I'm the only one gets these conflicted feelings of embarrassment watching her do something she is unaware she is doing at the time and also thinking, good, it's about time you outed yourself, now I don't have to worry about keeping this secret for you.

I don't know if I can explain this any better.

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Sam W
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Hi erehwon,

So, after you mention to her that she was talking about ex-girlfriends at a party, what does she say? How does the rest of that conversation go? Do you talk about things like "ok, because of the conversation last night persons x, y, and z have some sense of your identity. Do you feel comfortable continuing to be open with them about it if it comes up?"

Something to keep in mind about having a partner who has an LGBTQ identity is that they are never going to be 100% out. Because you meet new people all the time and (usually) those people assume things about your sexuality and/or gender. So, if you continue to be together? The fact that you will need to keep mum about her orientation, to give non-committal or deflective answers, will not go away.

Beyond that, is there something in particular, at this point, you were looking for help with ?

[ 04-15-2014, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: Sam W ]

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erehwon
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I don't understand what you mean by LGBTQ "never going to be 100% out." How is it any different to be LGBTQ and being open about your sexual orientation than being straight? Now I'm more confused than before.

I would say that you are 100% out if you don't hide your identity because of your identity alone. I don't walk up to people and say, "Hi, nice to meet you. I'm straight." That doesn't mean I'm not open about my sexual identity, it just means I choose when to mention it, I don't think about what I'm about to say and think if anything in the story could lead to accidentally disclosing that information. I just think if what I'm saying is appropriate for the social situation and I don't worry if I'll need to not tell a story because it will let my sexual orientation out of the bag.

Pretty much what you said happens. I say, hey, x, y and z have an idea about your sexual identity because of the conversation you had. She just pauses, thinks a moment and says, Oh, yeah, I wasn't thinking. I guess I let that out. I must have had too many drinks.

I'm not looking for help at this point. I'm just a little frustrated that no matter how much I type, I'm not sure anyone is hearing what I'm saying. I'd like to get off this topic. It's not helping.

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Karybu
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I'm sorry you're frustrated.

Maybe it would help if we kind of started over? If you're not looking for help or advice at this point, what are you looking for?

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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erehwon
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I went to the LGBT board and the posting said it was only for people who identified as LGBT. It said if you were not LGBT but were looking for support, to come to this board.

I thought maybe someone had been through a similar situation and had some suggestions on what helped them or if not that, then just to know I'm not the only one working this kind of situation out.

I think when I meet her family Sunday, I'm going to come out as an Atheist raised Jewish. I'm sure they will take this opportunity to ask me which Church I belong to... that should be the best time to come out. She said her family won't be happy finding out I'm not a Christian.

If she can control who she is out to, I fail to see why I can't do the same for my religion (or lack of it). If this doesn't go well, that's just how it goes. If she doesn't want me to meet her family because of it, that is also fine. Easter kind of creeps me out anyway.

I'm just tired of all extra effort hiding things no one should care about anyway.

It's okay if no one else is in this boat. I'm used to paddling alone anyway.

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ClaudusCogito
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Hi there erewhon,

I hope you don't mind me weighing in on this thread, as you will notice, I am not a volunteer or a frequent poster on scarleteen. However, you said you came to this particular board, hoping to find someone who might be in a similar position to you, who could give some advise? Am I reading that correctly?

Well, I am as straight a bloke as they come and I am in a relationship with a bisexual woman who is not out to each and everyone in her social environment. Admittedly, she does not tend to slip information about past people at parties, but I too know that some people don't know my partner's orientation, while others do.

Having looked at your posts, I am reading two things:

1) You feel like you not being able to be out as atheist towards her family is a concern, which is not dealt with in the same way her sexual orientation is.

2) You feel that it is a burden of sorts to you, having to keep a mental inventory of the "outs" and "not outs" and potentially having to cover for your partner, while she seemingly outs herself accidentally sometimes.

Did I capature that correctly? If so, which of these two are you actually more wanting to have a conversation about? Maybe I can share some of my experiences to help.

P.S. I too am an atheist.

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techie
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I hope you don't mind me pitching in as well, but just this that you raised that didn't get replied to:

"I don't understand what you mean by LGBTQ "never going to be 100% out." How is it any different to be LGBTQ and being open about your sexual orientation than being straight? Now I'm more confused than before."

In the majority of spaces that people interact in (outside of events like Pride and gay bars), any individual is likely to be assumed straight until told otherwise. And when you aren't straight, you are always going to have to navigate through these spaces either choosing to out myself, or allowing people to think wrongly about me. You'd be surprised by how naturally the assumptions come out, it's not a matter of walking up to people and being like "Hi, I'm gay" - it's mentioning exes and having other people immediately refer to them with male pronouns, asking if I have a boyfriend, or if my boyfriend minds my piercings/hairstyle, or expecting agreement to statements like "what girl wouldn't want to make out with Benedict Cumberbatch really".

Every new space and new person is going to come to you with assumptions that you either have to accept or contradict - in that way, any LGBTQ+ person cannot be 100% out at any one time.

On a separate note (and I apologise if this opinion isn't welcome), I feel like you're taking on too much responsibility for your girlfriend's closetedness. The way you express annoyance at her being careless with that information suggests that you're invested in or have anything to lose from her being outed - which isn't the case. You do seem to understand that it isn't your place to out her - which is great - but it's also not your place to keep her in the closet, either.

Have you tried taking the attitude that it just isn't your business, if other people get involved? Like if anybody asks - "well, she's dating me. Anything before that is really her business, not mine". It could be a more comfortable option for you in that it sounds less like you're deliberately trying to hide anything.

I have to admit, I have never been the straight person in this situation, but I have dated the straight people in this situation, and I have a lot of good friends that are still in the closet to their families, so I know to navigate situations with caution re: things I mention.

Lastly - though this is just a side note - 'coming out' is a term that's pretty much exclusive to the LGBTQ+ community, using it to tell your girlfriend's parents that you're an atheist can seem quite insensitive. I also think that if that's a decision that will make her family unhappy (and potentially her unhappy, if she lives with them), that's something you should talk out with your girlfriend, rather than acting as if "if she can out herself, why can't I". You may have very decent motivations there but in the context you're presenting it it sounds like a decision born of frustration more than anything else.

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erehwon
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Hi ClaudusCogito,

Thanks for posting. I think you pretty much have it. It feels like there's 2 sets of rules, one for her and one for me.

I think the bisexual problem is more difficult for me because all I can do is watch what happens. I'm just wondering how common this is for someone like us (straight with a bisexual partners) to deal with feeling like your hiding something.

I get it with her family and work, but I just don't get it with her friends. From everything I can see, she's nervous about nothing. Even if I'm wrong, I wouldn't be friends with someone that wasn't accepting of who I was anyway, so problem solved either way.

Family and work are a bigger problem. You can't dump your family and you have to pay bills, so I totally get being nervous about that.

I just got done talking with her about Easter Sunday. We agreed that if the topic of religion comes up, the plan is for me to say I'm Jewish, kind of a lie. I was raised Jewish, but that's about it. If her family asks something like, "So, what church do you attend?", I can say, "I was raised Jewish so I don't go to church. " Apparently being Jewish is slightly better than being an Atheist. If I get crap from them (which I can't imagine will happen, but we talked about it just in case), then I just politely excuse myself and wait 10 minutes in the car for her to leave too. If she takes longer than that (presumably she's arguing with them), then I go home and meet her at my place later.

thx

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erehwon
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Hi Techie,

Catching up... I'll try to address your post too...

Sorry, still not getting the 100% out. I understand people make assumption. For example, people ask me what I'm doing for Christmas and wrongly assume I'm Christian. Often those assumptions are subtle in many ways that Christians can't perceive, but understandable given people tend to go with the odds.

I think the difference isn't what people assume, because I see being out as internal and not external. If someone made a statement that implied I was straight when I was gay and I didn't correct them because I wasn't comfortable, then I'm not out. What they assumed wrongly has nothing to do with my internal state of mind.

In your example, if someone says "what girl wouldn't want to make out with Benedict Cumberbatch really?", a person who was out could reply, "Well, me, I'm not interested in kissing Benedict Cumberbatch because I'm a lesbian."

I totally get that in some circumstances correcting someone could be a problem. At work if you could get fired, or with family if they are unsupportive. However, with friends, especially if you claim to strongly support LGBT rights... Hummmmm???... I call that a strange definition of friends if you can't be 100% there. Just my opinion, but it does influence how I see this situation.

I understand someone could be selective and not be 100% out, but I don't get that you can never be 100% out. So long as you feel free to correct bad assumptions, then you are 100% out. Sometimes you may choose to not do that just because it isn't worth the effort, but so long as you felt comfortable that you could do it. I worked at a job once where everyone knew the receptionist was a lesbian and she didn't hide it. She invited us to a party, I met her partner who was Trans (hope that's the right term), her boss came too. She never hesitated to tell anyone as far as I could tell. Sometimes she was less than tactful when people assumed wrongly, but she seemed 100% out to me.

I suspect this is just misunderstanding of what it means to be 100% out and maybe my idea isn't what people mean when they use the term. If I have that wrong, let me know what term I should use (if there is one) and what 100% out actually means.

I don't agree I'm taking on too much responsibility. I do agree that I've had too much responsibility put on me. She's made it clear that it is my responsibility to not talk about it. That's why I posted here to start. I wanted to get a handle on how to make this all go smoother for everyone.

I didn't know the term "being out" was only for LGBT+. What term should I use for being open about being an Atheist?

BTW, So long as we are on terms here, I'm more of an Apatheist, but no one knows what that means when I say it, so I just stick with the term Atheist, just because it more quickly gets the message through. Saying I'm Jewish to her family isn't 100% honest because I know it's a bit misleading. I'm only doing this 1/2 measure with her family as a compromise.

Yeah, I'm frustrated, you're right on there. However, I would not say it was born out of the frustration, but rather the frustration was born out the secrecy.

I really appreciate it that you are explaining the other side. It is hard to understand her concerns because I'm not bisexual. I really am trying my best to be respectful and have the same respect given to me also. Please don't take anything I've said as anything less than appreciative.

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Heather
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I wonder if it might also help to consider that she is likely NOT nervous about nothing. More than consider, actually, and rather, accept.

I think it's safe to say that no one nervous or concerned about people knowing they are queer is so for no reason. Even in areas of the world where acceptance is very good, it still is not anything close to a given. For instance, there is still violence, harassment and discrimination that happens to queer people living in San Francisco, one of the most accepting cities there is.

For sure, we can often get away from or avoid people who don't accept us. But not always, and even then, sometimes what we need to do to do that can cause a level of upheaval in our lives, or risks to our physical or emotional safety we just do not feel equipped to handle.

We have to figure, I think, when something is not our own experience, we probably are not going to be able to see or understand all that it involves, and will need to always leave room for the fact that what we see or interpret is probably missing some things.

OTOH, when it comes to who you tell about your atheism, that should be totally up to you. Just like who she tells about her orientation should be totally up to her. If she's asking you not to tell her family about your beliefs in this regard -- per your atheism -- you still get to decide if you do or do not want to do that, and you should have the final say there.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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erehwon
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Thanks Heather,

I know I can't put myself in her place and understand everything she experiences around being bisexual. The best I can do is listen and be respectful of her wishes. That doesn't mean I understand or agree. I really do try to understand where she is coming from, but it's not easy.

It may be my choice in the end when dealing with what I say about myself, but she is concerned and I don't want to make things worse for her, so I very much take that into consideration.

I think we have a pretty good plan at this point. She thinks we won't need it because they'll assume I'm Christian. I've been down this road before and I don't think she understands just how likely someone is to say something that assumes I'm Christian. If that happens, I'll correct the misunderstanding as politely and positively as I possibly can. Telling the 1/2 truth by avoiding the "A" word isn't quite what I would do, but she seems more comfortable with that as a first step.

I was caught a little off guard because I found out she was bisexual by accident. It didn't seem like anything to be concerned about at the time, but I guess I didn't think enough. Because I've had gay male friends in the past just tell me when it came up, I didn't imagine it would be an issue for her. That was a bad assumption on my part.

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Heather
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Well, we're all human, and we're going to make some assumptions sometimes that aren't sound. It happens. [Smile]

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ClaudusCogito
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Hi again,

there is something that makes it somewhat hard for me to relate to what you write.

When I read your posts,(very very simplified) it sounds a lot like you understand 'not being out' as some sort of (self-)deception that -ultimately- is worse than living your 'true' self and as something that is a free individual choice.

I mean, it would be great, if we could just freely choose to share all aspects of our individuality at our own will.

My experience is, it often is not that easy, because society does not allow a framework to do so. I mean even openly gay people will still frequently have to re-out themselves at many occassions. This in and by itself is already something, I as a straight bloke will never be able to fathom. I just walk into a room and people will assume I am straight and that's that (especially, when I walk into the room with an obviously female partner). I mean, if you are up for trying something, just try outing yourself as 'straight'... the confused faces will speak for themselves.

What is more, even if I would have to constantly out myself as straight, I could most likely do so without any concern for my well-being... at least I have not heard of anybody being threatened, intimidated, ridiculed or worse for being 'straight'. The reason, I can be so open about my orientation is, because I have nothing to fear or worry about.

For a non-straight person, the situation is not quite so easy. They will have had first or second hand experiences of people not taking kindly to having their bad assumptions corrected. For them, staying under the radar can sometimes be the only way of safely navigating an environment which is potentially harmful.

Obviously, I only 'know' this from what I have heard and read and I will never be able to 'feel' it, because I am not living it... it is a world I can never truly relate to. What I can do, however, is to trust my friends who are 'living it' to know what works best for them and support them in their choices. Arguably, some of these choices might be wrong or even outright stupid, but chances still are they will be much better at calling them than I ever will. After all, being a free individual also means making bad decisions.

To me, whom my partner shares her orientation with and how, is entirely her matter. If she does not want her orientation to be known, I might not get it, but I am fairly positive that she will have reasons. Maybe that means, I will sometimes have to come up with some ways to dodge questions, but at the end of the day... I have no clue, what might happen if I do not dodge these questions.

Sometimes my partner will have good reasons not to have her identity openly out and if she does, I appreciate being in the picture. Sometimes, it might just be a gut feeling and in those cases, I find it very easy to simply trust my partner's experiences.

This is particularly true as -to my knowledge- being bi is quite a bit more complicated than being monosexual. Unless you have some kind of "I AM BI!" blimp hovering over your head constantly, there is no fixed set of behaviours that will out you easily, because people will just assume you are merely attracted to the gender of your current partner and both heterosexual and homosexual people might have a go at you, bigotry-wise.

Does this mean, I think it isn't annoying that one has to dodge questions and maybe keep a record of people "in" or "out"... will, no, but I am not annoyed at my partner. She does these things as a safety measure of sorts. I am much more annoyed that we are living in a society, in which such safety measures are a necessity and at those people, who walk around with silly unfounded assumptions. Neither of these two issues are my partner's choice or responsibility, so to me 'not outing her' feels much more like teaming up against the bigotry of society.

I am kind of her straight side-kick, if one will. [Smile]

This has turned into quite a long post already, so if I may, I will not go straigh into the "what about atheism" question, but rather leave some space for you to check, if what I wrote helps and maybe ask some questions, if need be.

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acb
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Hey erehwon! I'm bi and I just thought I'd pitch in on the 100% out bit, because to be honest that was something that confused me when I came out. I told my parents and got a girlfriend and then thought 'OK! That's it! I'm out!'. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that simple for me.

Every time I meet someone new, I have to out myself, and a lot of the time for me because I'm femme and have a boyfriend now people assume that I'm straight. Even if I correct them the first time they mention something to do with my love life or whatever, until I do, I sort of feel like I'm in the closet because I know they're assuming and I still have that nervous moment of not knowing how they'll react when I tell them. The only way for me to be 100% out all the time would be to wear a big sign, or something, so the second people saw me it'd be obvious.

That said, there have been times when I've come out and people haven't believed me or thought I was joking, or when I've come out when someone's been drunk and then I have to do it again when they're sober because they didn't remember I told them, or even when people who know I'm bi sort of forget because I've been with a man for so long now and never really talk about anyone romantically/ sexually, male or female, any more. So in that instance, I'm out, but people aren't taking it into account so I have to remind them - sort of reinforce my out-ness.

I'm living in a Catholic country now, so I've actually sort of gone half-back in the closet for work and at my gym for the time being because I find it harder to read the culture here. That seems to suit me fine in terms of how I publicly express myself, so once you're out, it's not necessarily a permanent thing either.

I hope some of that has helped! There was something else I wanted to say but it's slipped my mind. I'll pop back to post if it it comes back to me. [Smile]

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acb
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OK, I remembered!

It seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) but a lot of your frustration comes of not her coming out but her inconsistency with coming out e.g. outing herself while she's drunk while still telling you you have to keep mum. Perhaps this specific point might be one to raise with her if you haven't already because maybe if you understood that more then it'd be easier for you to navigate this situation emotionally as well as practically as you might understand where she's coming from. Coming out isn't just and in/out deal and is pretty emotional so I'd imagine there's a reason for her behaviour which goes beyond carelessness.

I also think that it's good you're making such an effort to be a well informed ally and don't worry if you make mistakes - like Heather said, we're all human. As long as you're learning, I think it's pretty great [Smile]

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