This is post 1/4 of an October Friday uncouth rant series leading up to Halloween. Content notice for horror movie GIFs. A version of this appeared on my Facebook page.
There are days when I do my darndest to be full of subtlety and nuance. This is not one of those days. Since today is National Coming Out Day, let’s talk about closets.
I’m out about a lot of things, things some might say I ought to be a bit less shameless about.
I’m public about not only being a former Muslim and an atheist, but also about how I am pansexual in a radical queer sort of way, kinky, and polyamorous. Because I am fairly open about my life, many closet cases disclose their secret to me.
I’ve found that there are more secretly consensually (and quasi-consensually) non-monogamous atheists than you’d think. So many that I can talk about this without betraying anyone’s confidence. So many that if you think this status is about you or someone you know, it probably isn’t. So many that I no longer suspect that all of them are lying monogamous married men trying to get up my skirt.
I’m starting to resent it. Here I am, happily out of the closet — and people want me to be dragged back into it by deceiving others on their behalf?
I of all people know that it’s hard to be out. However, there are people with valid reasons to closet themselves, and then there are people who are willing to lie solely for their own cushy comfort.
My most bitter call-out is reserved for atheists who use the “We’re nice, normal people, just like you! [i.e. Christians]” argument in their efforts to destigmatize atheism. It takes every modicum of my self-control to react to such statements with only the slightest of side-eye rather than incoherent shrieks (in the case of the presumably monogamous) or pointedly coherent outings (in the case of the ones I know are not monogamous).
That argument, whether made by a non-monogamous hypocrite or a sanctimonious monogamist, directly harms those of who are very much not at all like most mainstream Christians. It predicates the acceptance of atheists into society with our adherence to Christian morality and reflects assimilationism at its most pandering. I am unapologetic about my disgust for those who use the world’s disgust for people like me to further their political ends.
I am not disgusted by every white, heterosexually-married, house-owning, well-employed type who can readily afford such luxuries as dental work and whose worst experience with bigotry was that one time someone said they were going to hell for being an atheist. Even if they aren’t revolting hypocrites, they seem to me like people so privileged that they are unwilling to deal with a single form of marginalization. They appear rather unreasonably frightened of what it’s like to not be perceived as 100% “normal.”
I refuse to out them and cannot force them to come out. I won’t say that I no longer want to hear about anyone’s secret polyamory. I do wish that closet polys would consider my situation and my feelings a little more before forcing me to hang out in their closet with them.