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J had to out me to his mother the other day. I don’t blame him for it; given the circumstances, it was definitely the right thing to do. During a conversation about other things, his mother asked him why he was spending so much time with E, our girlfriend– she thought that he was cheating on me with her. To calm her suspicions, he explained to her that E was in a relationship with both of us, and that I knew about everything he did with her. Then to explain THAT, he had to tell her that I was bisexual. She said that she would never have guessed that I like women (never gotten that response before!), and suggested I was telling him that just to seem sexier. I’m a little offended that that’s the conclusion she would immediately jump to, but he assured her otherwise and hopefully she now knows better.

Today I’m seeing her for the first time since my outing. J’s mom is pretty chill, but I’m still worried that she might think of me differently now. There are always plenty of homosexuals hanging around the J household, so it’s not that. It’s more the poly thing, which is understandably confusing to monogamous folks. Around her, I am always shy and helpful and polite, and so being outed as completely freaky might be kind of a shock to her system. No longer am I the girl next door, but some sort of slutty, otherworldly specimen. Will she think I’m a slut? Will she think I’m leading her son into sin? Or that I’m using one or the other of them for sex? That I’m afraid of commitment? That I have STD’s? That I’ll break her son’s heart? Or, horror of horrors, will she talk to me about it? If she did I’d probably have a heart attack, but I almost hope it does come up.

I am one of those rare teenage gems that knows that I don’t know everything. When I’m exploring new territory like this, I’d like to have someone wiser and more mature than me to discuss these things with, even if they aren’t as knowledgeable on the particular subject as I am. That’s why I am considering coming out to my parents about the poly thing. They don’t need to know, but I would like to be able to share with them the ups and downs of this new world that I’m exploring.

It’s not like J, E, and I are the only non-monogamous people around. I do have one friend, older than me by at least five years but probably not wiser, who is proudly poly, and many others who engage in casual sex. But our configuration (a serious, committed couple dating another woman) isn’t something I’ve ever seen in real life. (To clarify, it’s not polyfidelity because she is more than free to see other people and J and I have the primary relationship, but it’s more than the shallow fulfillment of a fantasy, because we do care about her a lot and plan on seeing her regularly. Kind of like that phase during dating but before commitment.) So far it’s been easy to navigate, but I don’t like counting on happiness to last, and I’d like to have someone to turn to if it doesn’t.

What do you think? Should it remain need-to-know or should I bring it up with the ‘rents? Do you have any experience in coming out of the poly closet?