"...A multiplicity defense is, in the strictest technical sense, an insanity defense: the defendant is deemed not guilty by reason of being too mentally unstable to have been expected to exercise any control over their actions or to judge the morality of their behavior by society's standards. And that, dear reader, is how society sees us: a raving bunch of madmen alternately pathetic and dangerous, incapable of behaving normally by society's standards; a threat to friends, family, lovers and children; unable to hold jobs or positions of authority by virtue of this presumed moral ineptitude; pitied and feared at once, deified and demonized, exalted as superbeings capable of accessing mystical powers whilst simultaneously being lashed to beds in asylums and force-fed drugs until we cannot speak, walk or think; and never, never can we indulge the wish to be seen as mere and ordinary human beings whose bodies happen to encompass several distinct states of personhood. This is what it means to be a multiple in America. This is the reality. Closets? We hide in wardrobes barred by iron and chains, huddling in the dusty darkness and cowering before society's preconceptions." --Ruka of Amorpha
Much has been written about the difficulties of coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered in a society which still too often desires to shove those who "don't fit the mold" back into their closets. Unfortunately, there is little material on coming out available by and for healthy, functional plurals.
Those of us who live functional lives as many, and are forced to hide this on a daily basis in order to escape the judgements of a society which disbelieves our truths, often agonize over the issue of coming out. Who should we come out to? Who can we tell? Where is it safe to talk about it? Should our family know? Should our friends know? Will we be fired if our employers know? Will they believe us? Will they try to "fix" us? Will they trust us if they know? Many of us long to share the truth of our lives with our friends, to stop living a lie, to present as our true and authentic selves.
The process of coming out, however, is often nerve-wracking for functional plurals. We often find ourselves having to dig frantically for ways to explain our lives, ways to prove we're healthy and non-disordered, to fight against the misconceptions which the media and popular culture have imparted to so many people-- a way to explain to singlets that we're simply many people in one body, and to be believed, trusted and accepted.
On this page, we invite plurals who are functional and healthy-- regardless of abuse history or origins-- to share their stories of coming out. We invite them to share success stories and methods and explanations which worked for them.
The time has come for healthy plurals to break our silence. As much as we may fear emerging from our closets and speaking our truth, we can never hope for acceptance by society unless each and every one of us makes an effort to speak our realities to the world. It is said that if you want to change the world, start by changing a single person. We can only hope to sway society's attitudes about plurality by changing the attitudes of individual persons around us-- by letting them know that plurals are everywhere, that we are not dangerous, that we are not insane, that we are like anyone else. We are the only ones who can create the accepting society we desire to live in.
We invite you to help out both singlets and other plurals by telling us your experiences, tips, and suggestions for coming out.
Tell Us Your Story (You may submit your story anonymously using our mailform.)Back to Collective Phenomenon
Read Others' Stories About Coming Out
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