There’s been some interesting discussion over in the group We Want a Polyamorous Relationship Status on Facebook. In the course of that, I ended up rounding up some good resources on the topic of “normalizing”the face of polyamory as a way of counterbalancing media and cultural assumptions, and on coming out stories and issues. I’m *trying* to make this a quick post [ETA: LOL. As if!]. Feel free to comment here, or write me directly if you have any questions about any of this stuff.
[In response to a suggesting that people should be “normalizing” the face of polyamory by following the lead of GLBT* rights groups, and “infiltrating the media,” I wrote:]
Poly activists have been trying. Reid Mihalko (of Cuddle Party fame) has been trying to pitch a poly show for years, without much success. Most of the shows that touch on this openly have been about Mormons (Big Love, and that newer one Sister Wives). But there have been some smaller references. My favorite was the doctor [Phlox] on Star Trek: Enterprise, who came from a polyamorous culture. He viewed monogamy as strange. :^)
Fortunately, we [polyamorous people] also have Will and Jada Smith [as images in the media], to counterbalance the train wreck that Charlie Sheen has become. If you want to find out more about poly in entertainment, Joreth has a whole page of movies/TV etc with poly/non-monogamy in them on her Inn Between site (I link to her great STI information in my blog here, which will get you to her site: http://blog.loveoutsidethebox.com/?p=394)
Overcoming the media/cultural barrage about monogamy being the only (acceptable) choice is a large part of what educational organizations such as Loving More (www.lovemore.com) are about. There’s actually been a lot of increased media attention over the past decade, especially the last 5 years or so. Alan on his Poly in the News blog has been cataloging this for quite a while (http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/). “Normalizing” the face of poly is part of what drove me to do the media appearances I have (see below for the link to the first part (of 5) of the the 2005 Montel Williams show on polyamory).
Which brings me back to my point in response to [one of the other FaceBook posters], which is that not everyone is an activist. Some folks aren’t in a position to do it. Some are out with caution. And for some of us, the personal stakes are high in coming out. Those “religious right” [zie] casually dismiss[es] as “a bit of a handful” are actually OUR FAMILIES in many cases. I assure you, it’s not an easy decision for everyone, when the potential stakes are still losing your children because of prejudice, for instance. So while I agree that, in the overall, coming out and being heard and seen is THE best thing for the community as a whole, I also have compassion for those who, on their individual journeys, can’t make that choice freely, or not at this time, if ever. For more on this topic, there’s a whole web page on Coming Out as poly, with coming out stories and other resources: http://www.openlypoly.net/links/
In terms of “normalizing” poly, one way to contribute to this, is to be part of the Poly House Party Weekend project. Host a party the weekend of June 3-5! Be part of what is intended/hoped to be a world wide event. Find out more here: http://www.facebook.com/poly.house.party.weekend