I’ve been reflecting recently on the variety of reactions we polyamorists get to our lifestyle. At choir practice the other night, one of the sopranos mentioned to me that she was taking a class on time management and that the instructor had said that after taking the class the student’s would have so much more time that their spouses and partners and polyamorous families would be delighted.
I suspect “Married and Dating” may have something to do with our greater positive public profile. A quick review of my friend Alan’s Poly in the Media Blog suggests we’re much more conspicuous than we used to be.
But it’s not all positive. I heard the following story from one of my polyamorous friends . . . an honorable, responsible man who has three grown children and several grandchildren from babyhood to elementary school.
He and his wife have a friend (not a lover) with a teenaged daughter. He and his wife arranged to host a small pool party for the girl’s 14th birthday at their house.
The father of one of the two girls who were invited to the party Googled my friend’s name and learned that he had recently hosted a house party fund raiser for Loving More and the Canadian Polyamory Association.
This father said HIS daughter couldn’t go to the party because my friend was evil, and he called the other little girl’s mother and told HER my friend and his wife were swingers (not true). Both girls cancelled the day before the party, leaving the birthday girl heartbroken.
Moreover, Interweave, the Unitarian Universalist GLBT advocacy and ministry organization, recently received a communication from a church in Pennsylvania threatening to disaffiliate with Interweave because Interweave’s website provides links to Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness, www.uupa.org, and Loving More under “linked oppressions”.
The Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund, www.sfldef.org, recently heard from a man who lost his visitation rights for as long as he lives in a triad.
However, the news isn’t all bad.
Yesterday morning the service at my UU congregation was about healthy families. At the beginning the minister had a kind of puppet show with stuffed animals. The animals were asking the wise and venerable mouse for his expert answer to the question, “What makes a family a family?” I am afraid I tensed in my pew, expecting my twins, who were also in the pew, not to hear anything that resembled their family. But I was mistaken.
“After all”, the minister said, setting up stuffed animals as illustration, “you could have a family with a mom and a dad and two kids and a dog, or a mom and a mom and a kid and a duck, or a dad and a dad and three kids, or a mom and a mom and a dad and two kids . . . and an electric car.”
MY family, which is out at my congregation, has a mom and a mom and a dad and twins . . . and an electric car.