Originally Posted by Ricavaler
You don't need to have a label for it to live it.
My hubby and I have lived the poly lifestyle for 8 years, but only recently stumbled upon the term "polyamory". Knowing the name hasn't changed anything about how we live our lives.
I feel you. I am not talking about labels per se- I am talking about education and tolerance.
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG
I am always baffled that people need to declare aspects of their life so publicly. I don't require societal recognition to be happy so I find it hard to sympathize with this concept. Why not direct that energy inwards. I think it is the vocal contingents that are the ones who truly need to feel accepted and therefore have feelings of guilt or shame.
Get off your soap boxes and just live and love. Stop taking yourself so seriously and trying to spread the word like missionaries and just be.
My motivation for this posting was to further educate myself on the issues surrounding the lifestyle and to hear how others feel about the secrecy that most polys have to maintain to live in peace.
I have noticed many threads on here discussing "coming out" to friends and family, and the difficulty in doing so, mostly due to social stigma and lack of understanding- like any predjudice, violent or damaging reactions to poly are largely based on fear and ignorance of the meaning involved in such a life decision.
For my own part, I have talked to a few friends about my thoughts and feelings on the subject, and have had to do so with much patience, caution and myth-busting, if you will.
I certainly don't want to broadcast my sexual endeavors to the public in order to validate them- I just cringe at the fact that from what I'm hearing, most of us have to be very clandestine for the benefit of others who would misunderstand or judge. Is that fair or just how it is currently?
There is also the fact that had I understood polyamory in the context of my own life as a legitimate, respectable life choice, I could have saved myself some difficult and painful personal conflicts.
I wonder why I never realized the pure and simple fact that poly is an available choice for those who choose it- I think the answer , for me, is that I had a lot of preconceived notions, social norms I felt tied to, and no community or available information from which to learn that this is, in fact, a beautiful way to live for those who choose it, and not some deviant, threatening fantasy.
I also think that poly-minded people have many very valuable lessons to teach that have nothing to do with sex or sexual choice, that have to do with evolved and honest human relationships in general.
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG
Why any love style would require organization or leadership is beyond me. It is this type of self isolation that makes people wonder about the people involved in movements. Who cares if you can love more than one person or can love only one? I don't see a coalition for the rights of swingers or BDSM, so what is the poly communities need to be recognized and accepted by society as a whole?
Is polyamory seeking legal rights similar to those available to traditional relationships? We'll have to provide some well documented and numerous poly relationships that have proven the test of time before that happens. The administration alone for all the types of declared relationships would be staggering. Not to mention they are so fluid in many cases, the system couldn't keep up.
On the leadership- I think that it is a needed thing to defeat stigma and discrimination, and also to provide good information to people seeking to understand choices different from their own. I started thinking about this when there was a debate on whether or not to post the Newsweek article on Facebook-my own trepidation as well as others- and thought it was kind of sad that poly is so unacceptable that we have to keep it hidden from our friends and family in even the smallest ways.
One of the most precious things to me about poly is the open, honest value system- and I don't want to achieve that in my private life only to set myself up to be part of another secret I don't feel I can share for fear of loss in my public life.
As to the legal issues- the nature of marriage as it relates to domestic partnerships/custody rights/health care issues in general is being re-evaluated and debated from many standpoints-why not ours? Why would we have to wait 100 years to be open about who we are and not be penalized for it?
These are all questions that will be answered by each individual according to their convictions.
Maybe "activism" is too loaded a term. Perhaps I should have named the thread "Polyamory Education" or something less threatening such as "Own your own Poly."