"When Three's No Crowd"
Starting with a report on New York's recent Poly Pride celebration, "America's largest circulation gay and lesbian weekly newspaper" presents a long and positive introduction to what polyamory is about.
By Rachel Breitman
Whether joining in a pajama-clad cuddle party at LGBT Community Center's purple and white gymnasium, or spreading out picnic blankets on the verdant Great Hill in Central Park, the recent Poly Pride Weekend was all about sharing.
The annual event, hosted by Polyamorous NYC, celebrates the notion that having multiple committed romantic relationships may be as healthy and natural as monogamy. The weekend, held October 5 and 6, also serves as a chance for varyingly-structured relationship groups to learn about communication skills, examine their legal rights, and discuss raising children in multi-parent families.
The festive mood was set early, when the Friday night event hit record attendance for Cuddleparty, a three-year-old organization that holds workshops on communication and physical affection. Some 60 attendees cradled one another in the soothing non-sexual mood of a Lamaze class, more group therapy than orgy.
"Poly people love us because our workshop focuses on building better relationships, and that's their bread and butter," said Cuddleparty founder Marcia Baczynski, a relationship coach.
The following day, October 6, singers, writers, lawyers, and counselors spoke about the virtues and challenges of multi-love during a large Poly Pride Rally held in Central Park....
Polyamory NYC hosts monthly meetings at the LGBT Community Center averaging about 40 members, with more than 1,000 visiting their Yahoogroup.
...For many, the politics of polyamory are fraught with discord. Justen Bennett-Maccubbin, the mohawked [co-]founder of Polyamorous NYC, said that there is sometimes friction between the gay and polyamorous communities.
"Polyamory is just as much an orientation as being gay," said Bennett-Maccubbin, who started his first polyamorous relationship when he fell in love with a gay couple at 19.
"But a lot of the gay community isn't down with it. In the last decade, they have made a lot of strides toward acceptance and normalcy, and they don't necessarily want to be associated with other marginalized groups."
Anita Wagner, a polyamory advocate and educator, said that right-wing politicians frequently use polyamorists as bogeymen in gay marriage debates....
For children raised in a polyamorous environment, the fear of having their families exposed can be overwhelming. Rebecca Reagan, 33, grew up in a polyamorous family in Pasadena, California, where her parents shared their home with another married couple. Subsequently, the foursome split up after both couples remarried the alternate partner.
"It's normal. It's not a big deal," she told listeners in Central Park.
But she added that the stress of keeping her family's relationships secret had been very hard for her younger sister, who told no one until she was 20.
Now a relationship coach for singles and polyamorous couples, Reagan advocates that couples "represent themselves truthfully" and allow children to openly discuss the family situation....
Read the whole article (Oct. 25, 2007). And leave a comment there.