Report on Poly Pride Weekend in New York
** On Friday evening, as a fundraiser, Poly NYC sponsored what turned out to be the world's largest-ever official Cuddle Party, with 112 people attending at the LGBT Center in the West Village. A Cuddle Party (registered trademark) is a guided exercise in nonsexual touch, comfort, and kindness. Lying in an auditorium floored with mattresses, we listened to instructions on boundary-setting and -respecting, and then devolved into a big, relaxed, interlaced squiggle of hand-holding, hair-petting, massages, spoon-snuggling, and lively conversations for two hours. Watch the New York Post's fine video report on the event. (They filmed only those willing to go on camera.)
** The Poly Pride Rally and Picnic in Central Park lucked out with glorious weather Saturday afternoon from noon to 6. Professional drag-queen emcee Hedda Lettuce introduced a very full lineup of speakers (including me) and entertainers onstage. The crowd numbered about 200 at any one time, with quite a bit of coming and going as the hours went by. I met lots of old poly-community friends, and the extensive publicity that Poly NYC did this year brought an influx of newcomers as well. See photos by Minx.
** That night Poly NYC put on a very hip New York style dance-club party at River Place on the West Side, with a techno-house DJ and outrageous stage performers. This too was a fundraiser, and word is that it cleaned up. The place was jammed from 9 p.m. till 1 a.m.; maximum capacity was 300. This event certainly qualified Polyamorous NYC (whose animated logo was continuously projected on the wall) as one of New York City's hippest, coolest crowds to be in with, for anyone keeping score.
** Sunday saw people packing the independent, radical Bluestockings Bookstore in the East Village for readings and book-signings by many leading poly authors, including Tristan Taormino, Jenny Block, Pete Benson, Leanna Wolfe, Barbara Foster, and others.
** And then capping it off was the first National Polyamory Leadership Summit. This meeting was called by Polyamorous NYC to take advantage of all the poly activists who were in one place this weekend to introduce people to each other, and to brainstorm ideas about directions we can take, projects we'd like to accomplish, and who can make them happen.
The meeting was by invitation only, with 34 attending. It was held around a ring of tables conference-room style (we even had name signs in front of us!) back at the LGBT Center. The three hours weren't nearly enough. But thanks to an aggressive professional meeting-runner, who does this for major corporations in her day job, it was the most productive meeting of any kind that I ever recall attending. No one made any pretense to represent the poly community as a whole or anyone not present. Instead, we came up with our own lengthy wish-list of resources to create and projects to start. Some of these will be taken on by Loving More, whose leaders were present. Other projects were paired up with competent volunteers capable of making them happen. You'll be seeing more about this in coming months.
Updates! Read Cunning Minx's blog reports about Poly Pride Day 1, Day 2, the Day 2 party, and Day 3. With links to pix and video. And listen to her Polyamory Weekly podcasts about the event: Part 1; Part 2.
Here is Beki's blog report.
Here's a short video clip of the Raven Schecter Trio performing at the rally. They're a poly triad of three funny Jewish gay guys in dreds. Cute enuf?
Poly Pride comedian and speaker Kelli Dunham blogs about the weekend.
So does The Sex Geek.
Here's an excellent long article on the event and its attendees in Chelsea Now, a New York neighborhood's weekly newspaper.
Nice report at Digital Journal.