Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.



April 8, 2010

The Pansexual, Polyamorous, BDSM Law School Application

Washington City Paper online

Out or closeted? How out, and to whom? Everyone with a queer, poly, or other non-mainstream identity faces these choices all the time.

On the website of the Washington [DC] City Paper, sex activist Martin Quinones describes his successful, go-for-broke decision to tell all on his law-school application.


The Pansexual, Polyamorous, BDSM Law School Application

...I was recently presented with the chance to come out in a way that was risky, honest, and productive. On law school applications, every school asks for a broad personal statement, using a prompt along the lines of “tell us something about yourself.” I decided to dump every egg at my disposal into one basket. Since December, the essay below has been read by my parents, most of my friends, and the admissions committees at thirteen top-ranked law schools:

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...To come out fully, in my case, requires three separate disclosures, each as potentially confusing and alienating as the last. I share them now for reasons that are political as well as personal: I am pansexual. When I say this I mean that I seek physical and emotional partnerships with people of all genders, including men, women, and transgender individuals. I am polyamorous. By this I mean that I see monogamy as one among many stable ways in which people are capable of forming romantic and familial bonds. I mean also that I find joy in my partners’ joy, including when that joy comes through companions and lovers other than myself. Lastly, I am a member of the BDSM community. When I say this I mean that I find fulfillment in consensual relationships and sensations that are not always soft and fuzzy, but can indeed be painful and challenging. Taken together, these three facts mean that I have found love and fulfillment in a wide spectrum of relationships and with a variety of people, and that this diversity of partners figures importantly into my identity.

They mean also that I inhabit a small, overlapping sliver of three poorly understood, largely invisible, and utterly unprotected sexual minorities....

I have invested my energy in positively increasing the visibility of diverse sexual identities and normalizing the discussion of sexuality in my immediate environment.... [This] is why I am applying to law school....
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The admissions committees, as expected, responded with months of stony, bureaucratic silence. Every school processed applications on a rolling basis.... As the waiting drew on from December into January into February, existential panic replaced the more reasonable anxiety of the wait, and each day felt like a confirmation that I had made a bad decision. I was sure I had reached too far, I had been too polarizing. I would have to settle for a school that I had no interest in, and that had no resources for someone interested in gender, let alone sexual freedom. My career was poisoned, and I hadn’t even found it yet.

Finally, agonizingly, the risk I took paid off, and I was accepted for admission at the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. To date, this is the only school I have been admitted to, a fact more reflective of how many reach schools I applied to than how my essay was received. But even if I am rejected everywhere else, a superb legal education is in my future, along with a JD from one of the most respected schools in the country, thanks in part to my choice to come out.


Read the whole article (April 5, 2010).

Here's a video (17 minutes) of him telling about it at a KinkForAll meeting last February in Providence, Rhode Island.

P.S.: Coming out stories wanted! Polyactivist Bitsy is building a website of coming out stories and practical resources, OpenlyPoly.net . It should launch Real Soon Now, but she needs more stories. Send her yours at: stories(AT)openlypoly.net .

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2 Comments:

Blogger KariRakitan said...

Wow! That gives me hope :)

April 08, 2010 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Cross said...

Congratulations and way to go to the author of the original article. I'm sure your courage has inspired many people to be more honest with themselves and those they love. I hope that you will use that expensive law degree to protect some of us in states where poly is still illegal.

There is a post about my decision to come out to my family here (http://wp.me/pZ1Zl-1v). A warning though, it does have a religious theme and speaks about how I have reconciled my faith with poly. I'll send it to the site listed as well.

August 03, 2010 4:08 AM  

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