"Polyamory, Lots and Lots of Love"
Philadelphians on this Sunday morning are waking up to a feature article of the kind we know and love, in the region's biggest mainstream newspaper (Sunday circulation 477,000). Huge thanks to the people who are profiled and pictured:
Polyamory, lots and lots of love
By Gloria Hochman
Dierdre, Kala and Jeremy.DAVID M WARREN / Philadelphia Inquirer
...According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the traditional nuclear family - mom, dad, children - accounts for only 20 percent of households. This is the first in an occasional series of stories about the new modern family, one that may be living next door to you.
On Sept. 10, 2011, Deirdre Cusack, Jeremy Peirce, and Kala Pierson got married. To one another.
More than 60 friends and relatives attended their marriage ceremony at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. They smiled as the two brides, both in traditional white wedding gowns, and the groom, dapper in his tuxedo, passed Noah, their 18-month-old son, from one set of arms to another.
Today, two years later, the foursome appear to be an ordinary family living with their cats, Moonstone and Dandelion, in a single home in a Philadelphia suburb. Noah goes to a progressive day care center where he is learning Hebrew and Spanish. He loves pasta, albeit topped with brussels sprouts, and squeals with delight when he is rewarded with a chunk of licorice after success on the potty.
All three parents hold prestigious jobs - Jeremy, Noah's birth father, with degrees from Amherst and Princeton, is a biotech scientist; Kala writes classical music that has been performed in 28 countries. Deirdre, Noah's birth mother, is a data analyst. Deirdre's sister, Deborah, and Jeremy's mother, Marie, usually laden with gifts for Noah, visit often.
Still - When Kala describes her ordinary, extraordinary family, she shrugs insouciantly and says, "We make dinner for each other . . . we have sex with each other."
And that isn't all. Jeremy, Kala, and Deirdre all have "sweeties" (most of whom attended their wedding) outside their close-knit trio - two each at the moment - with one another's blessings....
...Each February since 2005, an annual national conference on polyamory, given by Loving More Nonprofit, is held right here in Philadelphia....
...In some ways, the polyamorous family seems poised between the mind-set of the past — it "takes a village" to raise a child — and the mystery of the future, with emerging family styles certain to surprise, shock, and alter our views of what is acceptable and perhaps even welcome....
DAVID M WARREN / Philadelphia Inquirer
..."The point of poly," says Gaylen Moore, a philosopher/writer who is working on a novel with a poly theme, "is that it is possible to love more than one person at a time. Rather than letting this aspect of human nature lead to pain, insecurity, and emotional trauma, polyamorous people choose to . . . celebrate what they regard as the full depth and breadth of human love."...
...While there is nothing in psychoanalytic literature that predicts the futures for children in polyamorous families, Ira Brenner, clinical professor of psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University, suggests that "where love and understanding predominate over aggression and narcissism, we should expect that the children would develop healthy attachments and have respect for others."
Kala smiles as she talks about Mark, the son of her married lover in New York. When he was 5, and was asked to draw a picture of his family, he included Kala next to his mom and dad.
"Who's that?" his teacher asked. "My daddy loves her," Mark responded. When his teacher looked puzzled, he paused for a moment, ran a chubby finger over the figures in his drawings, and said, "Actually . . . everybody loves everybody."
Read the whole 1,500-word article (Nov. 17, 2013). It's stories like this, and the right people making themselves available for them, that are bringing about the poly-aware and poly-accepting future.