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

May 2, 2006

"Family Affair"

WHDH-TV News, Boston

Channel 7 here in Boston ran a news segment last night (on May 1, 2006) about a poly triad I'm friends with:

HBO's "Big Love" is making a big splash on TV, focusing on a family with one man, three wives and a whole bunch of kids.

And you don't have to leave Massachusetts to find more adults than you'd expect under one roof.

This attorney, computer expert, and physicist say three is definitely not a crowd.

"I'm one of a triad, as we call it, a three person intentional family; three adults and two children."

The three, who didn't want to show their faces, say they have been living as a husband, wife and wife for more than ten years. All they're missing is marriage certificates. . . . They share custody of their 4-year-old twins, they share a mortgage, and they share each other's beds. . . .

"The point is to have a community in your household of people who are very closely emotionally committed. It's not to have sex with a lot of people. You don't need a committed relationship for that at all."

Read the transcript and watch the video.

The backstory began a few weeks ago, when a Channel 7 producer called a local sex-positive activist and asked how to find a poly family with kids to go on a show. A call went out on the local poly lists, but at first the only people willing were individuals. So the producer canceled the idea — but then the three folks featured in the show decided to take the plunge, as long as their identities were not displayed.

"We all talked to the producer on the phone," writes one, "and she undertook to protect our privacy — and she did. She and a cameraman spent an afternoon at our house, asking questions and filming. The producer was very pleasant and personable and kept exclaiming, 'Oh, I could NEVER do that!' in an admiring way.

"They used probably one percent of the sound bites they taped. Not the best ones either, I don't think."

The three volunteered for this mission, she continues, because "We think it is important that multi-partner relationships be normalized in the public mind." But especially with two 4-year-olds, they decided that staying anonymous was best for them. They are out to friends, church, and their town community.

Two points I might add:

If you go on TV news, remember that only a few sound bites out of everything you say will get aired. So decide on your sound bites beforehand, and say them over and over while being interviewed. Read the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom's first-rate advice for appearing in the media.

Second: We need lots more polyfolk willing to do this! Most who've appeared in the mass media lately are either people I personally know, have met at a conference, or have corresponded with. That's much too small a universe to draw from.

The good news is that there's a huge untapped reservoir of personable, articulate polyfolk who, as soon as they spill out of the closet, are poised to boost awareness and acceptance immeasurably. Remember how it seemed to happen all at once in the gay community?

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