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

September 9, 2009

TNG poly documentary coming to MTV (updated)

MTV's "True Life"

Next Monday, September 14th, MTV will finally air its months-in-the-making, hour-long documentary on twenty-something polys. Many people worked hard to pull this off, and we have high hopes. The title is "True Life: I'm Polyamorous."

It will air at 10 p.m. and again at midnight Eastern time; also 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning, 2 a.m. EDT Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday evening, and maybe later. Check the schedule or your local listings. If you miss the show when it airs, it should eventually be available online.

The True Life series is described on its webpage as

remarkable real-life stories of young people and the unusual subcultures they inhabit. Whether documenting the lives of gay marriage activists, individuals dealing with obesity, or teens in high school, the True Life series tells its stories solely from the varied voices and points-of-view of its characters — putting the series in the unique position of reflecting the state of youth culture at any given moment.

One of the folks in the show says, "This was filmed last spring and features Poly community members in NYC! Hopefully it will shed a positive light on the topic to America's youth!!"

Someone put up a Wikipedia page for the episode with a note that it includes a "gay trouple, Jim Messaros, Thomas Freyre and Chris Morgan, as they traverse the world of polyamory and struggle with relationship issues." Includes photo.

Jim himself says,

MTV is very excited about the episode and this will be a great opportunity for polyamory to be mainstreamed to a lot of people, especially young viewers out there. It's socially taboo to be polyamorous let alone gay, so having done this show I hope we opened at least one person's mind to our choice of lifestyle.

Here's a link for the facebook event for the premiere.

I actually updated my network links:


There's some poignant history here. It's been 11 years since the infamous April Divilbiss case, which began when a young vee triad went on MTV. The grandmother of their toddler used their appearance on the show to get a Tennessee judge to grant her custody of the child based on their immoral lifestyle — despite social workers' findings that all was well with their home. (The case ended after two years when April declared herself unfit due to poverty and let the grandmother keep the child.) This time we can hope for better.


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Blogger James K. Collins said...

In the linked April Divilbiss article they have an anthropologist who has studied Poly claiming

"Jealousy will never fade permanently, she says. Indeed, just about every polyamory website, meeting and publication is obsessed with curing jealousy. It is the polyamorists' worst enemy."

I have rarely run into jealousy as a problem. Most sites that I've seen have a section on it, but it's almost always less than 20% of the content.

So... is this just another case of monofolk projecting? Does anyone else here feel like they or any other polyfolk they know are "obsessed" with jealousy?

My perspective might be a little different from some of the newbies who one tends to see interviewed -- I've been poly since 1990, with periodic (and ill-advised) forays into monogamy from 1993-5.

I spent my newbie years in the SF Bay area, and maybe it was just more accepted or understood than in many other places (including where I live now in the LA area), but it always seemed to me that any serious jealousy issues tend to occur in relationships that are ALREADY broken in some other way.

September 09, 2009 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James: I think that it's not that we feel more jealousy or that jealousy is a problem, but unlike a lot of monofolk polypeople (and for some reason I love those terms) tend to want to deal with the jealousy issues instead of just "I'm jealous. Period."

I know in a lot of general forums I visit once in awhile the jealousy pops up once in awhile (generally in context of someoen asking whether or not feeling jealousy is 'wrong') and it's almost unanimous across the board that "jealousy is okay/good, as long as you don't get too obsessive [or alternatively "physical"] about it". I think it stems a lot from other comments like "being jealous shows that you care!"

So it's not so much that we feel more jealousy, or it's an incurable problem, or even our worst enemy. I think it's just the fact that polypeople are actually *addressing* the issue, instead of just saying "everything's fine!" When clearly everything is not fine.

Personally I've only had a handful of jealous incidences in my *life* let alone my current relationships, so for me personally it's hardly a factor. But I do see it destroy enough relationships and even lives that I can see it can be very destructive and not just the sweet-caring thing that others make it out to be... so when I come across people asking whether jealousy is wrong or not I reply to the best of my ability: It's not really 'wrong' per se, it's partly natural, partly conditioned, more often than not just a symptom of a greater problem and *can* be worked through. The more you work at it, the better you get, the less of a big deal it is down the line. Just like any other difficult emotion it can be smoothed out with enough time and effort. *shrugs*

Sometimes people listen, sometimes they don't, sometimes they want a way out, sometimes they want to stay in their jealousy claiming my lack of it means I don't love my partner(s) *shrugs*

But I suppose it's a hot button issue for a lot of people, because we bring out into the open the difficult feelings that are often swept under the rug.

September 09, 2009 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fucking disgusting. their mothers must be so proud. what an embarassment to the entire gay community and the state of north carolina (like we need it).

September 12, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anon: There's something extremely pathetic about feeling the need to hide your identity online. If you're going to make comments, at least own up to them.

(I'll probably end up missing the airing of the documentary, but I'll poke my sweetie who's recording it.)

September 14, 2009 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to say that I am the daughter above mentioned in the April Divilbiss case from the 90's and what happened was all for the best. My life would NOT have been the same if I would have stayed with my biological mother. I do however have a very close relationship to her and love her very much. I even have a half brother that I take care of sometimes. I am a very successful student and musician and what happened was meant to happen, and I'm very happy for the outcome.

November 09, 2011 10:24 AM  
Blogger patillie123 said...

Good to hear from the daughter, if that is indeed her. There can be no doubt she was better off with the grandmother. April herself agrees, and states that she was feeding the girl formula heated by a candle in an apt without utilities. What kind of poly triad is that, when three grown adults cannot afford basic necessities? Even making minimum wage they could have cleared $52,000. This is not a lot of $$$ but certainly enough to have an apt, utilities, a car, etc. The three could have worked separate shifts, so that childcare was assured at no additional cost. Really April led a sorry life, and clearly picked two bums for partners in terms of ability to earn a living wage.

March 15, 2017 8:34 PM  

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