Dan Savage: Is poly queer?
In his column this week, Dan Savage talks about whether polyfolks can call themselves queer in the absence of any compounding factors. He doesn't say what I thought he would.
Q: My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and we both also share our lives with additional partners. Rather than spend a lot of time dishing about who and how we love — and how fortunate we feel! — I'd like to get right to my plea for support.
I want freedom. I want the freedom in my life that I've always wanted for you, Dan: to be able to live and love and talk about your actual life without being afraid that it could cost you your job, your kids, your family. Having to live in the closet is difficult. I cannot say that it is as difficult for us as it is for someone who is LGBT.... [But] this isn't a contest about who suffers more.... The progress we have made together toward a more tolerant world for gay people gives me hope that we could be next.... So can we be added to the acronym, please? Perhaps we can honor the differences between our experience and the LGBT experience with an ampersand. What do you think of LGBT&P?
–Privately Polyamorous Person
A: You haven't been keeping up, PPP. We are no longer the LGBT community. We are the LGBTQLFTSQIA community, aka the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, leather/fetish, two-spirit, questioning, intersex, and asexual community/communities. I don't see why we can't slap a "P" onto the end of our acronym, so say it with me now: "I'm proud to be a member of the LGBTQLFTSQIAP community/communities!"
But I have to draw the line at the ampersand. Because if we give poly folks a punctuation mark, PPP, then soon everybody is gonna want a punctuation mark....
And why should poly folks be held at arm's length with an ampersand? Because most poly folks are straight? Lots of leather/fetish folks are straight, and they're covered in the acronym. Lots of trans men and trans women are straight, and they're covered. David Jay, founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, "is in a romantic relationship with an asexual girlfriend and hopes to adopt a child," according to his Wiki page, and he's covered.... You're a sexual minority, too, and poly people sometimes face discrimination, bigotry, and oppression. So welcome to the club, PPP. Congrats!
And here's the best part of putting poly folks in the acronym: It brings us one step closer to seizing control of the entire alphabet. While religious conservatives are fighting a losing battle to "take back the rainbow" from the gays — a movement led by a fundamentalist preacher in Washington State — we've been making off with the alphabet one letter at a time....
Read the whole column (Dec. 11, 2013). This is the last item.
Labels: Dan Savage