Poly in the Holidays, 2013
1. A video webcast went up yesterday afternoon on HuffPost Live, featuring some of my favorite people:
Holiday Survival Guide: Polyamorous Edition.
"The holidays are a wonderful time for families to get together and celebrate, but tensions can run high with everyone in one place — especially when someone is bringing home more than one significant other. HuffPost Live is here to help" (25:24). Dec. 20, 2013.
• Robyn Trask @LovingMoreNP (Denver, CO) In a polyamorous relationship; Executive Director of Loving More.
• Billy Holder @Atlpoly (Atlanta, GA) In a polyamorous relationship; Founding Member of Atlanta Polyamory.
• Dawn Davidson @unchartedlove (Oakland, CA) In a polyamorous relationship; Counselor at Love Outside the Box.
• Rachel Klechevsky LMSW/ @Rachel_Ilana (New York, NY) Sex & Relationship Therapist.
2. In Milwaukee's decades-old alternative paper the Shepherd-Express, a sex and relationships columnist interviews a local poly activist about holiday complications.
Have a Poly, Poly Christmas
Navigating the holidays when you (or a loved one) is polyamorous
By Laura Anne Stuart, MPH
The holiday season can be both the best of times and the worst of times, especially if the way you love falls outside our very narrow socially prescribed norms....
I asked Lyndzi, co-facilitator of the Young Milwaukee Poly Group, if she had any tips to share to make social obligations less stressful for everyone involved. Young Milwaukee Poly will celebrate its five-year anniversary in January 2014, and every year of its existence, the topic of how to deal with the holidays has come up.
LAS: What specific issues do people in polyamorous relationships regularly face during the holidays?
Lyndzi: One of the biggest issues with poly folks around the holidays is time management (although this seems to be an issue for almost everyone).... The issue that most poly people face is who to bring. Depending on each person's family, bringing your wife and girlfriend or two boyfriends may not be acceptable, though some poly folks get lucky. I am personally open to my mother and could bring both of my boyfriends home for Christmas, though I choose to not bring them both to my father’s traditional Catholic Christmas....
LAS: What advice do you have for non-poly people who will be seeing poly family members soon?
Lyndzi: If you have poly people in your family and will be seeing them this holiday season, here are a few common-sense tips to live by.
Don’t ask them about their sex life. Is that appropriate to ask of your monogamous or married family members?... If there’s something you are dying to know, email them later; they can respond when and with what they are comfortable sharing, without feeling like they’ve been put on the spot in front of an audience.
Leave the whispers and gossiping until you get in the car on your way home, even if you’re not talking about them....
Be welcoming and supportive. You may be meeting new members of their poly family. They should be treated as your family and as you would like to be treated.
LAS: What strategies have members of Young Milwaukee Poly shared to help cope with less-than-supportive family members?
Lyndzi: Unfortunately, many people in the poly community cope with being poly around the holidays by simply lying....
Read the whole article (Dec. 18, 2013).
3. Blogger "Pearls and Pentagrams" posts a letter to her birth family with funny but serious guidelines for how to feel at ease visiting. As she explains to other readers in her situation,
I found that when I stopped trying to gently explain things and just started pointing out to our family just how ridiculous some of their concerns sounded to us, they began to understand more that our lifestyle choice didn’t have to be a lifestyle change for them, that we were still the people they raised to be responsible adults....
4. Goddess of Java, the Polyamorous Misanthrope of many years' experience, posts a tale of a recent Christmas past. Excerpt:
Poly writers often get asked for happy poly stories. Here’s one:
The Prince and I have had a tradition of throwing a party to decorate the Christmas Tree. We instituted it in a small way when our son was an infant and it’s continued for nearly two decades now....
The Prince, the Bird, Muscle Boy, Button, FWB, three of their kids, Madame Bernhardt, an old family friend and some of The Bird’s friends were there. The small children piled most of the ornaments they could lay their hands on at the lower part of the tree, and FWB commented that since he was tall, he felt a responsibility to hang them higher up. We had all the standard Tree Decorating Party treats, played Christmas music....
This is what poly can often look like, and it’ll always be the times I love the best.
Then there was that Dear Prudence column earlier this month.
For several years now at Christmastime, I've reprinted additional poly-and-the-holidays stuff from tragic to funny to awesome. Rather than copy and paste, I wave my wand and point you. Enjoy. (Especially the rooftop performers, and the quad carolers.)