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

January 30, 2015

"At Home With Polyamory": a profile of an Oregon quad with a teen

KOPB (Portland, OR)

Oregon Public Broadcasting puts up a 3-minute piece on its website talking with a two-couple quad and their geeky teen daughter about their poly life:

Does anyone know whether this appeared on radio or TV in addition to the website?

I have mixed opinions about representing poly to the media if you need your faces blurred out. These people pull it off, helped by all their laughter and by the happy little ukelele backgrounds the producers added. But viewers are used to blurred faces suggesting something shameful. Opinions?

This is part of KOPB's "At Home" series, "conversations inside homes across Oregon."

On a Monday night in late January, Liam and Tracie are cooking dinner for their daughter Emily. It’s her 16th birthday, and they’re having nachos and birthday cake.

As Liam and Tracie prepare dinner in the kitchen, Emily is on the couch in the living room talking with Melissa and Matthew.

Liam and Tracie are a married couple, and so are Matthew and Melissa. But they are also polyamorous. Liam and Melissa are paramours, which means they share an intimate relationship with each other. Matthew has a paramour outside the group, and Tracie currently is not in another relationship.

“Right now I’m invested in my own individual exploration,” she says. “I have a couple of projects that I want to work on now and am not really looking for another romantic attachment.”

Liam and Tracie decided to open up their marriage after Tracie had an affair with a friend.

“I made the mistake of not talking with Liam before I went ahead with it,” Tracie says. “But we decided to see what this could add to our marriage instead of taking away from it.”

Tracie and Liam met Melissa and Matthew through an online dating site a couple of years ago in Missouri. Liam and Melissa immediately hit it off, and got permission from their spouses to begin dating. After two years of the couples living separately in Missouri, they decided they were ready for their next adventure. They found an apartment in Rock Creek, a Portland suburb, and moved in together. They’ve been here for five months.

The couples asked that we not use their last names or show their faces because some of them have still not told family and friends about their choice to be polyamorous.

“A lot of people think polyamory means promiscuousness or being false with your partner, and some of that exists in our families,” Tracie says. “And right now we’re not willing to put our family or our happiness on the line just because someone has a closed mind.”

...“Trying to find time for Melissa is sometimes a struggle for Liam,” Tracie says about her husband. “And every once in a while, I’ll find that I’m jealous of the time that he’s spending with her.”

The solution? A strategy they call “over-communication,” which the foursome says is the most important rule of the house.

...Included in most of the family talks is Liam and Tracie’s daughter Emily, a self-professed “geek” who spent her birthday at Portland Comic Con. For some teenage girls, polyamorous parents might seem like too much to handle. But Liam and Tracie thought differently.

“Emily has always taken a really mature approach to it,” Tracie says. “We’ve tried to give her as much information as we felt she was ready for.”

“I was actually fine with it,” Emily says. “I expected them to understand and respect things I was going through, and I in turn would do the same for them.”...

Her's the whole article, at the original video site. (Jan. 30, 2015).


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Blogger Saul of Hearts said...

The blurred faces are super-annoying! I get that some poly people can't be open about their lifestyle, but to me this is worse than just keeping quiet. It makes it look as though there's something to hide, and then the next poly person comes along and says, "Well, since they played it safe, I guess I will too." It's 2015 and they live in Oregon! If THEY can't be out about it, then who can?

February 01, 2015 2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People should come out to the level that is safe for them. No one else can determine that level for them.


February 01, 2015 4:37 AM  
Blogger Natja's Natterings said...

One half of the quad is from Missouri, so, perhaps it is their kin folk who are less open minded?

February 01, 2015 9:42 AM  
Blogger Saul of Hearts said...

Of course everyone should come out to the extent that's right for them. But other poly folk have a stake in how the community is presented to the media. If you can't come out without your faces blurred, then wait until you can. Because it does effect the rest of us.

As for their families being less open-minded... it seems unlikely that their families wouldn't recognize them in this context. They've used their first names and other identifying details, and their voices, bodies, and mannerisms are clearly visible. The blurred faces don't add much in the way of disguise, which is why it seems especially unnecessary.

February 01, 2015 9:52 PM  

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