Planning the Polyamorous Agenda, at the Creating Change conference and elsewhere
● Come out, if you can. The power of this was the central discovery of the LGBT movement.
● Represent in the media if you can. (To get coached on how, and to be added to Loving More's list of people available for media referrals, write to Robyn Trask, firstname.lastname@example.org, or better, call her at the number at www.lovemore.com.)
● Call out misuses of the word "polyamory" that refer to cheating or other unethical forms of nonmonogamy: those that lack honesty, transparency, and mutual respect/concern for all involved. Be proactive about correcting newspaper stories, journalists, bloggers, etc.
Meanwhile, the 2016 Creating Change conference brought an estimated 4,000 people to Chicago two weeks ago. Put on by the National LGBTQ Task Force, Creating Change is billed as "the nation's pre-eminent leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBT social justice movement." Four poly sessions were on the program. One of them discussed where poly activism should go. The editor of Unicorn Booty, an online gay magazine, reported on it:
Revealed: The Polyamorous Agenda (And Yes, It Includes Marriage)
...A polyamorous session at this year’s national conference... said that anti-poly stigma includes the inability to bring more than one partner to company events, the awkwardness of mentioning multiple partners to other potentially judgmental people, the lack of healthy poly relationships on TV or film and the dangers of being labelled a pervert, getting rejected from jobs or having your children taken away in a custody battle just for being polyamorous.
Seriously. The struggle is real.
...To change that, polyamorous attendees at Creating Change sought to lay out a social and political agenda for the modern polyamory movement. Some of the goals they came up with:
● Changing zoning laws so that multiple parent families aren’t kicked out of “single family homes.”
● Creating a comprehensive website with legal info about parenting/employment/tax/healthcare for quick, easy reference. This site should include information about legally and emotionally dissolving polyamrous relationships too.
● Providing information about non-monogamous relationship styles in sex education classes.
● Training workers in the childcare, family services and domestic violence fields about the existence of poly families so that they’re not viewed as a threat to child safety.
● A push for governments to recognize polyamorous marriage and to ensure non-discrimination protections for polyamorous people.
● A push for employers to start providing multiple-spousal benefits.
● A push for polyamory workshops during local Pride events that teach (among other things) that polyamory is not cheating but that cheating can occur within polyamorous relationships.
● Educating counselors and therapists about polyamorous relationships so they can effectively counsel clients. [You can point them to the booklet What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory –Ed.]
● Pushing for positive representations of polyamorous relationships in the media.
● Protests and awareness campaigns to teach people about anti-poly stigma and polyamorous political aims.
Now that they’ve defined a concrete agenda, it’s up to poly-activists and educators to start doing the hard work for social change....
See the whole article (February 5, 2016).
So, who will bell the cat? Many activists are doing things individually, here and there, to advance nearly every one of the points above. Especially the people communicating with each other in the Polyamory Leadership Network.
But it's way past time that we had a formal activist organization with the know-how, decision-making ability, and budget to start making big projects toward these goals really happen. There have been attempts. Who is capable of stepping up and building our equivalent of the National LGBTQ Task Force? It too started small. . . .
Speaking of conferences, I'm really looking forward to Loving More's Poly Living conference in Philadelphia coming up February 19-21. Come join us!