Open Love NY in the news at 4,000 members
The piece interviews Open Love NY co-founder and past president Mischa Lin. She is one of the many heroes of the poly movement to whom we all, through ways that few know, owe a debt.
Open Love NY Serves Polyamorous Community
By Susan Xu
...Through a wide variety of educational and social events, OLNY seeks to provide its members with an open and safe place to discuss consensual adult relationships, regardless of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation/preference.... It also happens to be one of the largest polyamory organizations on the East Coast....
How and why did Open Love NY first come to fruition?
The polyamorous community has been a part of New York City for many decades. One of the first poly organizations was called Polyamorous NYC, which was founded in the late 1990s. The founders of Open Love NY were all leaders of PolyNYC before OLNY was formed.
In late 2008, PolyNYC sought to prioritize its efforts toward the LGBT community, which created an opportunity for a new group to be formed to serve the poly community in general. So Open Love NY was formed in 2009 by these ex-PolyNYC leaders to serve the poly community regardless of orientation, race, gender identity, etc. [That's a diplomatic summary of months of high drama. Also emerging from the tumult was the Polyamory Leadership Network. –Ed.]
I was asked to serve as a mediator between PolyNYC and OLNY to work out a separation agreement and subsequently was appointed as the first president of the new organization in July 2010. I served as president until October 2012, growing the membership from zero to over 1,000 people in three years. Currently, OLNY has more than 4,000 members worldwide.
Mischa and Leon Feingold, another pastpresident of OLNY, run the PollyWanna Answer? advice column.
2. Some people argue that humans are "programmed" to be monogamous. What do you think about this proposition?
In America and many other societies in the world, the process of socialization usually includes not only monogamy, but also whiteness, masculinity, dominant religiousness, heterosexuality and cisgenderism, to be held up as the ideal above all other characteristics.
In fact, if you look up synonyms for monogamy, you will find words like "decency," "morality," "honor" and "virtue." While "polyamory" does not yet appear in this particular online thesaurus, it's not hard to see why people might associate poly with negative things when monogamy (its supposed antonym) is associated with honor and virtue. It's also why many people describe poly as "ethical non-monogamy" in order to counter the inherent bias in our language....
3. Why do you think polyamory isn't talked about openly?
While some form of polyamory has been around since the start of civilization, the idea that it could be an ethical and workable alternative to monogamy for a large portion of the population is still fairly new. So part of it comes from the lack of awareness but that is changing rapidly, as things do in the Internet age....
4. Open Love NY hosts a variety of educational and social events. What can be expected from them?
...We have a two-leader rule that ensures at least two leaders are present at all events to enforce these standards. We require respectful behavior and verbal consent for any physical contact more than handshakes. We also practice safer space for all sexual orientations, gender and kink identities, as well as those who identify as monogamous.
...Our events are geared toward building community, not specifically for dating or trolling for partners. We don't allow gendered pricing (e.g. "ladies free") or exclusionary (e.g. men/women only) events to be posted in our group. Any event that we co-sponsor must treat all our members respectfully and equitably to the best of our ability.
...5. Can a person “hack love” by going against the grain of traditional relationships?
I don't look at it as a hack. The easiest way I can describe poly is that it's about changing the relationship to fit the people in it, rather than making the people fit the relationship....
For more information about Open Love NY, visit www.facebook.com/OpenLoveNY: www.facebook.com/OpenLoveNY/.
Read the whole article (June 3, 2016).
Two days earlier, OLNY got this not entirely clear mention in Time Out New York:
Labels: New York