That scare headline, "There's a dark side of polyamory that nobody talks about"
That attention-getting headline going around comes from an article that appeared Tuesday in Business Insider, one of the several Insider sites. The "dark side" turns out to be other people discriminating against polyfolks. Hey, yoohoo! People do talk about that. A lot. See "coming out." And "child custody cases."
There's a dark side of polyamory that nobody talks about
"Polyamory takes many different forms." (Marco Piunti / Getty)
By Lindsay Dodgson
– Polyamory is not a legally protected status, like being straight or gay. You can lose your job for being polyamorous. Courts can use it against you in child custody proceedings.
– Polyamory and non-monogamy take many different forms.
– For instance, egalitarian polyamory means not having a primary partner at all, and there are many asexual people who are polyamorous.
About five years ago, Cameron Mckillop was talking to a friend at work, when an older woman came up to them and abruptly put an end to their conversation.
"[She] loudly told the other girl to stay away from me or I'd take her back home and make her another one of my wives," Mckillop told INSIDER.
"The friendship never really recovered, and after that most of the women in that class and then on the call floor wouldn't interact with me. Also, the older lady would always look daggers in my direction whenever I was near her."
Mckillop is polyamorous, which means he has multiple partners. Polyamory and other types of non-monogamy are an alternative to what Amy Gahran, a writer and editor based in Boulder, Colorado, calls the "relationship escalator."
...Gahran told INSIDER, "As young as 12 or 13 I was imagining relationships that worked in very different ways." ...
[Read more: 7 things people with multiple partners want you to know about what it's really like]
But although awareness has come a long way in the 20 years Gahran has been in the non-monogamous community, there are still misconceptions. And these misconceptions can lead to judgment, abuse, and even legal problems.
"Being polyamorous in particular, or otherwise consensually non-monogamous, at least in the US, is not a protected status," Gahran said. "It is something you can get fired for. It is something that can jeopardize child custody arrangements, it can complicate divorce proceedings, it can complicate people's ability to get access to jobs or education."
[Read more: What it means for couples to go 'unicorn hunting' — and why it usually doesn't end well]
Gahran now lives as a solo-polyamorist, meaning she has more than one lover at a time, but leads an independent life and doesn't consider herself to be part of any couples. She also practices egalitarian polyamory, which means there are no primary or secondary partners in her relationships. ...
The rest of the long article wanders off to discuss the various kinds of polyamory, the ethics of primary-secondary relationships, how polyfolks deal with jealousy, and so forth (Feb. 19, 2019).
While we're on the subject, here are some substantive things about anti-poly discrimination. The first two are by Eli Sheff:
● Polyamory at Work (Oct. 10, 2017)
● Polyphobia (July 14, 2017)
● Why polyamorous people fear 'coming out', by Lux Alptraum (Sept. 13, 2016).
● Employee dismissed for being “polyamorous” not the victim of unlawful discrimination (in Australia; March 23, 2016).
● The book It's Called "Polyamory": Coming Out About Your Nonmonogamous Relationships, by poly psychotherapist Tamara Pincus and speaker/activist Rebecca Hiles (Thorntree Press, 2017) is a comprehensive, very readable guide to many aspects you may not have thought about.
● Remember, you don't have to come out to be a good person. People who have to stay closeted need to build ways ways to cope with their situation in a healthy manner — as Liz Powell, an officer in the army for five years and now an independent queer and poly therapist, explains in text and video.
● And especially, How to Decide Whether to Come Out as Poly or Kinky Online: Real Risk Analysis Beyond Shame — solid guidelines for evaluating your personal risk, from Diana Adams of Diana Adams Law & Mediation.
Labels: discrimination against polyamory