No one pretends the winning flag will be "official," so don't get bent out
of shape about that. People will keep using whatever polyamory flag they
like; more than a dozen are in use. The project's hope has been to find
something that will inspire many people to coalesce and use it, so
that the world will finally come to know what it is and what it means. The
inspiration was the rainbow Pride Flag and what it has done to boost LGBT
● Speaking of flags, the LGBTQIA+ staff community
at Microsoft Corp. recently created
an all identities flag:
I like it! It's brilliant and bold, combining an unwieldy collection of 40
flags into something with unity and pizzazz. One of our many polyamory
flags is in it. The infinity heart gives it away.
The book is slim at 160 pages. Much of it is about
the modern movement's early development from 1968 through 1994,
history that is receding from living memories into myth and legend. But
that was when many of the current movement's core ideas, ideals, and language took
their shape. I just ordered a copy and will review it.
Meanwhile, the publisher's blurb calls it
an exploration of two generations of Americans, the people and the
organizations they founded, what they have chosen to do, and how it
has changed their lives and affected the culture as a whole.
...We explore the history of the polyamory movement: from clinical
definitions and attempts at psychiatric treatment, to the advent of
advocacy groups in the 1960s and ’70s, to contemporary practitioners
and the future of the movement.
At the Amazon link above, click the Look Inside for the table of
contents and the first chapter. Looks good so far.
● Polyamory lurched into the news with the spectacular
collapse of the
FTX crypto-currency corporation and its young founder Sam
a multi-billionaire until a few days ago. His top staff were said to be
all trading sex partners, and although media stories referred to this as
polyamory, it sounded more like a chaotic free-for-all.
But not even that is true, claims their in-house psychiatrist. Below is from
Futurism.com (Nov. 16). Click the links for more, especially the
New York Times interview.
In spite of
rumors of workplace polyamory, it appears that the psychiatrist charged with being FTX's in-house
sex therapist didn't think the people involved in the now-collapsed
crypto exchange were getting it on quite enough.
In a surprising interview with the New York Times, psychiatrist George K. Lerner said he'd known Sam Bankman-Fried,
the exchange's disgraced wunderkind founder, for years before he took
up a post as the firm's company "coach." For his part, he
denies the claim that the CEO or anyone else in the company's
orbit in the Bahamas was getting up to anything all that freaky.
"It’s a pretty tame place,” Lerner told the Times. "The
higher-ups, they mostly played chess and board games. There was no
partying. They were undersexed, if anything."
...Take [FTX's] fourth major player, Caroline Ellison. Bankman-Fried’s sometime girlfriend, the 28-year-old was head of trading at Alameda before being promoted to jointly run the hedge fund in summer 2021, and was left in sole charge this year....
In posts on her account, since deleted, she wrote about her understanding of traditional finance (“it’s very unlikely for you to actually lose all your money”)... and her exploration of polyamory. “When I first started my first foray into poly, I thought of it as a radical break from my trad past,” she wrote in 2020, “but tbh, I’ve come to decide the only acceptable style of poly is best characterised as something like ‘imperial Chinese harem’. None of this non-hierarchical bullshit. Everyone should have a ranking of their partners, people should know where they fall on the ranking, and there should be vicious power struggles for the ranks.”
So the richer people get, the worse they become? This wild drama of incredible hubris and incompetency, which turned an estimated one million investors' money worthless overnight, goes down in history as one more argument for no billionaires.
● Sarah Youngblood Gregory is getting good press this week for her
just out. From the publisher's description:
Successfully navigate nonmonogamous relationships with this
activities, journal prompts,
interviews, and more
activities.... Helps you determine what you really want when it comes
to your life, your relationships, and the community you build — and
how to get it.
...This workbook focuses on the foundational knowledge everyone
interested in or already practicing polyamory should know, including:
– Types of nonmonogamy
– Communication styles
– Boundary setting
– Metamours and jealousy
– Pitfalls and red flags
I believe in love. I believe the best people love love and love to
give love. ... But knowing how to love, to offer it up, is
The Western world ... is by and large a sex-negative culture not just
distrustful of, but destructive toward, most love that isn’t tidy,
white, monogamous, cisgender, and heterosexual. But I feel a special,
different kind of love when I share my strange, full life with others,
either physically or through the page.
...When I was 16, and just barely scratching the surface of the queer
desire I’d been largely ignoring since childhood, I declared quietly,
and only to myself, that I’d never be in a monogamous relationship. I
barely had the language to define myself in contrast to monogamy, let
alone articulate what I now know about polyamory, relationship
anarchy, and relationships based in love and agency. I stuck only with
what I could imagine: “not monogamous.”
I held on to this knowledge tightly, secretively. ...
1. Kristian's reply to my flag-project gripes.
Sure! Thanks for these great questions.
Why did only new, unknown flags make it to the finals, when several
are currently in use and perhaps widely liked?
We were lucky to receive dozens of submissions and also to have found
through our research, more dozens of existing designs. It felt important
to give an opportunity to beautifully made, thoughtful flags that would
otherwise have never been noticed. That said, several existing or
well-known flags were involved in the multi-tiered selection process but
eliminated for 1) copyright issues (they didn't belong to the public
domain), or 2) lack of support from either our advisors and/or the
committee (for example, the green-and-blue-banded design by Molly Makes
Things made it through the advisory round and into the committee review,
but it came out of their initial review among the least preferred
options. One committee member motioned for a second decision on that
particular design, in case it had been passed over for its colors
instead of its symbolism, but it turned out that the symbolism was more
of the issue. Which leads us to your next question:
Why do none have the infinity heart, our only well-known
There are a few reasons for this—we've been critical of the infinity
heart in the past. Design-wise, its interlocking curves create messy and
unwieldy negative space, especially when placed atop a striped
background where the division between the bands of color dissects the
symbol at odd intervals, creating a rather erratic image. Additionally,
we've received feedback from artists, makers, and crafters who've found
adding a symbol, especially a complex symbol like the infinity heart,
makes it more challenging to reproduce images of designs that employ
them. The harder the thing is to reproduce, the less it will be
reproduced. That's the opposite of what we're looking for when it comes
to community pride flags.
In terms of its symbolism, there were diverse opinions among the
committee, but a couple of the members offered this on their decision
not to include it:
"To me, the infinity heart calls upon old romantic stereotypes
upholding love and relationships as an infinite force, leading to
unrealistic expectations both from oneself and our partners. Love
isn't infinite, our time, patience, and the amount of affection we can
give is limited, and as a movement that's rethinking the way we relate
to each other we have to be realistic, honest and responsible with our
limits and the limits of our partners, because if we aren't well
ourselves we won't be able to be there for the people we love."
- Jacques Treviño
“I personally think the idea of infinity+heart only represents that
love can be infinite (in many ways) and does not necessarily imply
unrealistic expectations of time and emotional bandwidth/resources
also being infinite.
However, I respect the process we arrived at not including it- the
majority of this diverse committee had voted against it (5 vs 2) and
so ideally we should stick with the committee's decision.”
- Basit Manham
The committee also selected two designs which were created with space
to accommodate additional symbols of the user's liking. Similar examples
of this occurring out in the world are the flags of Poland and Peru,
which in some cases appear with a crest and in some cases appear without
a crest, but are at all times recognized as the flags of Poland and
Peru, crest or not.
Regarding obscurity or confusion: we strongly disagree. The obscurity
of the Pi flag is in part because Pi has many other (and stronger)
cultural associations to the world at large, among them engineering or
geometry. These designs, because they're new, don't have any
associations at all. This is the case with any new flag, logo, symbol,
icon intending to depict an abstract idea. For example, when it was
first created, there was nothing inherently French about their blue,
white, and red tricolor. Now, it is an iconic symbol of the country. The
association came after the flag. We expect that will be the case here as
Finally, it was always the hope of this project to produce something
new—to move away from existing symbolism on the basis that no existing
flag had taken a solid hold in the community to this point. That's not
to say we don't appreciate the value of the infinity heart for
polyamorous people (in particular those in Europe, it would seem based
on where that critism is largely coming from). The infinity heart may
well continue to have stronger and stronger associations with polyamory
among the world at large—but that doesn't mean it must exist on the
flag. We encourage everyone to use the symbols and flags that feel
comfortable and inspiring to them.
Why only four finalists?
From the beginning of this project, one of the primary drivers was the
notion that polyamory has existed for far longer and is made up of far
more people than the caucasian group in which it has in recent decades
become more popular. It felt, therefore, principally important to
prioritize voices of those with traditionally less decision-making power
in the process of creating a new banner for our community.
That's why we wanted a committee of diverse representatives to narrow
the field of options first before putting them to a community-wide vote.
The majority of voters was likely going to be english-speaking because,
despite doing our best to provide translations of our plan in a variety
of languages and our efforts to reach as many varied segments of the
global polyamorous community, the creators of polyamproud are ourselves
english-speaking. So, the majority of our content would be in English
and accordingly capture a primarily english-speaking audience, whether
or not that's actually reflective of the global demographics of
We knew from the jump that a vote with 10 or more flags would split the
decision too much—that we might end up with a flag that was the majority
of people's 4th or 5th choice. So, we always planned for the vote to
include "more than two and less than seven" designs. After the initial
advisory round, the committee saw 10 designs, and chose among themselves
to only include those they thought were the best four, rather than
including designs they didn't believe strongly simply for the sake of
variety for voters.
We considered using a bracket-style system and had a series of votes,
but the demographics of those voters and number of votes would be
inconsistent at each step. A single vote would maximize engagement and
ensure a consistent voter base throughout. That's why we chose to hold
only a single vote on a small group of designs which had been
pre-selected by people whose voices were likely to have been drowned out
by white polyamorous people in the vote.
Flags don't become beacons of a community overnight. That takes time,
use, and persistence. We have been so proud of the engagement,
excitement, and massive response from the community. With nearly 30,000
people having weighed in on these designs, we see this vote as a way to
jump-start adoption of a new standard for the polyamorous community. We
believe in the ability of each of these designs to become that beacon
over the next decade.
And to repeat...
Why have I been ending posts to this polyamory news site with Ukraine?
Because I've seen many progressive movements become irrelevant and
die out by failing to scan the wider world correctly and understand their position in it strategically.
We polyamorous people are a small, weird minority of social-rule
breakers. Some increasingly powerful people
call us a threat to society — because by living successfully
outside their worldview, we expose its incompleteness. Our freedom
to choose our relationship structures, and to speak up for ourselves
about the truth of ourselves, is just one way we depend on a free and pluralistic society
that respects people's dignity to create their own
to access facts,
and to speak of what they know.
The Russian family-cartoon series Masyanya
turned dissident. Watch. The cartoonist has fled.
brilliant sequel of turnabout, and a
message of empathy in wartime.
Such a society is only possible where people have power to govern themselves,
combined with legal structures
that are at
least supposed to guarantee the rights of all.
People, communities, and societies who create their own lives, and
who insist on the democratic structures and legal rights that
enable them to do so safely, infuriate and terrify the
authoritarians who are growing in power around the world and in
our own United States.
Such rulers and would-be rulers seek to stamp out other people's
freedom to choose their lives — by intimidation, repressive laws,
inflammatory disinformation and public incitement, abuse of police power, or, eventually,
For what it's worth, this site has received more pagereads from
Ukraine over the years (56,400) than from any other country in
The coming times are going to require hard things of us. We don't
get to choose the time and place in history we find ourselves born
into. We do get to choose how we respond to it. Buck up and be
Need a little help bucking up? Play this
. Another version
, on the streets of Kherson after its liberation November 11. More?
Just some guys in Kharkiv
(our Pizza for Ukraine town) helping to hold onto a free and open
society, a shrinking thing in the world. The tossed grenade seems to
have saved them. Maybe your granddad did this across a trench from
Hitler's troops — for you, and for us, because a world fascist
movement was successfully defeated that time, opening the way for the
rest of the 2oth century. Although the outcome didn't look good for a
couple of years there.
Now, writes US war correspondent George Packer in The Atlantic
Here was a country with a tragic history that had at last begun
to build, with great effort, a better society. What made Ukraine different from any other country I had ever seen—certainly from my own—was its spirit of constant
self-improvement, which included frank self-criticism. For
example, there’s no cult of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine—a
number of Ukrainians told me that he had made mistakes, that
they’d vote against him after the war was won. Maxim Prykupenko,
a hospital director in Lviv, called Ukraine “a free country
aspiring to be better all the time.” The Russians, he added, “are destroying a beautiful country for
no logical reason to do it. Maybe they are destroying us just
because we have a better life.”
They have a word there, with a deep history, for the horizontal,
self-organized mutual get-it-done that
grows from community social trust
Learn that word. It's getting them through
as well as they've been able. We polyfolks often dream of
creating something like that community spirit in miniature, in our
polycules and networks. Occasionally we succeed.
Social attitudes in Ukraine are generally traditional, but not
bitterly so like often in the US; the ideal of modern European civil
society is widely treasured, and social progressivism has room to
thrive. More than 40,000 women volunteers reportedly
serve all roles in the armed forces, including as combat officers, platoon leaders
, artillery gunners, tankers, and snipers
. LGBT folx in the armed forces openly wear symbols of LGBT pride on
their uniforms, whereas in Russia it can be a crime for even a
civilian to show a rainbow pin.
They will require our long-continued support.
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I would vote for the first one if there were four recognizable hearts coming together at the center. None of the offerings, despite being worthy attempts, really floats my boat.
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