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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Microstory 288: Perspective Sixty-Three

Perspective Sixty-Two

Even with this “love is love” campaign, and others like it, people like me and my family have trouble with public perceptions. Sure, things are better than they used to be, and I have to believe that, but we still have a ways to go. It would seem as though society is finally all right with two people of the same sex being with each other. You still have your holdouts—backwards hicks and smarmy politicians (i.e. people whose opinions don’t matter)—but for the most part, we’re moving not only past hatred, but past tolerance, and into acceptance. It is believed by many that acceptance of transgendered people is our last hurdle, but it’s only the most obvious one. In fact, the world’s increasing appreciation of sexuality is about recognizing the differences in who people are at their core, but says little about practice. As an example, lots of people are all right with gay people, as long as they don’t have to hear the specifics. The question of group marriage or polyamory, however, involves how people behave in their daily lives. Gay people are gay because that’s who they are, but polyamorous people are strange because of what they do, and how they act. But we are not so different from you, as a well-adjusted person would be able to see. Most people will not understand this word upon hearing it, but upon learning its definition, will make snap judgments about the family. We are assumed to be wandering sex-obsessed indecisive deviants. The words I hear most often are “hippie” and “tree-hugger”. Much like bisexuals, the assumption is that we simply cannot decide who to love, and so we just take what we have at the moment, comforted in the fact that the relationships do not have to last forever.
I would like to clear up a few misconceptions. We are not polygamists. Polygamy has a deep history of imbalance, rape, and a sort of numbers game. It is so much a male-centric concept that polygamist relationships with one woman and multiple men uses a completely different word, and is considered even weirder than the normal kind. Certain mormon sects practice a form of polygamy where underaged girls are forced into marriages because they’re raised to believe that this is their duty in life. And when they consummate these marriages with their “husbands” it’s called rape, because it is not consensual. It can’t be, because they’re only married because they’re told they have to be, and to this specific man. You can call it sex-slavery, if you prefer that term instead. And it’s a numbers game because a higher number of wives indicates notoriety and respect. Polyamory, on the other hand, is a form of relationship based on love, mutual expression, consent, and everything else that composes any other kind of relationship. My husbands and wives are all in this together. For us, there is no “primary relationship”. We are all bisexual, and we are each in love with all the others. No two of us are legally married to each other, because we believe that this would distort the group dynamic. We have sex as a whole, in smaller groups, and as couples. Our family is particularly large, I admit, but the standard criteria stipulates only a minimum of three people. We want to be heard and accepted, just like anyone else, but we understand that other changes need to take place before these things will be put forth in legislation, or even the media. And so we patiently wait our turn.

Perspective Sixty-Four

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