Sunday was the closing day of the Poly Living 2010 conference.
1st session for me was Who is the Poly Community? which was a very interesting look at a survey done in 2000 by Loving More with respondents submitting survey forms at a conference and by mail in responses. The Kinsey Institute has the survey archived as an SPSS file but the raw data appears to have been lost. That's unfortunate because the context of the survey forms filled out would be an excellent addition to the process of analysis. The presenters noted that the data entry to the SPSS file would have some inaccuracies as there were fill in the blanks answers which would be hard to code. Also one third of the respondents did not answer the questions which identified their gender and sexual orientation. There was discussion about the phrasing of questions being as issue with a desire for anonymity being more sought ten years ago when the survey was done. Demographics drawn from the survey showed a broad range of ages with many in their early thirties, having a higher level of income, moderate personal income but higher household income. Forty per cent were divorced at least once and seventy per cent were childless. Comments from the audience suggested that the sample was perhaps biased if these survey forms were obtained at a conference as perhaps the parenting poly people were home with the kids. Survey questions regarding when the respondents told various people in their lives about being poly were interesting and possibly indicative of the time frame of the sample group. There was strong indication that female respondents had more positive feedback when coming out to most of their contacts but this seemed to diminish with advancing age and higher education. It was suggested that this might indicate a bias against senior sexuality and higher education require work places being less responsive to poly. It was noted that the group CARAS is working on a survey project.
2nd session - Creating Tribe was a discussion of Intentional family building presented by Erosong House of Seattle. This is a six bedroom house of six adults who are all very active in the greater Seattle poly community. They have shared ideas and values such as being a sex positive, pagan friendly, polyamorous, clothing optional group of loving adults with crystal will (free and responsible in their choices). They began as a triad with wonderful communication processes developed and now include a large interconnected web of lovers, metamours and family (the cloud beyond the web of lovers). There is a mailing list, a google calendar, a weekly potluck and several other events through out the year that welcome community members and new folks. Erosong house members are busy building and contributing in pagan, kink and poly communities in the Seattle area and very well connected to communities in San Francisco, Hawaii, Victoria BC and so on. Anyone of a like mind is welcome to visit Erosong and attend any of their events but moving into the home requires an interview. The meshing of personalities and values is key to the success of this tribe.
The final closing circle of the conference made it possible for us to applaud the hard work of the well organized group of volunteers & presenters responsible for an excellent experience and share our support for their continued efforts.
Following the conference there was a summit of the Poly Leaders Network with the leaders of poly groups and projects from across the US and Canada. We had a brief meeting of introductions on Sunday night and spent most of Monday discussing, conferring and networking about our projects and programs. The support and encouragement for us in our upcoming court case with reference to the Criminal Code's polygamy law was overflowing, empowering and very moving. The cheer of "CAN - NA- DA! CAN - NA- DA! CAN - NA- DA!" will long be remembered. The interest and offers of advice, assistance and collaboration were invaluable.
This inconsequential woman simply practicing polyamory in my corner of Canada left Seattle on Monday evening bursting at the seams with inspiration, ideas and a sense of being part of something pretty damn terrific. Thanks, folks. I will hold fast to that and walk my path with boosted pride.