Sunday, May 16, 2021

Blogging Revisited and Poly Barometer Update

 Well, hello there.   It has been seven years since I posted to this blog.  My book, Love Alternatively Expressed - the scoop on practicing polyamory in Canada was published and has been successfully sold worldwide.  I'm pondering writing a sequel or at least updating the book as so much has happened in these past few years and still so little has changed for polyamorists.  

Changes for the better are in the area of general population understanding and acceptance of the concept of ethical and consensual non-monogamy.  Polyamorous characters in movies, television and literature are a signal that things are looking up.   However, people are still being discriminated against for living and loving outside of the dyadic monogamous box when seeking healthcare, financial options and justice.

A recent episode of the television show New Amsterdam hit on both points quite nicely. It is set in a hospital in New York and the storyline revolves mostly around admissions to their very busy Emergency Department.  Episode 10 from Season 3 has a man that is suffering strange symptoms and the staff chat with him and his support visitors to determine a diagnosis and thus treatment.  Usually, they attempt treatment based on the obvious symptoms and later discover a latent issue.   In this case, the man had a girlfriend with him on arrival but two other lovers arrived shortly to cuddle and provide support.  The staff note this and comment.   Polyamory is discussed.  The visitors are allowed to be with him altogether as he's in a room not one of the emergency bays.  The discussion reveals a possible poisoning from mushroom hunting but treatment is unsuccessful and he suddenly needs a procedure that a next of kin must approve.  The lovers contact his wife and she comes to the hospital.  The procedure helps with his recent crisis but the main ailment is still a mystery.  The staff have noted scratches on the man's hand and now see that the wife has them too.  She owns parrots and they figure out that it is an infection related to the parrots.    The three lovers are a cute and cuddly puppy pile of love and all of them don't like the wife because she doesn't like the polyamory.  Hmmm.   The need for the wife's approval hits on the issue quite nicely.  What if the wife was not cooperative - refused the procedure  - refused to allow them to be at his side?  This did not happen and they bonded over wanting him to recover.  The man wakes and comments to the doctor that he loves his wife too and wants all four of them in his life.   Mono/poly addressed here too.   Very well presented, I thought.  

There was an episode of SWAT that had a female officer involved with a couple.  She was dating both of the people in the couple and moved in with them.   Apparently, the show's fans didn't like it and the storyline didn't last more than a few episodes.  The actress is polyamorous in her personal life and the situation was presented as loving as opposed to a hot bi babe thing.  I suspect that had it been a more sexual reflection there would have been stronger support from the fan base- kinky stuff gets the rating.  However, I thought the writing was good and when she came out to her coworkers it was a non-issue as it should be.   I think the non-issue of it might also be why the fan base didn't like it.   It was an issue for them.  Did present the idea that how we love is often an issue with employers, friends and family.

I've been polyamorous and completely out for so long that I am surprised when I am confronted with discrimination in my personal life.   It is like finding out that they still use dial-up to connect to the internet.   Seriously?   You don't invite us to your home because we are poly?   We live in a world where one hesitates to visit anyone in their home or have folks to ours.   Poly isn't contagious.  

However, it does come up and to each their own opinion.   I am over 60 years old now and I really don't give a flying rat's butt whether you invite me somewhere or not.   I do care whether I can sit at my lovers' bedside in the hospital, or add him to my family benefits insurance package.   I do care if the bylaws of my city do not allow my polycule to live together.    I do care if my love can't immigrate or cross borders because polyamory isn't 'exclusive' enough.   Opinion is one thing.  Discrimination based on sexual preference is another thing entirely.

We still have such a long way to go.  May 11, 2021 was Census Day in Canada and the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Society encouraged us to select 'other relationship' and identify our household as polyamorous.  It's a scary step for some.  Privacy is ensured, but still...scary to put those words on a government document.  Even for me, I'll confess.   I did though.  Stats Canada needs to see us and know that we are legion.   We need to count and be present in the planning for housing, education and growth of this country.  We are here.  We are polyamorous and we are proud.

Baby steps on a long journey.  Important steps.   Write to SWAT,  New Amsterdam and other places that you see polyamorous characters to support and complain as needed.  One small step.   Write to your MP or MLA or city council, when you see discrimination.  Write letters to the editor.  Comment online.  One small step.

I haven't written HERE in seven years, but I have been working at advocacy.  So have you.  Every day that you dare to love and be loved unconventionally.  We got this.  

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