Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

September 30, 2009

Crucial polygamy case thrown out in Canada


As we reported last January, a Canadian prosecutor brought charges against leaders of a Mormon polygamous cult that would have tested, for the first time in memory, Canada's ancient anti-polygamy and anti-polyamory law. The law mandates up to five years in jail for people who merely live as if they are plurally married, whether or not they have held a marriage-like ceremony. The penalty is the same for anyone who "assists" at such a ceremony. For instance, bringing potluck food to a triad's handfasting party would qualify.

Now the case has been thrown out of court — though not in a way that tests the anti-polygamy law. (A judge ruled that the authorities had improperly shopped for a special prosecutor.) For Canadian polys, this is a good thing. The polygamous cult leaders would have made a horrible test case; they're suspected of statutory rape and abuse of women, among other things. Now that they're out of the picture, a much more attractive test case may someday be brought to knock down the law.

This morning Xtra, a chain of gay newspapers in Canada, presents a detailed review of the legal and political issues as they affect queer folk. The article calls for Canadian polyamory activists to organize, and concludes:

...Over the course of forty years of court-centred activism, gays have learned a hard lesson: test cases matter. A sunny, ethically-minded lesbian threesome the [polygamist] Blackmore family is not. The sinister undercurrents of their religious practices — even if they remain outside of the scope of the court case — would have undoubtedly coloured the court's decision.

Perhaps more importantly, [the dismissal of the case] gives queer and poly people a chance to organize across the country. While there are poly groups in every major city in Canada (including poly potlucks at Breathless in Ottawa), few have a political mandate and none have a national scope.

If polyamorists, people in open relationships, and swinging singles want to make a submission to the Supreme Court of Canada, how would they do so? Considering the increasingly conservative scope of rights-based groups like Egale Canada, can sexual non-conformers can still count on the gay lobby group to defend their interests? Would that even be desirable?

Now, without the threat of an impending court case, those in unconventional relationships have a chance to organize. Will they mount their own Charter challenge? Or will they make the case for a Trudeau-style omnibus bill decriminalizing polygamy as part of a push to liberalize the country's outdated sex laws?

Whether through the courts or Parliament Hill, Canada's poly communities are going to have to come out of the closet to make the case to a Canadian public that has, until now, seen few positive representations of their way of life. In the meantime, with charges dropped against the bishops of Bountiful, they will certainly breathe a sigh of relief.

Read the whole article.

Update, Oct. 24: With his case dismissed, the attorney general of British Columbia is now seeking a ruling from the B.C. Supreme Court on whether polygamy is legal or not. The Canadian federal government will participate to support the anti-polygamy law.

Hearings are expected, at which interested parties may have a chance to speak. Polys, this means you. Article.


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September 29, 2009

And now Britney Spears


If MTV hit a solid double on the poly ballfield, Britney Spears should be kept back in the minors. My kids detested her while they were growing up: "fake, screwed-up bubble head." She's still singing and is out just today with a new single titled "3", which Billboard says is "about the pleasures of polyamory":

Britney Spears is making the most of her sex symbol status, again. This morning (Sept. 29), the one-time Disney Channel child star whose personal life has at times eclipsed her musical output, premiered "3," a new single about the pleasures of polyamory, on New York radio station Z-100. The song goes to radio everywhere today and is part of "Britney Sears The Singles Collection," a hits compilation due Nov. 24 on Jive.

Produced by Swedish hitmaker Max Martin (Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson), "3" finds Spears singing about the racy subject of a ménage a trios with her signature coy delivery. "Three is a charm, two is not the same," Spears coos seductively on the verse. "I don't see the harm, so are you game?"....

See the whole article, with pictures.

From her young debut that verged on child porn, to her 55-hour first marriage, drug rehab dramas, hit-and-run driving, loss of custody of her kids for endangerment and neglect, and involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations — this is not a poly icon we need. At least the song is just about casual threesomes and doesn't refer to us, thank God.

Audio and lyrics. Nice catchy tune, guaranteed hit. Not too brainy, yeah, but this is the woman who told CNN, when asked about Bush and the Iraq War, "We should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that."


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September 27, 2009

Poly inches into primetime


On her Practical Polyamory blog, my friend Anita Wagner posts about a little twist that's been introduced into NBC's sitcom "Parks and Recreation" this season:

Primetime Polyamory on NBC's "Parks and Recreation"

And so the mainstreaming of polyamory continues. According to a review in today's LA Times [Sept. 17, 2009], last night's season premiere of Saturday Night Live alum Amy Poehler's NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation includes the revelation of a character in a poly [relationship]. The reviewer says:

Intern April (Aubrey Plaza) ... introduces Leslie (Amy Poehler) to her boyfriend, who also has a boyfriend, perhaps the first functioning polyamory on network prime time.

The only issue I have so far is that when April introduces Leslie to Derek and Ben and explains their relationship, Leslie says she hates Ben. It's probably the script writers' attempt to be funny....

Here's the video clip, titled It's not that complicated! (They're way cute.)

Keep watching to see this threesome at the gay bar Bulge, where they honor Poehler's character, Leslie, for something that's made her the gay community's reluctant hero.

So stay tuned, boys and girls!

Here's Anita's original post, with pictures.



September 25, 2009

Jenny in the Lion's Den

ABC's Nightline

You gotta admire her pluck.

Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage (see my review) will march into the most hostile situations to speak up for honesty in open relationships and the possibilities of poly in marriage. She went on Fox News during Fox's mini-jihad against triad relationships last May. And last night, as broadcast by ABC's Nightline, she went onstage at the enormous Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, for a Nightline-sponsored "Face-Off" with the church's pastor — about adultery and the Ten Commandments. In front of several thousand of the pastor's charged-up, cheering followers. On national TV.

Moreover, she shared the bad-guy role onstage with an actual creep: the CEO of the Ashley Madison cheat-on-your-spouse dating site. (He was intelligent and well-spoken, but IMO still a creep.) Sharing the stage on the pastor's side was another evangelical, a self-described reformed sex addict who founded a ministry to help fallen souls like himself — further diluting Jenny's time to talk.

"It was an hour and a half long and it was wild," says Jenny on her blog. "The paper reported that more than 4000 people were there and I'm here to report that only a handful took a liking to me."

Nightline's half-hour edit of the debate aired 11:35 p.m. (Sept 24, 2009). Watch it here. Nightline also put a video of the entire debate on its site.

Jenny didn't get time to say much. But when she was on she handled herself very well. Nightline also put up a short introduction clip in which she has a chance to explain herself excellently.

Also on the Nightline site is an article about the event:

Born to Cheat? Tempers Meet Testimony at Debate on Adultery

..."I don't believe that what I'm doing is committing adultery, because everyone knows what's going on," [Block] said. "We consider our relationship an open marriage. I don't think there's anything wrong with outside sexual relationships in marriage, [but] I do think there is a lot wrong with lying inside of a marriage."

...Block, who said she thinks adultery is a terrible thing, also isn't sold on the ideal of marriage.

"I don't think it's a bad idea," she said. "But I think the way we've designed it, this Cinderella fairy tale -- happily ever after -- that 40 percent of people fail at, and one out of three men cheat on, it doesn't work for everyone. It works for some people fabulously! Some of my very best friends are monogamists. But it doesn't work for everyone."

Read the whole article (Sept 24, 2009). As you can guess, comments are pouring in. Add yours.

In anticipation of the show, Jenny got a nice writeup in her original hometown newspaper:

“I think they wanted me to be the bad guy, but they really didn’t know what to do with me,” she said [of the debate format].

Block has gotten a barrage of “mean, nasty, poorly-written” e-mails, including people saying she was destroying her family.

But she has also had people say, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know how to thank you. I thought I was a weirdo.”

Growing up in Aberdeen and Bel Air, Block, who graduated from John Carroll, always dreamed of a traditional, “Cinderella” marriage and never expected to be disillusioned by monogamy.

...The book chronicles her discovery that monogamy just wasn’t for her when, three years into her marriage, she ended up having an affair.

That event set her on “the path of inquiry,” and Block, 39, is in a relationship with both her husband of 12 years and a woman whom she has been with for the past three years.

...“I really had a fantasy that, in sharing my story, other people would feel comfortable coming forward and sharing their stories,” she said about the book. “I have accomplished what I think I was supposed to, which was just to let people breathe easier.”

Read the whole article (in The Aegis of Harford County, Maryland; Sept. 23, 2009).



September 21, 2009

More unhelpful advice columnists

Dear Abby; Ask Amy

Among newspaper advice columnists, Dear Margo now gets it about polyamory, but this morning Dear Abby and Ask Amy both indicate they have some learning to do.

DEAR ABBY: My 22-year-old son is involved with a 22-year-old married girl. He has moved in with her, her husband and their 4-year-old son. He says he's happy with the arrangement.

I have tried to accept this even though I don't approve. I don't want to alienate my son, but I see no good coming from this. Abby, please help.

—Disgusted Mom in Henderson, Nev.

DEAR DISGUSTED MOM: You do not have to “accept” it, and as your son's mother you are entitled to tell him you don't approve and why. But he is older than 21, and some lessons have to be learned the hard way. So bide your time because sooner or later the husband's tolerance will wear thin or your son will realize that he deserves to rate higher than No. 2.

Never mind the cracks about the husband's tolerance and rating "higher than No. 2." For all we know this really is a bad setup, with the three doing poly ignorantly or carelessly. Or they could be the model poly family, with relationships guided by wisdom and intention and flowing like clear mountain streams. We don't know — but Dear Abby has no interest in finding out.

Clue in Abby here about the fact that good poly relationships can and do exist. Be polite — "be a credit to your kink" — and remember, it was apparently our letters that turned Dear Margo around.

Elsewhere in today's morning papers, Ask Amy fumbles a question from a woman interested in growing closer with a couple:

DEAR AMY: I have what some might consider an "untraditional" question.

I am a very undersexed single woman. A female co-worker and I became very close friends this year, and I am steadily becoming close friends with her husband as well.

I'm interested in pursuing a threesome with this couple, but I don't know how to ask. Certainly, directly asking seems to be the best way, but I'm worried that I might ruin this relationship.

They are a very liberal couple, but how do I bring this up without offending anyone or losing my friends?


DEAR UNDERSEXED: If you need a stapler, look for it at the office.

A threesome? Not so much. Intimately engaging with this couple would interfere not only with your friendships and your professional life, but also with their marriage.

I believe the protocol here is for you to wait for them to invite you.

You are an adult and can make your own choices with other consenting adults, but people don't invite themselves into another couple's relationship.

Be forewarned — even if they do invite this entanglement and it does happen, your relationship with both parties will change and (I believe) eventually suffer.

Why is this a fumble? Amy is correct that a direct proposition might shock and embarrass the couple and queer the friendship. But has Amy never heard of tact? There are polite ways to nudge the friendship forward a bit and see whether the people notice. Or, one could find occasion to drop an offhand comment about some poly-aware friend or stranger or (ahem) item in the media.

Even among the most conventional people, a flirt to test the waters can be done either ham-handedly in a way that puts the other person on the spot, or so gracefully that if the other doesn't already have an interest, they may not even realize they've been flirted with (especially important if it's a co-worker). Amy could have done her readers a service by using this opportunity to explain how.

Respond to Ask Amy at askamy@tribune.com .

By the way, in my observation the most successful long-term poly relationships often do grow out of pre-existing friendships.



September 15, 2009

The MTV poly documentary finally airs (updated)

MTV's "True Life"

MTV just aired its much-anticipated "True Life" documentary titled "I'm Polyamorous," which has been in the works since last spring. The 1-hour show (which will be rebroadcast several times in the coming days) is told through the voices of two groups of young polyfolks putting their lives and thoughts on camera.

The show alternates between the two groups' stories. One is told by Kerry, 21, the tentative new girlfriend of young New York lawyer and poly activist Diana Adams. Diana introduces her to the concepts, the problems, the joys, her own main-squeeze boyfriend Ed, and the New York poly crowd. We see Kerry and Diana discussing where this relationship is going, what it means to Ed and vice versa... and talking through the issues when Kerry decides to invite a new boy on a date. Diana was her first lesbian relationship. We see them at their best when they are sitting face to face and working through a difficult topic: Diana's unexpected gut reaction to Kerry joking that if Diana were a guy everything would be perfect — and what Diana asks of her to help get through it. Watch carefully; this is how it's done.

Eventually, New Date becomes happily integrated into the whole squiggle and Kerry is at bliss. But read the followup-story screens at the end.

The other group is a triad of cute-as-buttons gay boys in Charlotte, North Carolina... with issues. They're much less experienced or skilled in poly. Jim, Thomas, and Chris fell into a three-way polyfi relationship and moved in together before they knew there was a word for it, or knew that others have navigated and charted these waters. They go out on the town together, shower together, make love all around... and hit a serious crisis in sleeping arrangements. They have two small rooms with two overly-small beds. Jim, a Christian, is perennially left out at bedtime because one of the others has a phobia against sleeping alone and, we're left to guess, the third guy would be jealous if he wasn't the bedmate. Lonely prayerful agony ensues. Jim decides the group needs a fourth to keep him company at night — and has a first date with a New Guy in secret. He then brings it up to the others guiltily and awkwardly, saying the three of them need a fourth for balance. Jealous guy erupts.

We see them visiting a counselor, who gives them a Poly 101 lesson on the fallacy of "Relationship in trouble? Add more people." Nevertheless, New Date gamely agrees to befriend the three of them to see how it goes. And go it does. They become comfortable as a group. They buy a copy of The Ethical Slut together and read aloud from it. They four-way kiss. Read the followup screens at the end; no spoiler here from me.

Overall, these are engaging, realistic explorations of joys and rough stretches in poly life as practiced by very attractive young folks. MTV and the people on camera have done the poly world a fine service.

And yet, they do come off kind of superficially. We see the people going to parties, meeting dates, and Talking About Relationships. As my wife Sparkler put it, "They have no jobs? No other interests? Where's their real life?"

I know one or two of the people, and in at least one case they have remarkable jobs and real lives. I wonder: did MTV edit out the boring grown-up stuff? Or was this a risk of making documentarians out of earnest amateurs intent on telling particular stories?

Added later: It turns out that, although the True Life series gives the impression that its subjects are filming and creating their own stories, the producers heavily pressured some of the people in "I'm Polyamorous" to make scenes they did not want to, and they had to resist these pressures hard. So I'm suspicious of how the show was edited after it left their hands. And see Kerry's entry in the Comments below (Comment #3) about their serious stuff being cut out.

UPDATE: The show is now available on MTV's website. Watch it here.

Here is MTV's blogsite for the episode.

Each premiere of a True Life episode draws about 1 million viewers, wrote the Los Angeles Times last year. The number for this airing may have been boosted by it coming on just after a rerun of the Video Music Awards the night before.


Kerry says,

Diana and I made videos yesterday addressing those who traffic MTV.com and forwarded them to our personal blogs! They are cute and fun and up to share:

Kerry for MTV
Diana for MTV

For more information on our events and to join the mailing list, visit Diana's website, feministoutlaw.com.

Jim said before the show aired,

MTV is very excited about the episode and this will be a great opportunity for polyamory to be mainstreamed to a lot of people, especially young viewers out there. It's socially taboo to be polyamorous let alone gay, so having done this show I hope we opened at least one person's mind to our choice of lifestyle.

Here's a link for the facebook event for the show.

I actually updated my network links:

In addition, Jim and his triad were profiled very nicely this same evening by their local Fox affiliate in Charlotte (WCCB-TV, Channel 10):

What is Polyamory?

By Morgan Fogarty

CHARLOTTE, NC — It's being called the next sexual revolution! Polyamory: it's the act of having more than one committed lover. It's different from swinging, and it's not religion driven like polygamy. And, as the young men you're about to meet explain, it might be a non-traditional relationship, but they say it works for them.

Read the article and watch the broadcast (2 minutes; Sept. 14, 2009).

Interestingly, as the news announcer says, even though North Carolina is part of the Bible Belt, the strongest negative reactions that this newly visible triad are getting have come from the gay community. Some of whom seem to really resent out gays who don't behave Just Like Normal People.

And sure enough, the first comment to the TV station's article is from someone who's angry that a "trouple" represents Charlotte gays badly.

Also: here's a long profile of the group in QNotes, with a link to an audio interview.


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September 14, 2009

"Meet the Polyamorists:" another first-rate mainstream article

The Independent on Sunday (England)

So I just got back from the Loving More retreat in upstate New York. There I told the crowd, "In the last several years there's been increasing attention to polyamory in the mainstream media — and increasingly, they're getting it right. To the point that it's really unusual now for them to screw up the basic concepts."

And then as soon as I got home, a major new example of such positive coverage was waiting on the computer.

The Independent is one of Great Britain's leading newspapers. Its Sunday edition presents a very long, accurate, perceptive account of who we are and what we're about (with a lovely photo). Excerpts:

Meet the polyamorists – a growing band of people who believe that more lovers equals more love

It's the age-old story: boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy meets another girl and they all live together happily ever after.

By Colette Bernhardt

A minority group for those who find strength in numbers. A community for people who like their intimate lives communal. Polyamory – the practice of openly engaging in multiple loving relationships – acquired its name in the 1990s, and has been gaining ground as a recognised lifestyle and movement ever since. With the UK's first "poly" website just launched, and Polyday taking place in London later this month, it seems there's never been a better time for "ethical non-monogamists" to stand up and be counted.

Let's clear up a few things first. This isn't polygamy, where one person (usually male) has numerous spouses who cannot pursue other liaisons themselves. Nor is it swinging or adultery; polyamorists aren't into cheating or one-night wife-swaps. It also differs from the hippie notion of "free love", which was primarily about enjoying sex. And it's a bit more specific than an "open relationship". What polys want – not so different from the rest of us – are ongoing, honest, committed relationships. But with several people at once.

The internet has helped them hugely on this quest, allowing individuals who might otherwise never meet to form vast, wide-ranging networks and communities....

In the UK alone, there are thought to be several thousand enthusiasts. In July, Britain got its first dedicated poly website when Graham Nicholls founded www.polyamory.org.uk. "The whole community was calling out for a main information site," says the 34-year-old artist from west London, currently in a "triad" with two female partners....

...Around 300 attendees are expected at Polyday, a day of talks, workshops, socialising and "sex-positive cabaret" in central London on 26 September.

..."British polys are often into alternative lifestyles and politics, and tend to be more radical and progressive than American polys," says Nicholls. "Some even identify themselves as 'relationship anarchists'."

One such politically-driven poly is Owen Briggs, a 33-year-old gardener from Nottingham. "I believe in trying to break down power hierarchies in society, and that means breaking them down in my personal life as well," he says. "If I wish to try to allow others to be free, why would I want to control the people I love and care most about?"

Anarchic approaches to relationships also abound on the "queer" poly scene, which, as Johanna Samuelson and her primary partner Jonathan David explain, is a little different from the standard gay scene....

..."The kids all find Ben's presence quite natural," says Kaye, "and we go out for dinner and on holiday together. My eldest daughter, who's 19, has coped really well, considering she's a teenager." What about school-gate gossip? "Things have really moved on," she explains. "My children's school no longer makes presumptions about numbers (or genders) of parents. The forms they bring home simply ask, 'Who's in your family?'"

Nevertheless, non-monogamy remains very much a taboo in Western culture, where for hundreds of years our core values have revolved around exclusive pairings and the traditional nuclear family. Polys who are open about their lifestyles inevitably face prejudices. "At times I've felt really isolated and lonely," says Luisa Miller, a 26-year-old event organiser from north London. "People can assume it's just about sex, and having 'fuck buddies'. Despite what you'd think, it's often harder to find relationships, because there aren't a lot of people who are OK with polyamory." David agrees that the poly ethos is too frequently misunderstood: "It gets portrayed as greedy, selfish and over-sexualised."

Males tend to encounter the most suspicion. "There's this perception that it's just a way for men to get their end away," says Nicholls. "In actual fact, the movement has risen out of third-wave feminism, and the first five significant books on the subject have all been written by women."

Maxine Green, who enjoys simultaneous affairs of the heart with three men and one woman, endorses this argument: "My experience of the poly world is that there's much more emphasis on equality than in the average monogamous relationship. Women are just as able to make new connections as men, and are at least as often at the centre of a group."

But not everyone has had such a positive experience. Rosie (not her real name), 32, from Bristol, spent two years in a polyamorous relationship. "Soon after my boyfriend and I got together, we decided to try polyamory, as we often fancied other people and didn't want to limit each other's freedom. It worked well for a while," she remembers. "But I did sometimes have insecure moments when he was off with another lover. The trouble really started when one of my other relationships got more serious, and he became distant and quiet. I was always completely open with him, and constantly emphasised that I was still in love with him, but he couldn't handle it, and in the end we split up."

Rosie sounds a word of warning: "I wouldn't judge anyone for trying it, but I do worry slightly that some people – especially young people – might do it because it's trendy, or because their partner wants them to."

But polyamory is not solely the preserve of those frisky, idealistic youngsters. Pete Benson, 69, has rejoiced in "emotional connectedness with more than one person" for half a century, and last year published his "user's guide" to the practice, The Polyamory Handbook. The American author raised his two children while living in a "quad" with his first wife and another couple in Eugene, Oregon, during the early 1970s. "All five children in the quad family really loved having four parents to love them, pay attention to them, help them, and just do things with them. We adults, too, had more free time by sharing the parenting activities....

There is definitely more acceptance now than 40 years ago, when I was in my twenties.... Nowadays, my wife and I routinely mention being polyamorous when relevant in conversation, as normally as mentioning, say, that we enjoy bicycling." After more than 50 years as a polyamorist, he's a "veteran" in the field. His advice is simple: "It takes thorough communication, flexibility and constant cultivation of one's primary relationship (if you're in such a relationship) to maintain trust. A sense of humour also helps."

...Roland Combes, a 42-year-old British web programmer, goes one step further: "While I don't agree with dictating to people how they should live their lives, I feel that if governments promoted and encouraged these types of larger families, all sharing resources, it would benefit society as a whole by putting less pressure on the planet."

Though it's unlikely that state-funded leaflets extolling the virtues of non-monogamy are going to hit our doormats any time soon, polyamory's increasing visibility and popularity suggest that in the not-too-distant-future there'll be a lot more of it about. Whether, as Benson puts it, "poly-style open relationships and multi-adult households might one day be accepted by society as a perfectly normal option for living and loving" remains to be seen, but movers and shakers in the poly world are already doing their damnedest to put this unconventional approach to romance on the map.

The paper notes that "Polyday is at Dragon Hall, 17 Stukeley Street, London WC2, on 26 September. For details, visit www.polyday.org.uk."

With the article are sidebars profiling three poly relationships, titled "The homemakers", "The activist", and "The experimenters". From this last:

"I was quite shocked when Jonathan first fell in love with someone else," admits Samuelson. "We've had to work out new boundaries." David, too, felt "insecure and jealous to start with", but now enjoys "being able to go out and play with others while still having a long-term, domestic partner."

Sexually, Samuelson relishes the opportunity "to have beautiful moments with different people", and David "to learn some new tricks to teach Johanna". Transgender David also believes that the additional intimacies "have made me feel more comfortable with my body".

"As long as you do things with responsibility and respect, and communicate well beforehand, the positive energy you get with a new person can be really good for your main relationship," says Samuelson. "People see it as having the best of both worlds. But this hides all the hard work you have to do."

Read the whole article (Sept. 13, 2009).

The reader comments are, as usual, sharply split. Go join in.


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September 9, 2009

TNG poly documentary coming to MTV (updated)

MTV's "True Life"

Next Monday, September 14th, MTV will finally air its months-in-the-making, hour-long documentary on twenty-something polys. Many people worked hard to pull this off, and we have high hopes. The title is "True Life: I'm Polyamorous."

It will air at 10 p.m. and again at midnight Eastern time; also 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning, 2 a.m. EDT Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday evening, and maybe later. Check the schedule or your local listings. If you miss the show when it airs, it should eventually be available online.

The True Life series is described on its webpage as

remarkable real-life stories of young people and the unusual subcultures they inhabit. Whether documenting the lives of gay marriage activists, individuals dealing with obesity, or teens in high school, the True Life series tells its stories solely from the varied voices and points-of-view of its characters — putting the series in the unique position of reflecting the state of youth culture at any given moment.

One of the folks in the show says, "This was filmed last spring and features Poly community members in NYC! Hopefully it will shed a positive light on the topic to America's youth!!"

Someone put up a Wikipedia page for the episode with a note that it includes a "gay trouple, Jim Messaros, Thomas Freyre and Chris Morgan, as they traverse the world of polyamory and struggle with relationship issues." Includes photo.

Jim himself says,

MTV is very excited about the episode and this will be a great opportunity for polyamory to be mainstreamed to a lot of people, especially young viewers out there. It's socially taboo to be polyamorous let alone gay, so having done this show I hope we opened at least one person's mind to our choice of lifestyle.

Here's a link for the facebook event for the premiere.

I actually updated my network links:


There's some poignant history here. It's been 11 years since the infamous April Divilbiss case, which began when a young vee triad went on MTV. The grandmother of their toddler used their appearance on the show to get a Tennessee judge to grant her custody of the child based on their immoral lifestyle — despite social workers' findings that all was well with their home. (The case ended after two years when April declared herself unfit due to poverty and let the grandmother keep the child.) This time we can hope for better.


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September 5, 2009

Radio interview with Gary Taylor (updated)

Radio New Zealand

On September 5th, Radio New Zealand broadcast a 32-minute interview with Gary Taylor, a Florida State English professor and world-renowned expert on Shakespeare and Middleton, who has chosen to come out as poly. He discusses his triad, their literal coming-out party to colleagues and friends, and his otherwise conservative sexual history. He's articulate and persuasive in describing what we're all about. A fine new voice for us, I say. You can listen here.

He writes:

I've now listened to the interview, and so have both my partners. I wish I'd mentioned "insecurity" as a big part of what people usually call "jealousy". There are many more things I would have liked to say, but it's hard to compress 15 years of experience into 30 minutes of air time!

As I explain in the interview, our decision to come out as poly two years ago was explicitly political, but this is my first attempt at poly activism.

His bio on the radio site:

Dr Gary Taylor is a polyamorist. He is George Matthew Edgar Professor of English and directs the History of Text Technologies programme at Florida State University. He is the General Editor of the Oxford editions of Shakespeare's Complete Works (1986, 2005) and of the Collected Works of "our other Shakespeare", Thomas Middleton (2008), and has written many books, including Reinventing Shakespeare (1989) and Castration: an Abbreviated History of Western Manhood (2000).


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