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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sian Ferguson Calls For Polyamory Inclusion

At everydayfeminism.com, who is pansexual, writes a very important piece about the ways polyamorous people have been excluded in some queer communities. Ferguson calls for solidarity.
Finding a queer community saved my life. I’m not exaggerating.
Throughout my life, I’ve been told that there is only one right way to experience love, romance and sexual attraction: that is, I was conditioned to believe certain heteronormative myths about relationships.
I don't doubt that there are happy, successful heteronormative monogamous relationships. The problem comes when laws and policies try to force everyone into the same mold. Polyamorous people should not be denied their rights.


Of course, I know that queer people are sometimes exclusionary. In some queer spaces, I experienced monosexism, and witnessed a lot of transphobia and racism.
And after coming out as polyamorous, I encountered yet another source of exclusion in the queer spaces I used to navigate. While polyamorous people are by no means the only people who are excluded in queer communities, it’s imperative that we think critically about the subtle and overt ways in which we exclude non-monogamous people from our queer spaces.
Yes. YES. YES!!!
The same logic that should prompt us to advocate for the liberation of queer people applies to the inclusion of polyamorous people, too. 
If everyone should be free to conduct their relationships, romantic and sexual activities the way they want – as long as they don’t hurt others – this should include polyamory.
I repeat... Yes. YES. YES!!! Don't insert an invisible asterisk.
Accepting non-monogamy as a valid relationship structure is important as it can help us unlearn the harmful messages most of us have been fed our entire lives.

Sometimes the ways we exclude polyamorous people are subtle and therefore unrecognised by most monogamous people. So, I’ve put together a list of ways in which polyamorous people are marginalized within queer movements.
You'll have to click through to read it. It is a very important piece. But I did want to include the first point here because it is perfectly in line with the point of this blog.

1. We’re Ignored In The Push For ‘Marriage Equality’
The prioritization of so-called marriage equality in the mainstream ‘gay rights’ movement is problematic, to say the least.

The rights, protection and livelihood of some of the most vulnerable members of the queer community is being overshadowed by the push for marital rights.

And what exactly is marriage, anyway? In many ways, marriage is an oppressive institution.
It perpetuates the notion that some relationships are more important than others, and the idea that love has to be recognized by the state to be ‘official’ and real.
This blog does not advocate removing marriage from law. Instead, whatever is offered in law, whether marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions, or anything else must be available to all consenting adult relationships. We fully support the right to NOT be married or in any way register the relationship with the government as well. But as long as something is offered, it can't be reserved for heterosexuals, or couples, or intraracial relationships. It must be available to interracial relationships, same-gender relationships, polyamorous relationships, consanguineous relationships, etc.
Sometimes, people who oppose same-gender marriage ask, “If we allow two men to marry, for example, what’s to stop people from marrying multiple people at once?”
Commonly, the mainstream queer community responds to this by saying that it’s a slippery slope argument. This might be true, but we need to respond to this mentality by pointing out that multiple consenting people should also be allowed to get married.

Sometimes, people want to marry multiple partners. They shouldn’t be thrown under the bus for the benefit of monogamous queer people.
Yes. Make the bigots defend their position. They can't. Always point out that saying "See! They want polyamorous marriages, too!" is not an argument. It's not a reason to deny people their rights. Ask, "You might not want to do it yourself, but what is wrong with letting consenting adults have their rights?"

Read it all here.
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