What poly person hasn’t been called greedy, or “just another sort of cheater” at least once? I know I personally have been told I’ll never find “real love”. Its sort of the way it goes, and there is this way people see polyamory, right?
At least once a week, whether its by friends, coworkers, or even acquaintances, I get asked the same questions about polyamory that I have been asked a hundred times. Some of the questions make me want to roll my eyes because they come off as slightly offensive or maybe they are easily looked up. There are questions poly people are commonly asked.
No matter how many times I hear them though, I really try to treat every question as if it is the first time I’m being asked it. Because I am being asked it for the first time, by this person. Polyamory is coming much more into the public eye recently, even showing up in presidential campaigns (as something the world needs to protect ourselves against, of course).
People choose to be polyamorous or monogamous for their own reasons, and a lot of poly people choose not to reveal that aspect of their lives at all. It can be just too dangerous. Sometimes they get angry and defensive that they even have to answer some of the questions being asked, like, “are you sure your partner’s partners are okay with your relationship?”
I’m not saying poly people have a responsibility to educate others about their lifestyles. However, as far as openly poly people go, the more time taken to answer questions from those who have never heard of our lifestyle, the less influence the media’s portrayal of polyamory has. They may be the first polyamorous person that the question asker has ever met. The fact that a question is being asked means they want to hear things firsthand from you, rather than believing everything they’ve already heard blindly.
Whether we like it or not, if we are the polyamorous person somebody comes to, we represent all polyamorous people. If we don’t have or feel comfortable giving an answer to a question, then we should at least be able to point them into the direction of some starter texts or, better yet, other poly people who are more open about things like that. What we can’t do is make them feel silly for asking the questions because then they will go back to their stereotypes. The question they ask can be less important than the way we answer it.
So, I say to the poly people out there who feel safe enough to be open about their lifestyles, please remember why it is important to take time to answer questions, or be able to point people in the direction of somebody/somewhere that can. After all, we can only create allies through education.
Casually reblogging myself.