It is difficult for our triad to find role models. I wouldn’t say that we have struck a real quest to find others to look up to; however, I feel that most people gravitate toward those they find similar. For example, I am always on the look out for other triads, trios or what-have-you, in an attempt to see down the road issues that may arise. So far, this has been relegated to television shows like Polyamory: Married and Dating.
So as people we are not only poly, but also gay. This further subdivides us out of the already marginalized communities of the gays and the polys. Our triad appears to be blazing a trail in visibility if nothing else. Just as homosexuals were forced to hide who they were, polyamorists are forced to do the same in our society. I believe the parallels exist in the misconception that sex is the root aim for both causes.
I can admit that gay men seek gay men for relationships to secure a sexual partner that meets their sexual needs. Of course the rest of their life does not end there. Gay relationships, while sex based, encompass the full range of couple activities that any heterosexual relationship may encounter (other than procreation of course). They buy houses together, get bored at each other’s family events, and irritate each other’s pet peeves. Monogamous Gays are not any more interesting than anyone else simply because they have sex with the same gender.
Polyamorists on the other hand often start in monogamous relationships. The social norm of Western society is that of couples. 2 Can Dine coupons are one of my favourite examples of the heteronormative culture. Moving away from the two person relationship into a broader territory is foreign for most individuals who grew up in one or two parent households. There are no rules to fall back on, and no advice that parents can give about similar circumstances.
So where do we look for role models? I think the answer to this question is fairly simple. Everyone should look for role models based on their behaviour, not on their gender, sexual orientation or relationship status. But since I have painted myself into a proverbial corner on this one, I will provide some basic suggestions for polyamory:
– Honour your relationships with all the members of your household.
– Do not ask your partners to do anything you are not willing to do yourself.
– Negotiate, do not dictate.
– Remember that the members of your household that joined the relationship later may always harbour feelings of being outside of the existing relationship(s).
– Extraverts, remember that introverts need time alone.
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