What? Of course add the ampersand, AND add every other punctuation mark and all the numbers and other miscellaneous other symbols.

I dream of the day we arrive at the point where, if someone asks if you're straight or gay, you can just show hold up a keyboard.
Two problems here;

1) everyone wants to be special. You are special to yourself. That doesn't mean you need to say it to the world.

2) Everyone thinks they are being oppressed and they can't live their life to their fullest. Sure they can but you made a decision and because of that decision you are afraid to be open about your life. You made that decision now you need to own up to your own self-oppression.

Anyone asking for their own letter in the alphabet soup of oppression has to answer this simple question: Will you face systematic oppression simply because you are ____?

Poly people don't face systematic oppression because they're poly, and therefore don't qualify. Unlike gay people, unlike trans people, unlike black people, and unlike women, no poly person faces housing, employment, or other forms of social discrimination simply because they are poly. Neither do foot fetishists, or stamp collectors, or Dr. Who fans.

Yes, poly people are a clearly defined thing. Yes, poly people are a minority. No, poly people are not an OPPRESSED minority. So please shut the fuck up already, and enjoy your wide variety of holes to play in.
@4 You are wrong. Unless you think that kids whose parents are in poly relationships wouldn't be bullied and ostracized in school, and possibly even get removed by CPS in some communities if it was known. If you do believe so, then you're either very naive and/or stupid, or being purposely naive and stupid to excuse your bigotry. As for employment, housing, and other types of discrimination, why don't you prove your claim that there wouldn't be any - go tell your employer, co-workers, landlord/bank, neighbors, parents, relatives, and friends that you and your partner are both in poly relationships, then come back and tell us what happens.

And no, I'm not poly.
I ride and die with the ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXZ community. Fuck Y.
This may be a stupid question, but why does leather fetish get into the keyboard mashup while other fetishes are left out?
@4 I apologize, I don't know if you're actually a bigot or not, as I haven't read your other posts. Your comment here @4, however, is at the least, closed-minded. It's a bit like those immigrants who want immigration bans (Ted Cruz et al.), or those who had received or are receiving government help wanting to prevent others from getting any help (Paul Ryan and other Trumpers)
As a language purist, I prefer initialism to acronym since LGBTxxx cannot be pronounced. The definition of acronym has morphed due to abuse, but I prefer the original.

I have no doubt that poly people, especially straight poly people, could indeed suffer discrimination if their lifestyle were known. Open relationships don't raise eyebrows in the gay or fetish communities, but straight folks are just expected to pair up. Hey, should we add another S for single?

I used to think that a Q for queer could cover most of the other letters, including asexual. At its simplest, queer means different. Poly blows a hole in that idea. Perhaps LGBTAOSM for . . . and other sexual minorities? How about just LGBT+ ?

Just as some trans folk are not particularly pleased with being included in the initialism, they are a minority that can benefit from inclusion. Welcome to the alphabet, poly folk.
Thank you, Dan, for your continuing efforts to remind us that myopically focusing on acronyms and labels distances us from the true community of humankind – we are all people, connected and interdependent.

As for PPP – early pioneers in all movements took chances, and many suffered setbacks. Maybe she and her poly group will finally reach the stage where they are willing to be the point on the spear that forces those around them to accept them as they are.
@5 Of course you're not poly. The loudest defenders of the perceived oppressed in the Woke Olympics are usually not part of the group they're falling over themselves defending.

Being Poly isn't something you are, it's something you do. Telling your employer, co-workers, landlord/bank, etc. that you enjoy sticking tennis balls up your asshole would probably make them discriminate against you as well. Anyone can be poly. I'd argue most people would enjoy multiple regular sex partners if they could swing it. Saying you "are poly" is just as dumb as saying "I must eat two plates of nachos with every meal. I am intrinsically a Nacho Glutton."

No one gives a shit what you do in the bedroom. No one in oppressing people with multiple sex partners/relationships unless they show poor judgement by rubbing everyone's face in it unnecessarily. We should set RATIONAL definitions around who and to what degree people are actually systematically oppressed so can focus on improving that system. Saying "I'm totally into multiple partners at once" does not fucking qualify you as someone in need of attention.
Dear P's,
Despite the tone LW is accused of, as well as the proposed ampersand, I would still argue that @2 and @4 are not an accurate representation of the general assembly’s spirit.
Welcome to the mix!
See, no one hates us, we can totes be open. Of course they would never choose such a lifestyle though, why can't we just stop rubbing noses in our unpleasant business?
Straight folks have dibs on the pipe. Sure it sounds kinda gay, thanks to the phallic connotation, but it's actually the straightest punctuation mark on the keyboard.
Meanwhile bis get the semicolon, questioning people are stuck with the question mark, and people who are 1 or 5 on the Kinsey scale should probably be given the asterisk.

@9: I'm in favor of pronouncing "LGBT" as "leg-butt".
Oh, I dunno about this. If LGBTetc folks reclaim the entire keyboard, does that mean I have to stop saying (and by "saying", I mean "typing") "Pr*@%!^#t Donald Trump"?
The Internet Anagram Server
Result: No anagrams found.

Please. The ampersand is not a punctuation mark.
@4,5,etc. -- I don't know, I got instantly banned as an "@troll" from The National Review website for logging in, supporting poly in the comment section of an article about poly, and asking questions of other commenters ("Isn't it about freedom?"). Kind of oppressive response since I wasn't being mean, aggressive, or acting even slightly stridently. They just didn't like what I had to say. They also didn't like polyamory one whit, obviously.

So if the Xtian religionists get into more power than they currently have (*coughPence*), and start passing religion-based laws like they would love to do, poly people will probably be ostracized as well for being freaks and non-conformists. Probably not first, but eventually.

Not the same as being beaten to death for being trans, however, I fully agree. But they'd be happy to put us up against the wall too, if they could.
@11 - No one gives a shit what you do in the bedroom.
Tell that to all the people charged under "anti-sodomy" laws, or the (now few) states that don't allow you to buy sex toys.
The right won't waste any time before claiming the P is for pedophile.
They can be in the club, but they can't talk. Ever. Seriously, Poly is like crossfit and veganism - it's all about them.
@11, if no one gives a shit what people do in the bedroom, why would telling them make them discriminate against you, as in your tennis ball example?

If I don’t give a shit what someone does, it won’t make me discriminate against them if they tell me. I might change the subject on them if I just don’t feel the same as them about tennis balls, or would prefer not to know. I’d pretty certainly advise them to pick people to talk about their tennis ball habits with carefully, and maybe get medical advice.

But still. I live in a fairly permissive place where the general default is anything goes between consenting adults, and even there, it’s been known for people to get in trouble with, for starters

- friends
- family
- other lovers
- work
- religious, political and legal authorities

over issues like

- Consent
- activities engaged in
- frequency
- timing
- number of people involved
- marital and familial connections
- sexes
- genders
- ethnicity
- culture
- religion
- choice of outfits

Etcetera, etcetera. Some of those distinctions I find important, even crucial, some I don’t, but what kind of jaded libertine setting are you in where nobody would care about any of them when it came to custody, employment, dinner invitations or civil rights?
@19 Oppression isn't people disagreeing with your opinions. That's called "society".

Put it this way: Poly is not part of your biology. When you walk into a store, security guards don't sense that you are poly and follow you around; they can't tell you are poly by seeing your name on the top of a resume, and there isn't any specific markers of poly non-sexual behavior. While you can't always know if someone is gay/bi by interacting with them, for many, it's impossible to hide. The woman with a crew cut who dresses like Bob Vila can't really hide her gayness much more than I can hide my blackness. Dan Savage probably lost his ability to pass for straight as soon as he stopped trying to pass for straight every single day.

So, when you're judged before you walk in the room, or before you open your mouth, by people you've never met, then you can complain about being poly.
Sorry, haircuts and clothes aren't choices?
@11 Polyamory is primarily about relationship structure, not about what you do in the bedroom. It's about having multiple romantic partners. There may be group sex, there may not be group sex. There might be no sex if one of the people is asexual. Telling people that one is poly is no more throwing sex in their face than telling them that one is gay.

As for the nature/nurture thing, it's probably some of both. I fully believe that a person inately could be drawn to a poly relationship structure, even if it's not exactly a sexual orientation. I for one have very low levels of sexual jealousy and get all warm and fuzzy inside when I see partners showing affection for each other. I didn't wake up one day and make a decision to be that way. I just am.
Wanting recognition for your individuality points to poor parenting.
@24 So if you walk in holding hands with both your partners or are seen kissing both of them, no one is going to notice or judge or discriminate? It may be easier to pass as a poly person, but you'll definitely have to tailor your behavior to do so.

I was at a metamour's house for Thanksgiving and some of his family were horrified, appalled, and disgusted that I sat next to our girlfriend, held her hand, and kissed her on the cheek. He got no end of grief about it.

As difficult and oppressive as what LGBT people have to deal with? Not really. But being poly is still not widely accepted and some would prefer we remain in the closet.
The whole point of protecting certain groups of people (women, blacks, gays, transes, etc) from discrimination is because those people didn't choose to be what they are and nevertheless they face serious discrimination and curtailment of their civil rights because of it. For this reason, I would never lump polyamory in with being gay or trans and try to make it a protected identity group, because it's not an unchangeable identity, it's a fetish/lifestyle choice/kinky hobby, just like choosing to drive a Bentley or liking the music of Insane Clown Posse is a choice.

Think about it. If LW's idea gained actual traction, literally any lifestyle choice anywhere could demand the privileges of a protected identity group. Do you seriously want to usher in a brave new world where fans of Insane Clown Posse and butthurt one percenters can meaningfully argue they're a protected class entitled to special treatment, morally and legally? That's where you're headed if you want to pretend your libertine relationship structures entitle you to special treatment.
@29 "libertine relationship structures". Moralizing much?

Why shouldn't groups outside the sexual mainstream support each other? While they do not all entail the same amount of oppression, they do share the experience of having to hide one's sexual identity and partner(s) from the world. A world that's more open to sexual diversity is going to be a better place for all the alphabet soup.
Poly is a relationship model, not an orientation.

Also: to those of you who are arguing that people are being oppressed for being poly: you're all white, aren't you?
@31 Both I and the letter writer say that the discrimination that poly people face is not as severe as LGBT folk do. Or racial minorities. That doesn't mean that the discrimination doesn't exist. One can get fired for being poly, so so much for that family photo at work. Better tell the kids to be discrete about our living relationships at school, lest CPS stops by.

Or to take another example from the Oppression Olympics: in the US Jews don't have it nearly as bad as African Americans. The amount of prejudice and discrimination is not in the same universe. But there are Nazis out there descreating our cemeteries and synagogues. Should African Americans reject Jews from the anti white supremacy fight?

What exactly is the upside to keeping poly people out of the club? It's called intersectionality people. :)
@30 Calling these people libertines isn't moralizing, it's descriptive. If CPS shows up at your house because you're "married" to three different women at once, they're not doing it because they're moralizing prudes. It's because being married to more than one person at one time is a crime, and they need to confirm you're not doing other questionable sex stuff involving the kids. FLDS-style polygamists are notorious for marrying 13-year-old girls across state lines when they get the opportunity. Do those poly pedos deserve to be in a protected class?

LW's claim that they deserve to belong to a protected class because they've decided to have an ongoing sexual relationship with more than one person at one time is basically a humblebrag: "woe is me and all the hot sex I'm having. The ignorant rubes just don't get my unique liberated ways, I'm so misunderstood." I think that's risible and contrary to the purpose of a protected class.
Enhhhh, this perennial debate (who decided to repost this, Dan or shit-stirring Troubled Youth?) always puts me oddly in the middle. I 100% agree with those like @32 that argue there are real systemic consequences to being poly which are oppressive and unfair (I would have used the same two examples). But I don't think we should be in the initialism*, if the initialism means, well, 'queer'. As a bicurious poly ciswoman, it just feels gross and appropriative.

If the initialism is like a literal tent? A celebration? A street fair for sexual minorities? Cool, sure, give us a table. But it isn't about that, it's about solidarity based on a shared experience of oppression. I don't feel like it's cool for straight poly people to turn up and claim part of that, claim actual queer people's ongoing time and attention. I would really like it if trans people and gay people and everybody else in the initialism voted for protection for poly folks in employment and parenting law if it ever makes it on the ballot, but I just don't think I get to swan up and claim I understand their struggle and we're all one rainbow together.

I guess maybe this is colored by the fact that I've thus far never heard the case for adding P to the alphabet soup made by a queer poly person. And if poly oppression were part of the same thing, who would know better than them?

*Thanks, #9!
@34 That makes quite a bit of sense. And I don't think it should be LGBTP either. But if we're talking about LGBT+ or Dan's alphabet soup of sexual minorities, I do think poly folk should be included. And keep themselves out of the spotlight. We only get a small taste of the shit sandwich the rest of the gang has to swallow.
Yeah, I'm going to say that the alphabet soup is basically for all the 'queer' subsets of sexuality and gender, and poly doesn't fall under that. Now, that's not to say that you don't deserve the right to make your own lifestyle choices, but you're not 'queer' because you're poly - any more than you're queer because you're a single parent, a communally-living hippie, a zen monk, or really into #VanLife or the Renfaire or extreme veganism.

They're all lifestyle choices that might have your friends and family raising eyebrows, and your family might disapprove if you brought someone like that home for dinner, but still... that don't mean you're queer.
There used to be another acronym for folks like us that were different. FREAKS. Personally, I like that term and think we should go back to it. Its easy, precise and a badge of honor that can easily add other diverse groups of FREAKS to it without trying to add another character to the damn password simply because some FREAKs life is so sad that they dont have their lifestyle letter added to a growing list of DNA initials that no one really cares about anyway. FREAKS are all inclusive, equal and by virtue of equality dont need any other letter added because everyone is welcome, like religion, political parties and charities that need your money and one day AARP. Signed “FREAKS FOR HUMANITY”
@37 - Okay, I give up; what does FREAKS stand for?
LGBTQLFTSQIAP? Do we ALL really need to be identified by a letter? When everyone is special, no one is.
....."On behalf of the Gs I'm calling dibs for us on the colon!"

Hey, while personally that would be fine with /me/, a lot of non-Gs are attached to the colon too!
I'd argue for some people non-monogamy (and there for poly) is part of their biology; some people can not be monogamous/faithful. It seems that too many people the world over, and throughout time, have cheated for it not to have some biological basis.
Lots of posters I haven't seen before don't seem to like poly people.

One question for me is: are poly people legitimately proud of being poly? The answer is 'yes'. They're proud of having hit on, or developed, rather, forms of relationship that allow them to care for more than one person romantically at once; proud of having had the courage and presence of mind to stand up to societal norms, and to have found a way of rationally and consensually managing multiple commitments, including to children, without, they suspect, dooming themselves to unhappiness. Are they proud of themselves or proud of a community of choice, an identity, they've affiliated themselves to? Both, but certainly the latter. Do they face (the prospect of) discrimination? Yes. Would we suppose many legitimately want to be 'out' without facing prejudicial consequences? Yes.

I would think queers would find common cause with Ps--taking this to mean just straight poly people. I'm not sure many queers are resisting practical alliances, at least, with their fellow sexual nonconformists.
@42 what about polygamist Mormons? Do they have a right to be out and proud about their poly lifestyles? Current law would point to "no", and I don't see liberals grandstanding for the right of fundamentalist Mormons to practice polygamy in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Yet that's the most historically established and documented school of polyamory/polygamy out there (that's part of why the Mormons settled in Utah, to escape persecution for their poly lifestyles), and minority religious groups actually *are* a protected class in the USA.

Is polyamory only hip with the LGBTQMIAFUBARs if its practicioners don't bring religion into the mix? Because that doesn't make sense.
This bisexual wants the semicolon! :-)
if we look at the standard bell-curve distribution of the Kinsey scale, we see that most people are intrinsically bisexual, and very few are 100% gay or straight. So we make a choice based on which community we feel more comfortable with. There are so many people in the community who started out loving a straight life and then switched because they were dissatisfied. We then retcon them in by claiming they were always queer, they just didn't know it yet or didn't want to admit it. But the fact is, it's always been about choice- live in a way you feel is authentic to yourself, or don't. I don't see real polyamory as being any different. Polyamory is what happens when you realize that you fall in love with more than one person. The monogamous narrative is: when you fall in love with a new person, you must be falling out of love with your current person. But that's not true for polyamorous people. And that part isn't a choice; it's intrinsic. Once polyamorous people decide to be authentic about that, they face significant and pervasive discrimination. Housing discrimination is actually a huge one. Most apartment complexes will not allow more than two adults on a lease. Most cities have zoning laws restricting single-family homes to two co-owners and two adult blood relatives. In employment, married polyamorous people are considered adulterers by the Department of Defense and face court-martial and dishonorable discharge. And since polyamory isn't a protected class, any employer can terminate someone for it, particularly in at-will-employment states. in general, slut-shaming is common when people "come out" as polyamorous. Polyamorous people are all going to hell with the queer community, so we might as well embrace them now!

As a disclaimer: All non-monogamy isn't polyamory. Swingers, cheaters, and play partners are all inherently monogamous structures.


🎶 And a partridge in a pear tree 🎶
All the people saying Poly is not innate, not biological...just a relationship choice, not an orientation...HA! Really?

Have you read any studies on Bonobos? Or other animals related to pair-bonding? Would you agree or disagree that their methods of pair-bonding are biological? And if so...why not in humans? OF COURSE our methods of pair-bonding are biological.

The degree to which humans attempt to shield ourselves from the animal kingdom is funny. :-)
What is YOUR Relational Orientation?…
I wonder how close we are to having hetro cis gendered couples that practice vanillia sex be looked at as deviant.
@49 - Aaaany minute now! But they'd have to be purely monogamous too. ;>)

@24 - Oppression isn't people disagreeing with your opinions. That's called "society".
Yes, you are right, I agree. But wouldn't you say that banning someone from talking in your group's forum for expressing their unpopular opinion and engaging in civil discourse to be, I don't know, a step or two further along from mere disagreement?

I mean, it's kind of a spectrum, right? Not listening, mocking, banning, excluding, harassing, punching, arresting, overly punitive sentencing, burning your house down, desecrating your ancestors graves ...all the way to the worse stuff. I'm definitely not saying I was oppressed, I wasn't; I was silenced though. But what I was pointing out is that there are people who would readily get on-board with aggressively (violently?) marginalizing all sexual "deviants", and wouldn't hesitate to lump in poly people if they got the chance. It's a spectrum of "deviance" too, in a way.

Speaking of which, that reminds me of a joke from an Onion headline:
Standard Deviation Not Enough for Perverted Statistician
I totally think fundamentalist Mormons should be allowed to practice plural marriage, if they didn't have to hide that from the law women could report abuse more easily without fearing the loss of children, and underage marriage would be easier to prevent.
Don't forget asexual.
@43. Lawfag. I'm not sure that poly people are agitating for polygamy--the right to be married to more than one person.

Let's say that Mormons accept that in legal terms, they will be married to a single person, then, in the terms of Mormonism or their religion, they will understand they are in divinely sanctioned marital relationships with secondary, tertiary etc. spouses. I would think, and hope, that non-religious, politically liberal poly activists would support the extension of the protections they seek for their poly partners (over employment, custody of children, kinship prerogatives, sharing of healthcare and other insurance etc.) to Mormons' second and third spousal partners.
HBTB @ 43 Maybe not at the present time, but in the future who knows. Are poly asking for societal tolerance or societal acceptance? There is a difference. The usual progression is demands for societal toleration, then societal acceptance, and then societal equality (including the right to marry) Some (by no means all) will inevitably agitate for marriage, even if they have no desire to marry.
garumph @ 49 Depends on your definition of vanilla sex (anal and oral sex were, not too long ago in the grand scheme of things, considered to be deviant sexual practices (and still are in some places). My best guess is never. More likely the definition of what vanilla sex is will be expanded to include sex acts that are currently considered to be deviant. It will also depend on where you live.

As a polyamorous identifying person, I disagree with adding it to the mix. Yes, there should be awareness. And there is! Lots of polyamorous groups are working towards helping people understand what it's about and why they shouldn't be weirded out by it.

But it's not oppressed. It's something that can be potentially used against people who are ALREADY oppressed, but it, in and of itself, is not. Sorry, but a wealthy white polyamorous family is not going to have to face nearly the same level scrutiny as a black woman who is a single mom practicing solo-polyamory. It's not the polyamory that's oppressed.

The problem with adding it to the list is that it's basically an excuse for straight white men who have or want 2 or more women partners to claim oppression. The people who are likely to be opressed in relation to polyamory are already on the list. Queer polyamorous people are represented by the Q. We don't need the P to be in there too.

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