LGBT vs Polyamory 2/4

Image via Newsweek

Being outside the mainstream culture is not always the same as being persecuted. Your way not being the most popular way is not necessarily discrimination. Erasure sucks without being a synonym for oppression. People may look down on you, but without a system in place to back up their disgust, it’s merely their opinion.

That lack of persecution is the best answer I can provide for why the nascent poly community hasn’t organized the way LGBT have. I wrote last week about the history of queers in England, and how periods of intense persecution led to an organized and political queer community and movement, and that such movements are defensive reactions to oppression and violence.

It may be that a certain level of outside persecution is a necessary condition for movement building. It may be that the poly people facing the most hardships feel little in common with those suffering the least. It may be that as grudging acceptance of LGBT people grows, thanks to the tireless efforts of generations of queer activists, culture warriors turn their judgmental gaze to non monogamy.

Without the threat of consequence, the motivation to sacrifice time and energy to a difficult cause, even one that effects you, is harder to muster. Without the outside pressures of police raids, life and death prison sentences, institutionalization, castration, lobotomy, corrective rape, and violent attacks from hateful strangers, the need to fight back just isn’t there. 

That’s not a bad thing. Again, I am poly. I’m glad that’s not another reason bigots want to kill me. I’m glad it doesn’t lead to homeless teens rejected by their families and staggering rates of suicide. But if cis heterosexual polys want the rewards that come from a movement, then they are going to need to do the work. 

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