Wishing you a Wonderful 2016!
Many thanks for all the support that all of you have given to Loving More® Nonprofit and the Polyamory Community through the years. Without all of your support we could not have accomplished all we have in the past few years.
Loving More® Nonprofit is delighted to be celebrating 30 years of education and events teaching new models for love and relationships. As we go into 2016, I can’t help but be excited about all that we together as a community have accomplished in the past 30 years and what we are working for in the coming years. In 1986, Loving More/PEP Talk hosted our first polyamory focused conference and began a journey that would help change the landscape of romantic love and traditional relationships around the world. (Loving More History)
Over the years the organization has been renewed and changed to better serve the needs of the community. We began in 1986 with a focus on ethical non-monogamy in the form of polyfidelity and new models for love and family, first as PEP, then as Loving More starting in1991. Throughout, we have always had education, awareness and support as a primary mission. Sometimes that support is just being a friendly voice on the phone to answer questions or help someone struggling with communication or agreements in their relationships. At other times it is providing educational events such as Poly Living Conferences, Loving Choices Seminars, webinars and articles that reach thousands of people. Throughout the years Loving More has been here to support and help people living polyamorous lives.
When I stepped in to Loving More in 2004, the organization was floundering. I personally needed Loving More and was grateful for all the ground breaking work the founders had done for polyamory and ethical non-monogamy. I wanted to see the organization grow and be there for the future. I was offered the opportunity to buy the business in October 2004 and said yes even though I had no idea where the money would come from or how I could pull it off as a single mom of three. I felt I had to do it for the community and for my children’s future relationships. Less than two years into my journey I realized Loving More needed to be a nonprofit and with the help of several people I filed the needed papers and gave up ownership of Loving More Nonprofit.
When I became Loving More’s executive director, the majority of polyamorists were in the closet and the community was hidden. One of my central goals when I purchased Loving More was to shine a light on polyamory and bring it out of the shadows. I understood words have power: the power to bring ideas into conscious awareness. Making polyamory a known word was critical to furthering awareness. In 2005, we took on an ambitious media campaign to stir up public interest, and in the past eleven years the media work and press releases have paid off.
In 2005, the community was thrilled to see one or two articles a year and ecstatic when there was a radio or TV show talking about polyamory, even when they were less than encouraging. Today, polyamory articles come out almost daily and most are positive. The number of websites, organizations, events and groups has skyrocketed. Eleven years ago most people had never heard of polyamory and the term couldn’t be found in any official dictionary. Today it is not unusual to hear people in public talking about polyamory and many people are now at least aware of the term. If you are new to polyamory, it may be hard to imagine just how exciting this is and how far we have come since 2005. There have been many individuals and organizations that have helped make this shift a reality.
With increased awareness, we have witnessed amazing growth in people identifying as polyamorous and non-monogamous. This is exciting and a success to celebrate, but along with the good we have seen an increase in people dealing with issues of discrimination from being polyamorous. We have been called on for help by people who have lost their job, been denied housing and by families losing custody of their children. As polyamory visibility increases and more people are out it is likely we will see an increase in discrimination. The good news is there is strength in numbers and we have an ever growing community of people and resources available to help those in need.
In 2015, we as an organization have changed our focus away from simply raising awareness that polyamory exists to bringing a deeper understanding of what polyamory is and its validity for romantic love and families. We are working to bring understanding of the diversity and complexity of polyamory and other open relationship forms. We know this is just as, if not more, ambitious than bringing awareness of polyamory as a word and concept. We are committed and ready to work with the community, other organizations and the media to make this happen. We not only want to raise awareness of polyamory, but we want polyamory to be a valid and safe choice for both families and individuals.
We need role models – people willing to be out and to speak out publicly. We need to work together as a community to do what we can in shaping the perceptions the media portrays. It is our hope that we as a community and a movement can come together and work toward understanding, acceptance and safety. We have great opportunities in the coming year for articles, shows and documentaries focusing on how polyamory works. Of course this is only possible when courageous people are willing to participate.
I don’t know where we will be in ten years, but I am hopeful and excited at what is possible given how far we have come. The world is changing: things like marriage equality and greater acceptance of gender diversity are on the rise, while compulsory monogamy is coming under ever increasing scrutiny. People are questioning the so called traditional models of relationships and looking more and more for conscious alternatives.
I can now realistically imagine a world where people are asked on first date if they lean toward monogamy, swinging or polyamory, a world where children can have two dads and a mom without worrying they’ll be taken away from their loving parents, a world where people don’t make assumptions about gender, sexual orientation, relationship orientation or who and how you love – a world where loving more is celebrated instead of vilified. Do we have a long way to go? Yes, but we have come farther faster than many of us once thought was possible, and we grow stronger each year.
You may be asking yourself, what can I do to contribute? It’s a simple thing really: lead by example and be a role model of what healthy open relationships can be.
There is power in these three words: Give, Authenticity, and Love. Keep these words in mind, next time you start a new conversation about polyamory.
Give: Do you feel that the work we’re doing is important? If so, then please donate; movements and activism need money to accomplish goals. Give to the organizations that resonate with your heart and encourage others to do the same.
Authenticity: Be real and be you. Be an example of possibilities for others.
L: Live the life you want to live.
O: Organize support groups to assist others in need.
V: Volunteer your time to what matters in your heart
E: Express yourself and speak up for what you feel and believe. If you can, be out and speak out.
Take a moment to ask yourself what kind of a world you want to live in and how we together can create it. Loving More is here to work together with individuals and organizations to change the world; you are needed more than you know. Contact us if you willing to do media or volunteer, attend events so you can meet and network with others, help people by being supportive when being different brings challenges, and honor your own courage to love openly and honestly.
Warm wishes from the bottom of our many hearts to yours. We hope that 2016 brings you great adventures of love, fun and intimate connections.