Then it hit me.

All this time I kept saying to myself, “I’m just an ally stay out of it give them space” ” Support their message.” “Give way and let their voices be raised louder than any other. ”
See as a fairly hetero-normative presenting person, it was easy for me to not see the problem here. For most of my life, I have been fairly open about who I am to certain people, circles of friends and communities that I feel safe in. Because even with all my privileges and status in society, I am still afraid of rejection and harm.
I have stayed silent.
But I cant anymore. In a conversation with a FB friend I was brought to tears by my own sexuality and self shame. I am a queer person. I am a Poly, Kinky, Bisexual man who loves openly and honestly.
I have been seething for days. I have felt rage building, depression filling in, I haven’t wanted to leave the house, I have been very combative on Facebook about various different issues I feel are important. but I have always given way to the voice of the persons i saw more closely affected to this than I was.
Then it hit me……I present so hetero normative that my rage in this whole unbelievably horrific act against the community is silenced by both sides. I feel ignored and shut down. It sucks. I feel that If I say anything I’m “tone policing” I’m telling people to “Be nice”. I’m so sick of shutting myself out of the conversation because I am a male, hetero-normative presenting person. I dont belong. I cant be a member of the community of Straight people , cause Im not. I cant be a queer person cause I “look too straight” Im alone and it sucks.
In that conversation on Facebook, my friend recognized me as part of the community. I lost it. In tears I am still emotional about it now. For once, someone outside of my immediate community, a person of the queer community that I respect, a person who has helped me grow and evolve my thinking broke down a wall. Thank you A.

I am Queer. I am a Bisexual, Poly, Kinky, Guy. My voice is important too. And if to no one else, it is important to me. And maybe some of you already knew this.  But I have to say it.  I have to accept this identity and be open about it.  I cannot stay scared safe anymore.

I was allowing my own erasure from society by staying in the closet. I never really came out of it.  I just added on.  It was small but then I found others like me and to stay safe,  I only knocked out the back wall and added room to the closet.    I was only allowing what I wanted others to see be shown.  What was safe.  Fuck Safe.   In the words of one of my childhood heroes,  “I YAM what I YAM! “

You Me Her- Wrap Up Post

Ok so we had 10 episodes of this amazing show that brought to light Polyamory in one of its many forms.
Overall I give the show 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I think the show did what it had to in order to make the concept entertaining, but also it kept an element of realism to the show.

My biggest problem came in the final episode.   I am not sure if I have ever known anyone to actually chase someone to the airport.  It seemed to clash a bit with the way the show handled the realism of polyamory earlier in the season.   Most polyamorists, would have respected Izzy’s choice to go home and sort out life.  Maybe they would have called to say, they did have feelings for the person etc….  Reason being polyamory is all about personal autonomy and respecting others choices.  Freely accepting what is freely given.

What I foresee happening in a relationship such as this is, that the 3 will continue to have problems as they do not have a strong communication style between the 3 of them.  They are operating on assumptions and experiences that apply to monogamous relationships .  not those of multiple person intimate relationships.   They seriously need to be honest and open about all the emotions they are having,  not just with each other, but also with everyone else.  (Including their therapist)  Lying to their therapist only undermines their own progress.

Now the good.    The show did take a lot of time showing interactions with the 3 of them that were natural, loving, kind and caring.  They really do seem like 3 people in love. They did show some very basic communication stuff in poly situations.   They addressed jealousy, envy, fear, acceptance, hesitation,   The show tackled and brought to light a lot of issues in the poly community. Couple privilege, unicorn hunting, acceptance and rejection by friends and family, social stigma and fears…. all things that almost all poly people deal with on a daily basis.

So Kudos to Creator: John Scott Shepherd Stars:  Greg Poehler, Rachel Blanchard, Priscilla Faia  and all the rest of the cast and crew for putting together a fairly accurate representation of ONE style of Polyamory. 

Season 2?

Catching up- You Me Her.

Hiya folks,

First, let me apologize for my absence.  Life has been pretty busy the last few weeks.  I am preparing to take and pass the CAPM exam this Friday.  Additionally,  Atlanta Poly Weekend is right around the corner and its all hands on deck planning team for that.  Also I have a family that wants to see  me and I need some me time every now and then.

Speaking of ME time looks like that’s what Izzy is going to be doing ….

So recapping quickly if you aren’t current,  Izzy went to Jack and Emma’s to try and patch things up from the whole bit where she scared the crap out of them emotionally.   ANd ends up doing it again.

Izzy,  who is truly head over heals in NRE with Jack and Emma,  is exhibiting classic NRE behavior or reading a lot into what’s happening, moving with emotions and not thinking through her actions.  And Jack and Emma,  being more seasoned in the long term relationship application of principles, seem to be moving with a fun and logical approach (in their eyes) to the decisions,  EVEN though those decisions do not take Izzy’s feelings into account. They don’t see that.  Until it’s too late and Izzy is hurt. They are confused.  And everything is upside down again.   This is where/how it becomes problematic in Poly relationships.  I think the show gets this right.

Izzy has been hurt a few times in quick succession and is scared that she is making huge mistakes that will end up ruining her life.  What’s a person to do?  Go Home.  Yep back to the safety of Mom and look for the guidance that was there as a child.   I understand this response.  There were many times in early poly days I wished I could run away from it all and find wisdom…..  But I didn’t have anywhere to run.  Izzy at least has a safe harbor to return to, clear her head, and then decide if this really is something she wants to pursue.

This show really highlights a phenomenon that happens a lot in the Poly community.  Where a couple has one set of expectations and a 3rd person comes in and has a different set of expectations. ANd the couple is looking out for the couple’s best interest (jobs, community standing, peer acceptance, etc)  and the 3rd individual just wants to be a part of something that they feel is really satisfying. In real life it isn’t always as fast a 7 days like it is in the show, although I have seen it move that quickly.

There is a lot of growth from this in the poly community as of late .  The focus is moving from couple centric thinking and practice to  an individuals right to choose what is best for themself.  In doing so it is really helping to circumvent some of the problems that come into poly relationships with regard to hierarchy and power exchange.

I kinda wish they had more time to put into the show to highlight the resolutions styles that the people are using.  But hey its a first season sitcom,  what can I expect.  A LOT more communication takes place than what they are able to show in the time they have allowed.  And sometimes, its not as pretty as TV would depict it.  Don’t get me wrong, this show isn’t all rainbows and puppy dogs, however,  conversations go more like “The Morning After” a lot more frequently than one would think.  ESPECIALLY early in the relationship building period.

I want to bring to light one thing that I haven’t touched on yet… Jack and Emma,  they still have the same problem they had before Izzy came into the picture.   Granted they are having sex,  but they didn’t do anything to FIX that problem… All they did was introduce a distraction from that problem.  ANd that is how they are treating Izzy as well, as a distracting, treatment for an underlying issue that they both are contributing to.  Polyamory, is NOT a cure for a hurting relationship.  I think Jack and Emma have some personal issues that they need to work on before they can be individually healthy enough to move into a full Poly relationship.  Jack is insecure and unsure of himself,  Emma feels alone and without support from her partner of many years.
IN MY OPINION.  Relationship problems = People Problems.  I don’t care what kind of relationship one is in….. If it has issues, problems or isn’t working the way it was when you started,  and nothing has changed,  may want to take a deeper look into ones self,  chances are you will find where that change occurred inside.

Only one episode is left in this season and we haven’t heard if there will be a second season or not.  I’m really looking forward to seeing it.  its going to really sum up my whole thought process on this show.  Up to this point I really think the show has done a fairly accurate representation of how ONE style of Polyamory is initiated.  Something to remember is that there is no one true way for polyamory.  There isnt a cookie cutter design.  Polyamory is best practiced as individuals making connections with other individuals.  Even if those individuals are in other coupled or non coupled relationships.

Thanks to John Scott Shepherd  for putting together a great show. And also for mentioning my reviews in an interview.  I am happy to provide feedback and glad you like what you are hearing.  Also thank to the YOU ME Her Social media team for engaging with us on twitter and facebook.  I look forward to getting my umbrella soon!   I wish there was more time to get you all to come to Atlanta Poly Weekend this year.

Atlanta Poly Weekend 2016 ( Preview)

Well, its that time of year again.  In just 2 weeks Atlanta Poly Weekend 2016 will be taking over its new hotel home.  Yep , if you hadn’t heard they are moving to a new venue this year.  The new home for #APW2016 is the Sheraton Downtown Atlanta ! APW is excited for this move as it indicates growth, change, and expansion.

Along with the new hotel,  lots of other new things are happening this year, the most presenters they have ever had, 30 as well as, the most new presenters they have ever had, 18!  That’s over 50% NEW FACES teaching classes.  But of course they brought back your favorites from previous years. Some of the presenters listed include, Tikva Wolf (Kimchi Cuddles) Dr. Eli Sheff, Joreth, Bettie Bullet, Amanda Anatra, Ricci Levy, and  myself.
Classes this year have been extended to 1 hour 30 minuets, so plan accordingly. They will have a 15 minuet break between classes that should help with restroom times and stretching the legs.

New events happening this year include a Pool Party (pack your swim suit) in place of a dance.  Organizers have said the dance has been poorly attended in years past so they wanted to try something new.  The Pool party will be on Friday Night from 7-10Pm.  Make sure you are there for all the fun! Also this year brings back the loved game of Match Game against Humanity.   This  is a mash-up of the traditional Match Game, and CAH, where the staff choose the Black cards out of a deck of CAH for the questions,  and the panelists answer with their own made up white card answers. It is a lot of fun.  Not one for the kiddos though.

Classes look really interesting this year, as usual.  APW really prides itself on not only the amount of classes they offer, but the quality as well.  With classes ranging on topic feom Asexuality, to Yoga, to communication and coming out,  you name it I think they have it covered.  With this year a night time Adult track of topics restricted to 18+ years old.  See the full line up and descriptions here .

In addition to all the new programming that APW has this year, never before have this many community organizations been represented at APW.  over 12 different organizations have come out already to support this wonderful event.  They include, Relationship Equality Foundation, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, NCSF, Atlanta Poly, AID Atlanta, Lost n Found Youth, Relate Con, and several more.  Its amazing to see this much support for the event that started so humbly 6 years ago in the basement of  a hotel.

With all this awesome going on, I ask you will I see you there?  If you have not already bought your tickets,  go now and get them HERE Badges are only $60.00 per adult. Meet some of the best presenters, activist and advocates in the Poly Community,  learn skills and expand your minds view on different topics, make new friends,  but most importantly, have a good time.
Ill see you June 3-5 2016 at Atlanta Poly Weekend!

Boat Project Day1 & Day2

I have done it now.  There goes all my fun time and money….

Yep I bought a boat.   This is a project boat.  I really wanted something water ready… but the budget didn’t allow for that.   SO I bought this boat. $500.00 Motor, Boat and trailer.  Not to bad.  I knew going in it was going to need a little work. I figured somewhere between $300 and $500 more to get it water ready. Once I got into it I have found that it needs a LOT more work.

IMG_20160428_142352209_HDRDay 1
The entire floor was rotted out.  Which by itself wouldn’t have been a big deal.   However upon further inspection I found that the Stringers were also completely rotten.  All of the flooring was rotten.  The previous owner had laid in a pallet type of floor system.  That seemed to work ok for walking around, but it didnt fix the problem.  So that was the first thing I removed.

Next came removal of the storage and deck additions. To include the console, seats, cooler, lids and storage .  and pretty much anything else that wasn’t part of the structure of the boat.
Once I got all that pulled out It was much easier to see how much work was going to be needed.   (Cliff notes version A LOT)

IMG_20160428_174912260

That is when I began the demolition of the flooring. it was dirty, stinky, slimy, and gross. It was mostly a hands on job too meaning that I didn’t need to use power tools to do the work, just grab and toss.  It didn’t take long.  One part when I pulled the floor up revealed trapped water that I’m not exactly sure how long it had been in the boat.  After a little more sweating and swearing and an hour or two….an entire 16 foot boat floor fit in a 30 gallon garbage can…. with room to spare.

 

Day 2 Stringer inspection..

After I got the floor vacuumed out with a shop vac and washed down really well, I wanted to take a look at just how bad the stringers were.  There were no bulkheads in the boat, only long stringers to support the flooring.  IMG_20160428_172503991_HDR

You don’t have to know alot about wood, or boats to know that those stringers are GONE!.  Waterlogged, (as of this writing 5 days after their removal they are still wet) rotten and in very bad shape.  So looks like they need to be replaced as well.   SO on to removal of the stringers…. It wasn’t hard but it wasn’t easy either.  I learned a few things…. 1 having a dremel tool to help you cut the fiberglass will be a lifesaver.  Although most of the fiber was loose and I was able to use a chisel and or putty knife to remove it.  A dremel would have been faster.  Wear LONG SLEEVES… Fiberglass will get everywhere.   Have a garbage can nearby to toss all that old fiberglass in as soon as it comes out.  You dont want to be kneeling down on fiberglass.

After the stringers were removed I basically have a hull and 2 live wells.  So on the up side I can pretty much do what ever I want with the flooring system at this point. On the down side this is going to cost a lot more money than I had planned. B.O.A.T.  Break Out Another Thousand.

 

 

Leadership, Education, and how we are seen.

Had a few thoughts today on Polyamory leadership, teaching, and the way educators are viewed by those who they teach. As well as a nugget of thought I have been mulling around. And this probably applies to many areas of instruction, however, since I am a poly educator, I will stick to my own yard.

1> Poly educators have it all figured out and don’t make mistakes.They have perfect poly lives.  And all the answers. 
In reality, We make as many mistakes as others or already have made the mistakes we are teaching about. We teach the lessons we learned to hopefully give others the foresight to avoid it or at least see it coming and how to navigate through it. We aren’t Preventative Maintenance technicians.

2> Poly leaders / educators are sometimes seen as “Great wise people on the mountain”.
In reality, we are normal folks, we have not been gifted this great knowledge from on high. Most, if not all, of what we know we lived. We screwed up, and we learned from it. Knowledge is knowing what you did, Wisdom is not repeating the mistake. Some of us have a greater desire to learn new and challenging concepts.  Others just wing it.  Some of us read all the books as they come out, others of us just try to live our live as authentically as we can.  There are many guides to poly/ non-monogamy,  but there is no one true way to get it right.  But there are lots of really easy ways to screw it up.

3 Poly problems = (typically) People Problems. Many times I hear people say… ” Poly didnt work out for me because I/they was/were too jealous”
Here’s the deal, If a person has people problems, (Here is the really important part) AND THEY DONT ACKNOWLEDGE AND WORK ON BEING A BETTER PERSON> they will have a much harder time in not only Poly relationships, but also mono and non romantic relationships in general.
My poly life got better when I addressed the issues I was facing internally.

Finally I want to close with a word of advice for those who may be looking at going to classes….  If you haven’t ever heard of the person presenting , do your homework on them.  Look them up on the web, ask other poly people if they have heard of them.  There are more and more people getting into teaching classes as ” experts”  Im not an Expert on polyamory.  Dont claim to be.  People have called me one, but I am not.   An expert is someone who knows everything about a particular topic/subject.  I dont believe such a thing can exist in polyamory.  There are too many styles of relationships.

You Me Her Info

Hi all.  I just wanted to drop in and say thanks to everyone who has been reading and following up on my YOU Me Her coverage. It is a lot of work for me to put together those recaps.  However…..Since I want this show to get as much viewership as possible,  I am going to stop doing the full detail review/ recaps.  They are streaming the show on Direct TV web login free.  S If you want to watch it, there ya go.  i will keep up the weekly light reviews and talking about what I did and didnt like etc.

Just wanted to give everyone the heads up.
PLEASE go watch it.