There are many gender identities and sexual orientations that anyone can feel connected to or identify with.
More and more terms have been popularized over the years to represents the emotions and experiences of queer individuals and if you aren’t immersed in the LGBTQ+ culture or the queer community, chances are there are a quite a few terms you would not have come across due to a lack of representation in mainstream media.
One such term is polyamory, so we are going to talk about what does it mean to be polyamorous, talk about the meaning behind the polyamorous pride flag, and help you with some information to become a better ally to the polyamorous community.
In this article we will cover...
What Does Polyamory Mean?
When most people think about romantic relationships, the first thing that pops into mind is monogamy. On the other hand, there are those in polyamorous relationships. A polyamorous relationship can be defined as consensual non-monogamy.
These relationships involve more than two people. Everyone involved in a polyamorous relationship must give their consent. Polyamorous people experience intimate, intentional, and multiple loving relationships at the same time.
Polyamory is one way of practicing consensual non-monogamy. Consensual monogamy can mean that two people have multiple relationships concurrently. Polyamory is different from open relationships that include casual sex partners. One of the foundations of a polyamorous relationship is trust.
Each partner in a polyamorous relationship is aware of what the other does with other people. In addition, within the same circle, some partners may have friendships or relationships with each other.
Let’s look at the different kinds of polyamory.
Solo polyamory: This type of polyamory refers to people that are not in a primary relationship with one person but date multiple people. Such people usually remain independent.
Polyfidelity: refers to three or more people who do not date outside their group and are in a committed relationship with each other.
Hierarchical polyamory: hierarchical polyamory refers to a situation where people in the partnership have primary relationships that get the most attention and time. They also have secondary and tertiary relationships that will receive less time and attention than the primary partnership. In such situations, primary partners play a crucial role in decision-making.
Non-hierarchical polyamory: This type of polyamory refers to a situation where there aren’t any hierarchical partners. Each partner gets equal attention and time, and they have equal input in the decision-making process. It is also called relationship anarchy or egalitarian polyamory.
Polyamory Pride Flag Meaning
There are many different LGBTQ flags representing most queer identities, so it should come as no surprise there is a flag for polyamorous people to proudly fly. Jim Evans created the original polyamory pride flag in 1995. The flag has blue, red, and black bars with the Greek letter pi symbol in the middle. The blue bar represents honesty and openness among partners. The red bar represents love and affection.
The black bar represents solidarity with all people that have to hide their multi-lover partnerships from the rest of the world. There are many explanations for the pi symbol in the middle of the flag. However, the one that makes the most sense and is agreed upon but most people is that it stands for infinite love amongst partners.
Much like the intersex, polysexual and asexual flags; there have been many variations of the polyamorous flag after various members of the community decided that the original flag was undesirable. Some of the variations include the removal of the pi symbol and replacing it with an infinity heart symbol. The infinite heart symbol has been a recurring aspect of variations of the polyamorous flag – but this original flag is still the most agreed upon and commonly seen.
When Is Polyamory Pride Day?
Awareness, visibility, remembrance, and celebration are all important in increasing the acceptance and recognition of queer identities and queer folx around the world.
By observing an international day for polyamory, it is easier for polyamorous individuals to talk to friends and loved ones – and to feel the love. It also helps foster awareness and increased sensitives from society at large.
So, mark your calendar and plan something special (even if it is just a social media post!) for November 23rd, which is Polyamory Pride Day.
Other Polyamory Information to Help You Be A Better Ally
There are plenty of misconceptions about polyamorous people and relationships. However, once you change your attitude and mindset towards polyamorous relationships, you can be an ally. Here’s what you need to do:
The first thing you need to do to become a polyamory ally is to be honest with yourself. This means that you examine the feelings, judgments, and biases you’ve had towards relationships. This may take some time. If you have a loved one in a polyamorous relationship, it might be best to seek out a polyamory-friendly counselor so they can help you to come to terms with your reactions and your feelings.
Ask your loved ones what they feel is vital to them and find resources to help you understand what it means to be a non-monogamous individual. This will help you to be supportive and stay informed.
Showing your loved ones that you accept and support them isn’t hard. Your loved one is most likely watching for signs from you, their family, and friends about whether they will be safe while opening up to them.
It isn’t easy for people to explore consensual non-monogamy, nor is it for them to be honest and open about who they are. It will take courage to support your loved one. There is still a lot of discrimination and prejudice in our society where people still don’t understand non-monogamous relationships.
Most people are biased towards monogamous heterosexual relationships that end up in marriage. However, this bias often goes unrecognized. Once you recognize what your loved one or friend has to go through to come out to you, you should give them all your support. It could be a small gesture, but it will take your relationship to a better level and help you be more accepting of the world.
Reassure your friends or loved ones that even though you have different perspectives of what a relationship should look like, it doesn’t change how you should feel about each other. It will take you some time to understand who your friend or your loved one is but let them know that you still respect and care for them the same way you did before finding out that they were polyamorous.
Let them know that they are welcome to tell you if you do or say something they might find upsetting.
Seek to learn
Learning more about who your friend or loved one is will allow you to make informative decisions and support them better. This is the only way to develop a deep understanding of what it means to be in a polyamorous relationship.
Once you get more information about polyamory, you will create an authentic stance in your relationship with your friend. Remember that the world does not welcome diversity so much, so gaining more information about polyamory will help you educate others about it.
Polyamory is not cheating
Remember that the basic foundation of a polyamorous relationship is trust, openness, and honesty. Therefore, a polyamorous relationship cannot be the same as cheating.
Partners within a polyamorous relationship always know what the other partner is doing and who they’re doing it with. Remember that even though polyamorous relationships are all about spreading love, they are first consensual.