probably kicking a hornets’ nest

There’s this discourse that goes around every now and then. Someone says that kink and polyamory don’t belong under the general queer umbrella because something something respectability. Someone else rejoins that actually kinky and poly people have been part of queer communities for decades and that there’s more overlap than you might think. Kink and poly are queer, goes the second argument, because most kinksters and polyamorists are queer.

I don’t actually disagree with B here. The respectability-fueled splintering of queer communities is pretty recent; certain subcultures have historically been entwined with queerness. But I’m always a little confused after reading that discourse, because – well, as a straight poly person, where am I supposed to fit?

It’s not like I’m champing at the bit to be “allowed” to identify as queer or anything. I don’t really care about terminology. It’s hella cognitive whiplash, though – the fact that there’s so much overlap between queer issues and poly issues, but I feel like I’m not supposed to address that or compare notes because I’m in love with two men instead of two women.

I read something yesterday, for instance, along the lines of “straight privilege is never having to pretend your lover is just a friend”. Uh, I *do* pretend – at work, anyway – that one of my lovers is just a friend. But there’s so much ambient “don’t compare oppressions” bullshit that I’m pretty sure I’d be shouted down if I mentioned that, at least in my meatspace social circle. Because then I’d be some entitled straight (white) appropriator.

Sometimes it seems like even people who acknowledge that categories have changed in the past still think, explicitly or implicitly, that it would be blasphemy for them to change again. As though all of evolution were working up to *right now*. We didn’t think about poly people when we were forming the LGBT coalition, which must mean they don’t “belong” in some cosmic sense. The current boundaries are the most natural and correct ones, after all. Maps are territories, right?


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