The day dawned a bit dreary and drippy, not the sunlight I’d been hoping for. But I drug myself out of my lovely host’s bed–he’s the best host EVER, not only because he’s a cute bi boy who obligingly kissed other cute bi boys for my titillation, but also because he provided me with an adorable cat to sleep with! Yes, cat. Two live with him now, and the runty black one, Lucy, curled up in the crook of my legs last night! Awwwww!
Google Maps told me the rally site was four miles away, directly up Central Park West, so I wandered over to the nearest main street, found a bus stop, checked the route and schedule and determined I had just enough time to grab a decaf latte at the Starbucks. On the bulletin board:
The second bus was equally easy and dropped me off right on 106th street, and I found the rally site, no problem. And what a rally it was! I’ve never attended a poly pride event, and it was inspiring! Everyone was there; Birgitte with her two adorable pups, Trace with his cute puppy Keno, the adorable Jenny Block–oh, hell; I can’t name all the names. It would be silly. Everyone who is anyone in poly was there. For me, it was a real treat to finally meet in person Alan, the Poly in the News guy (wow; he’s really tall!), Anita Wagner, Robyn Trask of Loving More and Serena Anderlini d’Onofrio, all folks I’ve talked with on the phone/via Skype/electronically over the past few years but never met in person!
I think there is real value to events like this. Participating in Poly Pride made me realize just how isolated our communities are–when I started chatting with folks and hearing stories, it seemed that every community, from Portland to Chicago to New York, had a different vibe.
And none of them know about or communicate with the others. When people asked me about the poly scene in Chicago, they were surprised to hear how differently it is structured compared to New York. Or Oregon. Or Berkeley. In a way, the poly movement reminds me kind of like the first year of my own poly relationship–intelligent, energized, great intentions, but without the support of a strong network of informed, experienced polys, it was fraught with unnecessary difficulties.
The New York scene is crazy organized. There is a leadership committee of 13 people, each with a specific role and willing to commit hours every week to outreach and organization. More than just one or two people trying to make a difference (although that is certainly where Poly NYC began), this is a well-oiled machine with many devotees spending many hours working together to produce popular, inclusive events.
And the scene is highly tied in to the GLBT community and frequently meets at the local GLBT center. In fact, many of the plethora of acts from Poly Pride were GLBT oriented–from gay club singer Houston Bernard to the Pixie Harlots to the three gay Jews to Hedda Lettuce, the fabulous green-bewigged MC, the acceptance of diversity of sexuality, orientation and spirituality was obvious.
But I digress. The rally itself was amazing! I spent most of the day running around, trying to grab speakers for audio interviews. And there are some fantastic ones coming up–the stunning goddess Birgitte Phillippedes herself; Justen, the founder of Poly NYC; Anita Wagner; Alan from Poly in the Media (speaking of his activism, not giving news reports!); Pete Benson (The Polyamory Handbook); and Reid and Marcia, relationship coaches and founders of Cuddle Parties.
I think my favorite acts were the three Jewish poly gay boys singing a capella; how adorable!
Singing, dancing, hula hoops, a big earth ball, dogs barking, frisbee, cuddle piles, great speeches–too much to say; too much to catalogue. I took a ton of photos and video, too, so check my Flickr for photos of the fun.
One last thing, though–Tristan Taormino’s keynote kicked fuckin’ ASS! Inspiring, charging, challenging–she’s seen the gay movement organize and demand recognition, and she challenged the poly movement to do the same. And seeing what Poly NYC has done, I believe we can get there!