Alan M. of Poly in the Media gave the keynote speech at the Poly Living 2012 conference in Philadelphia, and the full text is available on Alan’s blog. Entitled “Busting Loose: Polyamory in the Next Five Years,” Alan’s speech details all the recent wins for the poly community, citing positive news stories as indicative of a shift in the public perception and media portrayal of poly folks.
For instance: Unlike in previous cheating-politician scandals… (laughter)… the Newt Gingrich open-marriage episode two weeks ago became a vehicle for major media attention to good open and poly relationships, contrasting with how Gingrich did it . . . Representatives for poly done well are suddenly in demand to I think an unprecedented degree.
. . . Our own presenters Anita and Tim Illig and Michael Rios and Sarah Taub here this weekend were riding this wave last night on the Channel Seven news in DC, representing us and our values just beautifully.
. . . Other milestones in the last month or so: In the space of one week, we saw poly triad families, each with a kid, profiled positively on ABC’s Morning Edition, Nightline, and the National Geographic Channel. More and more of the public is getting acquainted with what multi-partner families actually look like. We are becoming more familiar; on the way to being normalized.
That same week, we also saw a broadcast-TV drama, ABC’s “Private Practice,” present a fictional polyamorous triad family — explicitly called that by name, so viewers would be sure to get it — treated so well, and at such length, that it reminded me of the first breakthrough shows treating gay characters with understanding and respect.
. . . we’ve by and large successfully represented the modern polyamory movement to the public as what we know ourselves to be: ethical people who care deeply about good relationships — smart, verbal, interesting, friendly people — nonthreatening and respectful of all well-considered relationship choices, monogamy included — and by and large just kind of adorable. Every year we are better entrenching this public image, firming up our defense against future moral panics.
Alan’s keynote goes on to explain how poly culture could influence the direction and survival of Western civilization 150-200 years from now. In all, it’s a refreshingly optimistic speech. Read the whole thing here.