LGBTQIA+ and Polyamory

Should it be LGBTGIAP+?

A friend-of-a-friend brought this debate to the table the other evening: ‘should polyamory be a part of the LGBTQIA+ umbrella?’

He argued it should.

He argued that polyamory is a minority sexual-identity group that faces systemic intolerance, so even if it’s not exactly the same thing, it should be lumped into a larger group to increase voice.

I disagree.

While we definitely face social intolerance, polyamory is a relationship and lifestyle choice, in a way that sexual orientation and gender identity are not. While it would possibly benefit the poly community, it may undermine some of the message the LGBTQIA+ community has worked so hard to establish: sexual orientation and gender identity are not choices. I just don’t think it’s acceptable to potentially detract from another movement.

People hear about polyamory and think ‘I could do that’, or ‘I’d be interested in trying that,’ demonstrating that it is, in some sense for some people, a choice. People practice polyamory in different styles with different rules, and some people switch between polyamory and monogamy out of choice; ‘polyamory’ is a pretty large umbrella already.

But gender identity and sexual orientation can also change or evolve over time.

Poly is a relationship style, not a gender-based sexual orientation, though.

All the forms of asexuality are not specific to gender, and that’s part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Being transgendered is not a sexual orientation, either.

etc.

The debate continued in circles thereafter. With that in mind, I ask you for your opinion. What do you think? Should polyamory be included under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella? Or is the concept too different or fundamentally separate?

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