I've started attending polyamorous meetup groups in my fine city. I'm fortunate to live in a large metropolitan area that offers such safe places to meet like-minded people.
My first meeting I was nervous--the usual new Kindergartner variety--fear of the unknown. Who would be there? Would I run into someone I know (that would have been awesome)? Is this a pickup scene? (Well that part wasn't the K-gartner variety.)
Well over 40 of us showed up at a local diner and it was amazing. I felt less nervous after sitting down and ordering water and a sandwich. We all made small talk and then eventually started talking about how we came to be poly, who we are with now, etc.
I attended my second meetup last night. As opposed to the first, this was a full-on circled up discussion group. Group members had proposed some questions for all of us to consider. Like any support-style group, it was just helpful to hear that others had struggled with similar issues. It helped me feel like I wasn't the freaky anomaly that I sometimes feel like in my "real life. " I'm not exactly "out," which can feel isolating at times.
People told their coming out stories--particularly the bad ones. We heard of families that shunned the triad as they moved in together and created a 3-parent family. I myself have mixed stories. Mostly the people who I trust with that information love me and respect my decisions enough to support my "lifestyle."
By the end of my second meeting, I was hooked. I realized that poly means open. Participants opened their hearts and mouths to talked about what it felt like for them. And everyone seemed to really listen and accept everyone else in the room for who they are.
We had people of various sexual orientations, ages and experience levels. The sentiment, "love someone for their humanity," seemed to hit me. I cared about these people not because they were male or female or single or double or triple grouped. In some cases I didn't even know their orientation or "identity." I cared about them because they are human, kind, open, generous and have interesting thoughts about a topic I'm passionate about. I look forward to the next events and hope to host something myself soon!