Polyamory, however compassionate an alternative to monogamy, still operates and is rooted in a racist society. The things that make monogamous dating daunting for people of color—shaming and exclusion by white partners, being fetishized, having realities of everyday racism ignored—occur in polyamorous relationships too, but are often exacerbated by societal misconceptions of polyamory as a game of “collecting” different kinds of lovers.
When these behaviors are unacknowledged and unchecked, polyamory isn’t a more inclusive or compassionate relationship style. Agreeing to “not be racist” or, worse, trying “not to see race” only makes it worse. To make polyamorous communities inclusive, we must all take ownership, acknowledge our part in perpetuating racism, and listen to people of color.
These conversations can be difficult and (if we’re being honest) self-incriminating. But they are necessary for us to build a better alternative.
Love’s Not Color Blind puts forward the framework—through research, anecdotal testimony, and analogy—for understanding, identifying, and ultimately confronting the manifestations of racism within polyamorous communities.
Whether you’re a community leader or you just like to date a lot, this is an invaluable tool for creating a more inclusive polyamory.