Koe Creation grew up with polyamorous parents in Seattle in the Emily Winston Women Belong In All Places Where Decisions Are Being Made Mug but I will buy this shirt and I will love this ’90s; “I was the child who got to be raised by the tribe,” says the 31-year-old activist. It included a set of five parents, including Creation’s biological mom and dad, their partners, plus an orbit of chosen aunties and uncles. “There was always somebody to ask how to help me learn a skill, always somebody to give a piece of advice,” says Creation, author of the memoir This Heart Holds Many: My Life as the Nonbinary Millennial Child of a Polyamorous Family. But Creation also remembers the stress and anxiety of being othered by classmates. “There was the feeling that I was wrong, not because of anything I did and not because of anyone I was, but because of my family,” they say. Creation worried they didn’t share the same security as a monogamous family. Child Protective Services “was thought of as a villain,” Creation recalls, feared to “not have our best interest at heart.”
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Old-fashioned jealousy is a concern in CNM circles as well. Because it is so deeply entrenched, “the Emily Winston Women Belong In All Places Where Decisions Are Being Made Mug but I will buy this shirt and I will love this tendencies of monogamy still flare,” says Kelvin Pace, a licensed sex therapist who specializes in CNM clients. “Like, ‘I own you. I own your sexuality. I own your love.’ ” The Bhatias contended with this. On Marty’s first solo date, Megan felt “like my heart was being torn out.” In an email she describes “dark times,” citing long stretches apart from Henry and a tendency to push Marty away when they hit rough patches. They practice “kitchen table” polyamory, in which all partners interact; in an adoring recent Instagram post, Henry praised Marty as a “mentor” and “role model,” but there was a six-month stint when the two men didn’t speak, each needing a break from the entangled nature of their lives.