I intended to write a post on Sunday but couldn’t focus enough to write compile a list of pieces I read over the last week. Since I am avoiding my personal statements for graduate school, here are my reading recommendations:
- Radical Gentry: The Role of Black, Brown, Queer Activism in Displacement
- Our History and Our Dreams: Building Black and Native Solidarity
- U.S Prisons and Jails are Threatening the Lives of Pregnant Women and Babies
- The Personal Essay Economy Offers Fewer Rewards for Black Women
- 5 Radical Ways People Do Non-Monogamy That You Need to Know About requires a short(ish) personal response:
I am in an open relationship and it has been a big change from my previous attempts with non-monogamy. It is healthier, with more honest communication and clearer boundaries. I always felt I was doing non-monogamy ‘wrong’ by feeling jealous or needing “too much” attention while also wanting the freedom to explore romantic and sexual curiosities I experienced with other people.
I like spending time with my partner and sharing space with only him, but similar to someone who needs friends outside of their relationship, I need time to build connections with other people (and the connection building may result in friendship or another romantic relationship). When it comes to jealousy, I think it is often a valid emotional response to what may be lacking in my relationship in that moment. (Note: for me, jealousy should be temporary and addressed before it manifests into something unhealthy and is detrimental to any relationship progress).
My previous open relationships were with men who needed to reduce their patriarchal thinking that allowed them to justify their perceived ownership over my body and my emotions. I engage in relationships with multiple people–serious or casual, short-term or long-term, sexual and/or romantic, sometimes platonic–and I enjoy having the freedom to explore outside of my relationship, especially as a queer black femme with a white hetero[flexible] male partner who is great but cannot give me the satisfaction I get from hours long conversations and spooning sessions with fellow queer people of color.
I enjoy the short list of ways people experience non-monogamy because it is not only being able to sleep with other people, it can be engaging in emotional relationships that cannot be pursued in one relationship; relationships do not have to have a hierarchy; it is okay to have a relationship that takes precedence over the others but that does not have to make the other relationships less meaningful; some relationships serve specific functions and that does not make them insignificant. As long as your non-monogamy makes you happy, it’s the right kind.