Today I decided to take a brief detour from working on Chapter five, and I got together a draft of my acknowledgements page. Here it is! Maybe you will see your name here and feel warm fuzzies.
While I do understand that this project has the obvious goal of allowing me to complete my Ph.D., I have worked with the simultaneous—and no less important goal—of having this work be an art and an act of activism. My intent has been the revision of culture on a mass scale. For far too long, this planet has been embroiled in fearful ways of living and relating. People struggle, suffer, and feel they have no meaningful options for how they want to relate or interact. Compulsory monogamy acts on a brake for what could be such enriching connections for so many people across the globe. Polyamory, I believe, provides a rough blueprint for moving forward, up and out of the muck. Love is abundant! Love is not a scarce resource! There are so many wonderful ways to give and receive love! Thus, I have tried my best to make this work accessible to a broad audience and I have always been eager to dialogue, collaborate, solicit feedback, and share chapters with those who are interested, no matter their rank, title, or their affiliation. The polyamory movement truly has no borders, and it is a subtle yet powerful vibrational change that is happening across diverse systems. I believe I will live to see the day when relationships will be free to be more fluid and poly/queer people will no longer be hiding, trembling, in closets. The world will at last see what love is.
Many brain and heart collaborations went into the making of this project. I’m happy to take this moment to thank as many as I can. First and foremost, I’d like to thank all those brave poly and queer people for coming out of the closet and showing your beautiful selves to the world! You have put so much on the line. It is so difficult to stand in the spotlight and be a potential target for cynicism, ignorance, and hate. I know I have felt all those negative emotions being flung at me, and it certainly hasn’t been easy. Thank you for making yourself visible!
Thank you to my dear sweet poly family. A million billion thank you’s to my lifepartner Andrew, to my new partner Robert, to my metamour Chelsea Cordelia, and to my metamour’s lifepartner Ben. You all know me the best at this time in my life. Every day, I learn what “love” is just a little bit more. I look forward to our next adventure together, as we travel west.
A huge thank you goes to my intentional family: Lyn, Julian, Linda, Jen, Sandy, and everyone else involved with the spiritual learning and empowerment that happens at Great Lakes Energy Exchange (GLEE). A big motivation for coming out of the closet was your warm, knowing love. You all understand the powerful, healing force of sexuality and other alternative energetic modalities. All this has given me the foundation to proceed into the future, even if that future seems uncertain. I also thank the land that hosts GLEE itself. We were all, no doubt, drawn to this land by some mystical power that none of us can quite intellectually grasp. So, thank you to the people and to the land, who’ve supported the emotional and energetic sustenance I have come to not only desire but need. I hope to carry on the legacy and the learning that I have gained wherever the next journey of my life takes me.
Thank you to my committee members: Kristine L. Blair, Sue Carter Wood, Lee Nickoson, and Kenneth W. Borland. You all provided me with inspirational, gentle, productive feedback throughout this process. It has been such a joy to work with you all!
Thank you to my bio-family members, my brother Aaron and my cousin Ian, who supported me during my coming out phrase. You are wonderful human beings, and I feel lucky we are related by blood. Such a strong connection! I am very proud of you both.
Thanks to Dossie Easton, Janet Hardy, and Deborah Anapol for being pioneers, for courageously paving the way for others to live, write, and speak as proud polyamorous.
Thanks to the following spiritual heroes that I’ve never met in person but who have touched my life in the deepest of ways. Your words, spoken and written, have shaped a place in my heart that is more joyful, more magical, more compassionate, more curious, and definitely a whole lot wiser. Indeed, bell hooks, Parker Palmer, Eckhart Tolle, Alan Moore, Marshall Rosenburg, Paul Lowe, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama are not only changing me, but transforming the whole wide awesome hopeful world.
Also, thank you to Andrea Riley Mukavetz for pointing me toward some great sources early on in the process. Thanks to Jonathan Alexander for providing me with feedback on a draft of this project. Thanks to Serena Anderlini D’Onofrio and Daniel Cardoso for awesome, serendipitous Skype conversations: both of your work on poly continues to awe, engage, and challenge me. Thanks to queer scholars Sara Ahmed and Michael Warner. Thank you to dear rhetoric & writing friends Estee Beck and Megan Adams—you both have made travelling through this doctoral program such a joy. And, thank you to my dear friend Liane Ortis for so many wonderful conversations about love and spirituality—and good luck on your dissertation about polyamory! I can’t wait to see it published!
Finally, a thank you to the mind-bogglingly massive network of like-minded people who are working in academe as well as outside of it, working to make Planet Earth a truly peaceful, loving place. You are the ones who understand that words like peace and love are not just words and not just an idealistic dream—but that these words have concrete power and that these words are being embodied, more and more, as we move through the passage of “time.” Though I do not know your name and though we may never shake hands or embrace, I love you.