Thursday, July 23, 2009

Family Web Series Creator On Seattle Local News, Oprah Interested

I've posted here before on Terisa Greenan's wonderful web series called "Family", about a Seattle male female male triad's trials and joys. There are now 15 Family webisodes on Youtube, and Terisa and company continue to crank them out as the number of hits on Youtube continue to soar - 81,000+ so far.

Today KOMO in Seattle has published a news article and video about it that is basically fair and sensible. You can read the article, which seems to be pretty much the video piece word for word.

Well-known author and matchmaker, Dr. Pepper Schwartz is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle and has in the past acknowledged that the human tendency to desire more than one partner is natural. So, I'm disappointed at the tone of her comments on the video. Of course, who knows what else she said that didn't make it into the story. What she says is true in some cases, but far from all, and the main reason what she says IS true is that people still need to gain the skills to make it work.

The editing made Terisa sound a little flaky in one instance, though I know that not to be the case. Who can blame her if perhaps she was coming from that giddy place poly people find when they have such an abundance of love in their lives? It's pretty heady stuff and an experience her nasty commenting critics will perhaps never have. How unfortunate that many people can't (or won't) look outside the monogamy box, even if for only a moment, when evaluating a story like this one.

T and I had dinner with Terisa, Scott and Larry last month, along with her third and his wife and child. She and I had spoken by phone but never met, and I found her and the rest of the family to be delightful. Terisa is a warm, sincere, smart woman - and, of course, talented!

The family on which "Family" is based did a great job and deserves our thanks for being willing to expose themselves to public opinion as they have. Many of the comments at the end of the article are pretty vicious, much as they were for Jenny Block when she first came to the attention of the public over a year ago when her book Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage was published. The very idea that either Terisa or Jenny are simply greedy sluts as alleged by commenters in both cases is laughable, yet people insist on making sweeping assumptions about their motives. It seems to come from a place of defensiveness, one into which I wish we had more scientific insight. This is not new, but it continues to amaze me how easily this kind of thing pushes people's buttons, and not in a good way. It just goes to show how far we still have to go to gain tolerance and awareness for polyamorous people and families.

I am delighted to hear that Oprah found Terisa. Her producers have been promising for some time now to devote one of her shows exclusively to the topic of polyamory. Robyn Trask of Loving More has in the past fielded requests for poly participants in other Oprah episodes where what was being discussed really wasn't polyamory. She educated the producers so that they now understand what polyamory is, and I'm glad to see that their interest is still strong.

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