couple standing over graffiti: passion led us here. only shoes are visible. Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

From that point on we threw ourselves into the swing of things while we slowly figured each other out and what our dynamics were going to be. In some ways it was really easy, both of us being trans women, and nonbinary trans women at that. In others we were different, with me being physically disabled and younger than she is, and her being Black. So we both went through this process of “Is she going to be respectful and mindful of power dynamics?” and ultimately, yeah, that’s how it turned out.

We both realized this is a constant process and there’s an important ethical responsibility in handling power differences for the both of us. We always grew and affirmed each other. Even when we weren’t talking about power differences, we were both thinking about what the proper ethical actions are to go through our dynamics. I care about her so much and love her so much, and she loves me.

I’m wondering how poly plays out for you, especially intersecting with disability and race and gender and all of your identities.

I tend to avoid poly communities as much as I can, except if they’re LGBT. Hetero-aligned polyamory is such an utter nightmare. Straight poly communities, to me, have always stunk of domination by popular dudes trying to get laid as much as possible. I got into polyamory originally because I was really attracted to the radical love part of it, how in the right circumstances, it works very well to build social infrastructures and support networks.

I’m physically disabled and I need to be able to access caretakers now and then, and spreading it out versus focusing it on one person is a survival strategy I have for avoiding a caretaker turning on me and becoming really ableist. Also, with my bipolar disorder, I deal with such intense emotional energies all the time and such a strong desire for attention, and poly is a coping mechanism for that. I don’t have to worry if one person is not giving me affection at the time, because a bunch of other people are!

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