“We’ll have people here from all over the world. We have presenters from South Africa, Canada and the UK as well as people attending from Australia,” Holder said.
The polyamorous lifestyle has gained popularity in culture with such TV programs as “Our America with Lisa Ling” on OWN and “20/20” on ABC taking a closer look at what it means to be polyamorous.
There are an estimated half a million people in America who practice polyamory. Holder said that as the lifestyle gains popularity in society, there becomes a need for information and education. The goal of Atlanta Poly Weekend is to combine education with plenty of fun activities in order to be an important resource for people who have lived the lifestyle for many years as well as those who are just beginning.
Workshops include: 5 Love Languages, Activism How To’s and Hands On, Coming Out,
Common Ground: Where Sex+ and Anti-Porn Activists Agree, Creating Intimacy With Anyone, Different Strokes and Double Standards, Family Matters Project, Household Establishment: Making It All Go, How to Be a LGBTQ Ally, Managing Communication, Managing the Green Eyed Monster, Poly Parenting and Poly Rights as Human Rights.
The biggest misconception people have about polyamorous people is that the lifestyle is nothing more than a sexual lifestyle, Holder said. That is absolutely not true — being polyamorous is about building and maintaining relationships, he said.
“We see our lifestyle as relationship-based. We’re not saying sex doesn’t matter, but it is not always about sex. But sometimes it is,” Holder said.
Holder’s family living in the same house includes his wife, a longterm partner of nearly five years, and his daughter. He also has two current stable relationships “outside the house” as well as a new, budding relationship with another person.
“We’re normal people, just like everyone else. Our relationships are seen outside the norm, much like LGBT relationships have been. And we’re seeking to overcome that,” Holder added. “When people learn about us, they see we are just like them — except they have three, four or five people in their life that helps make things go a lot easier.
“What we want is the same as everyone — relationship recognition,” he said.
John Stewart, conference director, said it is important for poly people to become more visible in the communities they live in.
“Like any movement we started locally in our homes. Now we need to go out there and educate and be out in our community,” Stewart said. It’s important, he stressed, that people understand poly people are not purely a kink community but more a relationship community.
“I think one of the greatest benefits I see with polyamory is the level of communication in relationships,” he said. “When you have to start communicating with multiple partners, communication is very important.”