I recently moved from the Bay Area in California to South Florida. I feel like I moved to another planet! The Bay Area is full of individualists and rebels who live in interesting and diverse ways. Everything from the food they eat to the way they dress to their living environment may be chosen on the basis of health, comfort, humor, creativity and an expression of the person’s unique qualities and values.
The polyamorous lifestyle is embraced by many and is familiar to most everyone. A polyamorist living in the Bay Area can easily find support groups, social gatherings, classes and just generally like-minded people with whom to form community. By community, I am speaking of a group of people with whom one has a sense of ease and comfort and where communication regarding one’s lifestyle starts from a mutual base of understanding. This does not by any means exclude challenges or differences in opinion but cutting to the chase, a polyamorous lifestyle is accepted as a valid choice.
I am finding here in South Florida people are unaware of polyamory and often can’t even conceive of the possibility. It’s interesting because it is not that South Florida is so virginal or puritanical. South Florida was for young people during college breaks an escape into partying and sexual abandon. It is quite well known that the “swinger” or “lifestyle” groups are alive and well in South Florida today, as are the gay and BDSM communities. One need only look at the advertisements in some of the alternative newspapers or on-line to find this out.
Searching for a polyamorous community in this neck of the woods is another story. I realized quickly that if I want community here, I have to be part of the formation of it. Meetup (www.meetup.com) is a great place to start to see if there is any group of people coming together in your area. ”Poly” meetups are happening not only throughout the United States but throughout the world. I located two meetup groups right in my area. One is posting polyamorous-related events but not having meetings themselves. The other is focused on meetings and social gatherings such as beach outings, picnics. hikes and movies. Bingo! An opportunity to get together for discussion, education, support, companionship and enjoyment. I am now a co-organizer of this group. It is small, but growing and the people involved are energetic and enthusiastic and focused on being a community for each other. If you are feeling isolated or just that you would like a community of people with whom to relate, then be one of those people. If there’s a meet-up in your area, join in. If there’s no meetup in your area, than one is needed. Start one! There are people like you out there just waiting for it to happen.