Ep. 34: BONUS - We Need To Talk About How We Talk About Polygamy

1h 3m | Nov 13, 2021

A solo episode by Serena, where she breaks down how one cannot speak about polygamy without also speaking about how it is shaped by and connected to disability, neurodiversity and queerness.

If we only talk about the negative aspects of 19th century Mormon polygamy, while talking about both negative and positive aspects of Mormon monogamy, then we are not taking an equitable approach to polygamy as a relationship style/structure. And when the history of polygamy is also shaped by disability, and when neurodivergent and queer people are highly represented in modern day nonmonogamy, the way we talk about polygamy matters. 

Those of us in the progressive Mormon sphere are trying to build a bridge from Mormon history and doctrine to those of us who have historically been excluded and even expelled from Mormonism. If the bridge purports to lead towards inclusion of neurodivergent, disabled, and queer people, then should it not consider our viewpoints while reimagining and analyzing our collective Mormon history? How can you talk about polygamy - literally, marriage to more than one person - without centering love? How can you talk about polygamy, a “deviant” relationship style, without centering the people whom modern Mormonism considers deviant, meaning queer and neurodivergent people? 

If we believe that “love is love”, and that “we are here and we are queer!” are true principles when it comes to BYU students protesting homophobic policies at the Church administrative building in downtown SLC, then those principles are also true when people engage in nonmonogamous relationships.

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