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Something many poly relationships encounter is the assumption that polyamory and polygamy are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, which we are not. In order to understand why that is, let’s take a look at the reasons people make these assumptions and why they aren’t correct.

Why Being Poly is Different Than Being LGBTQ

The LGBTQ community, also known as LGBT, LGBTQIA+, LGBTIQAPD, represents individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or otherwise queer, which is an umbrella term for anyone who is not straight and not cisgender. These terms all identify their sexual orientation, which is part of a person’s identity in relation to what gender or genders they are attracted to.


Polygamy and polyamory are not sexual orientations. Polygamy is almost always heterosexual, with one person who has multiple spouses of the opposite gender, or sister wives. Whereas polyamory is not as clearly defined, and can consist of various types of consensual non-monogamous relationship dynamics including those with LGBTQ individuals. So, if an individual identifies as LGBTQ and poly, they’re part of the LGBTQ because of their sexual orientation not because they’re poly, though many may find the two identities are intertwined.


In short, the difference is that LGBTQ defines a person’s sexual orientation, while polygamist and polyamorous define a person’s relationship style.

Why This Assumption is Made

Poly lifestyles - polygamy especially - often face bias similar to what LGBTQ people have in the past, particularly regarding marriage and acceptance into mainstream society. Some believe poly people deserve a place in the LGBTQ community since they’ve experienced struggles with being outside of the norm, while others feel that they aren’t far enough outside the norm to have a spot in the community. However, most people who are actually part of said norm or new to either community don’t realize the difference between the two because society tends to clump “unconventional” groups together.


There’s also some confusion around the term polysexual in relation to polyamory and polygamy. Polysexuality means the individual is attracted to many different genders, including intersexual or people that don’t identify with the typical definitions for male or female bodies. This may be confusing to some who see poly in the word, but that’s just because the prefix “poly” means “many” and isn’t exclusive to either community, though we do tend to refer to the polygamist and polyamorous communities.

How Our Struggles Are Similar, and How They’re Not

While we cannot say that our struggles are the same, we do share some common ground. Mostly, these similarities are based on the fact that we are both oppressed for being different.  Until 2015, we were both struggling with the fact it was illegal for us to marry. As we all know, not being legally married to a partner is hard both emotionally as well as financially and medically. While many countries have granted marriage equality to same-sex marriage, as they should, polygamist marriages are still illegal. So while some may have assumed that multi-partner marriages would be legalized next, the only progress we have seen is Utah decriminalizing it so that it’s not a felony anymore last year. It’s still a felony in every other state.


Another difference is representation: The LGBTQ community does have more representation in mainstream media than polyamory or polygamy. However, there are also a lot more people in Western culture who identify as LGBTQ. There are also a lot more types of oppression that they have had to face historically that polygamists and heterosexual polyamorous people haven’t faced as much, or at all. None of this is to say one group’s struggle is any less than the other, but to provide context to help unblur the line between the two communities.


Be that as it may, we can all relate to the fact that our relationships are seen by parts of society as immoral, or that something is “wrong with us.” That’s something anyone would struggle with!  People who have experienced that feeling will almost always feel compassionate for others who have as well. We all support the idea that love is love and promote acceptance and support for one another. Our shared experiences make it easy for us to relate and rally behind one another.

In Summary

Polygamy and polyamory are not included in the LGBTQ community because the former defines types of relationship styles and the latter defines kinds of sexual orientations. However, some polyamorous people may also, but not always, identify as LGBTQ while polygamists are traditionally heterosexual. Though some people misidentify us as members of the same community because of our similar experiences of living “different” lifestyles, our experiences are still different and unique to our respective groups. While polygamy and polyamory may not be included in the LGBTQ community and vice versa, we still stand together and support one another in our respective efforts to change the way society regards our relationships.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc:

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On Thursday, TLC announced via press release that four fan favorite shows are returning in early 2021. Two of those shows are Seeking Sister Wife, returning for season 3 on February 28, and Sister Wives, returning for season 10 on February 14. Here’s what we know and how we feel about their representation of the polygamy and poly community on television.

Seeking Sister Wife

As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, Seeking Sister Wife is one of the polygamist lifestyle television shows we have had the opportunity to help. The hit show explores the lives of five poly families in various stages of looking for a sister wife to add to their lives. With two returning families and three brand new couples looking for poly love - in the midst of a global pandemic, no less - TLC promises this season will be “noisier than ever”.

This season promises to be a “wildly unfiltered” look into these families' ups and downs as they navigate the world of polygamy dating. From a 90-day twist featuring a Brazilian bombshell and divorce, to a fiery live-in clash, all while in quarantine, if there’s one thing we know this season will bring, it’s drama. Hopefully, some of the ups will include tips and ideas for you couples who are seeking a sister wife (sorry, we had to) in a socially distanced setting.

Seeking Sister Wife season 3 premieres on TLC on Sunday, February 28 at 9 p.m. EST.

Sister Wives

In the teaser video for the tenth season of Sister Wives, Kody Brown, his four wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn — and their combined 18 children are temporarily living in four separate homes amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Following their move from Las Vegas to Flagstaff, Arizona, last season, the Browns were hopeful to start a new chapter together. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case for this season as frustrations and tensions soar with Meri feeling unloved, Christine saying she "can't do marriage with Kody anymore" and more.

The poly family had planned to live on a massive shared compound before the pandemic forced the four sister wives and their individual children to quarantine separately as Kody attempted to go back and forth safely. This appeared to open up the question of whether or not the four sister wives want to reunite and cohabitate once the pandemic ends, leading Kody to ask the women if they even want to have a relationship with one another. In a confessional, Janelle told the camera “Maybe there are some of us who are like, 'Look, I don't want it anymore.’”

The almost 3-minute clip goes on to show Christine, feeling disconnected from her fellow sister wives, wanting to move back to Utah and Robyn revealing she feels her relationship with Kody is being undermined. Meanwhile, Meri struggles with Kody’s loss of romantic feelings for her. The clip ends with Christine emotionally confiding in Meri that she “can't do marriage with Kody anymore.” Clearly, there will be no shortage of drama for the Brown family and their viewers this season.

Sister Wives season 10 premiers on TLC on Sunday, February 14 at 10 p.m. EST.

What This Means for Polygamy Representation on TV

These two shows are arguably the most mainstream representation of the poly and polygamy dating community to date. Knowing that these shows that are centered around family dynamics similar to our own are popular can be both exciting and frustrating. While it’s awesome to see how much the public has enjoyed watching polygamist families live their lives, these shows also offer a limited (and very dramatic) perspective to viewers who otherwise don’t know much about polygamy.

Even though the shows can be dramatic, they show us so many different perspectives - good and bad - that we can learn from to strengthen our own poly relationships. They also show monogamous viewers how normal and relatable polygamists are. We all feel love and strain in our relationships for similar reasons, and it’s nice that more and more people are finding common ground with the poly community.

That being said, this is also the time of year where Seeking Sister Wife and Sister Wives viewers become curious about how poly dating works and decide to look up a polygamist matchmaking website, find the Sister Wives website, and create a profile. Sometimes this is great! Others are bored and become catfishes or time wasters. We moderate accounts on our site, but have provided tips on how to spot a catfish before you become invested in them.

In Conclusion

We’re excited to watch the new seasons of Seeking Sister Wife and Sister Wives and encourage fellow polygamists to watch as well. Even if reality television drama isn’t your cup of tea, it’s still a great opportunity to engage with viewers online using each show’s
hashtags, which could really help spread accurate awareness of our community. It’s also important we show our support for polygamist representation in mainstream media, especially because the families involved in the shows are members of our community, too.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:

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