At this point I have almost entirely separated myself from the polyam communities. Partly, that’s been the result of my needing to get the hell off of Facebook for my own wellbeing. But another part, that I have never talked about publicly, is that I was gaslit by one polyam leader in front of a dozen or so other polyam leaders, and no one, including (I think) some of the folks on the team calling Franklin out now, spoke up*. Two people reached out me privately, one of whom wanted something from me related to the discussion, so I’ve never been sure if they would have reached out otherwise.
There isn’t a decent sized polyam group on the web that some of those people aren’t part of. So I just don’t feel safe.
No, the person who gaslit me wasn’t Franklin. No I am not going to name them at this time. Or probably ever, honestly. They did reach out me privately about a year after the incident to offer an (I believe sincere) apology. Unfortunately, the way they apologized compounded the original harm done as well as arriving at literally the worst possible time. My reply to them was rather harsh as a result and I haven’t heard from them since.
If you read this, I am in a better place now and am still willing to talk further when you are ready.
If you were part of that community and discussion and stood by, fuck you for having a hand in driving me out of a community I loved and being too blind to even notice.
I am glad that Franklin is being called in. The more distance I gave myself from the community, the more clearly I saw the problems in his attitude and writing. I was saddened but not surprised by the post on Medium last week.
But it’s not just Franklin, okay?
Just like it wasn’t just Wes. And it won’t be just whoever is called in/out next.
I am not good at community. I substitute enthusiasm for real ability at people stuff and mostly it works well enough. But I don’t begin to know what, if anything can be done about the pervasiveness of abuse, much of which is the result of living in an abusive culture that actively teaches harmful interactions.
So I don’t have any useful suggestions or ideas. Just… be aware, okay? Be aware.
*Multiple people on that team were part of that community. I do not clearly recall if any were part of that specific discussion. Truth is, my PTSD brain doesn’t much care.
2 thoughts on “Abuse, Franklin Veaux, and the Polyamory Communities”
Jess, I’m horrified to read that this happened to you. I remember enthusiastically supporting you as a leader. The fact that a group of leaders would mistreat you hasmy head spinning.
The poly world has always been opposed to formal organizing, hence PLN, which is a network only, and there is no means for holding anyone accountable for their actions, even leaders. It does ask for two references, which are checked, but that’s it.
[…] been debating what to do with this post for over a year, long before the accusations against Franklin became public. The truth is, that while there is a still a lot to learn from this book, the more I […]
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