On bisexuality, polyamory, step-parenting and kids

When it comes to kids, I have a layered cake of complications. Layer one, I'm bi. Layer two, my husband and I are practicing polyamory. Layer three, I'm a step-parent. Layer four, my step-daughter's mother is rather conservative and would probably not understand either layers one or two. And layers five through 800,001, all the multifaceted complications that come along with the previous layers.

Let's start with layer one. I've always been proud of my own parents and their acceptance of homosexuality. The first wedding I went to was a gay couple's commitment ceremony, back when I was too young to remember it. I'm proud of my parents for not thinking that homosexuality is something that one should shield children from until an "appropriate age." My personal belief is that if adults are demonstrating a loving, consensual relationship that demonstrates values such as honesty and respect, that it is a positive influence on children, no matter what the configuration. There are also studies that show that kids raised by LGBT parents do just as well as other kids. Unfortunately, numerous conservative and homophobic groups try to argue otherwise.

Layer two: I approach healthy polyamory the same way as I do homosexuality, heterosexuality and monogamy. There will be examples of good relationships and of bad relationships, but that does not dictate whether entire category is good or bad. Polyamory can demonstrate even more examples of adults loving and caring for each other with honesty, respect, good communication and controlled amounts of jealousy. Just like with anything else in life, we can teach our kids that yes, you may have occasional moments of negative emotions such as jealousy, but we can learn to work through this and control this — it does not have to control us. Polyamorous relationships can provide children with numerous, positive adult role models, a wider selection of trusted people to go to for advice or help, and simply more people to love them. As far as I know, there aren't any official studies on polyamorous relationships and kids, but there are many personal testimonials out there.