Trentonian columnist Jeff Edelstein cracks the poly closet door

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August 29, 2012 by aggiesez

Today I have a little more faith in humanity — and it came, from all places, a newspaper. Go figure.

Jeff Edelstein is a columnist for The Trentonian (a daily paper serving central NJ) and a commentator for Fox 5 New York. His column yesterday, Multiple lovers, stuck in the closet, explained how he realized that his reflexive negative beliefs and attitudes toward nonmonogamy were part of a larger social problem that caused real people real and needless grief. So he was abandoning those beliefs.

In other words, he admitted that he no longer wanted to be part of the force leaning on the outside of the closet door, and is willing to change.

Even better: Through his example, Edelstein increased the visibility of nonmonogamous people, validated our right to respect and our right to exist, and encouraged his readers to do likewise and lay off the bigotry.

This column was a followup to an earlier column by Edelstein which mocked the Showtime reality TV series Polyamory: Married and Dating. I haven’t seen the show (I don’t have cable TV), but like any reality show it’s probably cringeworthy. However, he wasn’t just mocking the cheesiness of reality TV. He was taking cheap shots at weirdos who don’t fit it.

The responses he received from some poly people, explaining the problems we face that keep many of us in the closet, helped change his mind.

So: speaking up does help. Even if you can’t afford to be “out.” Because people can change their mind, fight their conditioning, and decide to abandon bigotry. Norms can shift — but only when people are willing to point at bigotry and declare that the emperor has no clothes.

Not a bad day’s work on a newspaper. Well done, Jeff Edelstein. Thanks.

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