Growing Up In A Poly Family | Facebook Walk With Reid And Koe

by Reid on November 21, 2020

Growing Up In A Poly Family | Facebook Walk With Reid And Koe






Reid: Hello Facebook it’s Reid Mihalko from

Koe: And Koe Creation from That’s K.O.E and that’s the tall ship and then I’m kind of freaking out about it.

Reid: So, we’re talking about growing up in a poly family but now when you saw the ship, I’m worried that you might have been raised by pirates.

Koe: That is…. that is partially true. Actually, it all ties in so

Reid: We’re going to walk this way and we’ll have the ship in the background.

Koe: Great, we’re taking a stroll.

Reid: So as you sign in, say hi and where you’re from and if you grew up, what kind of family did you grow up in? I grew up in a fucked up family but it was awesome.

Koe: A nuclear family as well.

Reid: Nuclear family

Koe: So

Reid: That went nuclear.

Koe: That went nuclear. Oh

Reid: With all the fallout. Oh, yeah. Oh, that’s good.

Koe: That’s good.

Reid: Okay. So talk…talk about what it was like growing up in a poly family

Koe: of pirates

Reid: of pirates

Koe: Okay, so in the early 90’s, my family were medieval reenactors

Reid: Ren faire?

Koe: Ren Faire, pirate faire, fairy faire and still are right, so pirate ship and they were doing non-monogamy before there wasn’t actually a word for it because they just had a whole group of friends who would talk about who’s in relationship with who and their feelings and their statuses and all of that sort of stuff and then in the mid-90’s, the word polyamory came around and they’re like “oh my god, that’s us.”

Reid: They have a word for it, friend.

Koe: Exactly. So, I was born a couple of non-bio siblings of mine were born and we created a family unit together and one of these

Reid: Okay, so wait… wait you’re going fast now. What is non-bio siblings?

Koe: It’s a…a sibling that is

Reid: So we’re walking this way now

Koe: Great.

Reid: more boats.

Koe: More boats. It is a sibling that is not sheerly biology

Reid: Okay.

Koe: So this could also be like if you have step-siblings, those are siblings but they’re not biological.

Reid: Okay.

Koe: Right?

Reid: Or adopted or whatever.

Koe: Yeah.

Reid: Okay. Got it. Just checking.

Koe: Yup. So in that family unit, I had three I have three moms, one bio dad and my biological uncle who married one of my mom’s so he’s also like in my unit but he’s not my dad.

Reid: Okay.

Koe: It’s different.

Reid: Yeah.

Koe: They all like chose to have….they chose intentional family hood and there are couple of things that they used to create that instead of just being really good friends, so things like we were always on each other’s emergency contacts…emergency contact list at school

Reid: Okay.

Koe: which was really difficult for the school.

Reid: Yeah but even…even now like you have like your…your aunties and your uncles who aren’t really your uncles and your uncles

Koe: Right.

Reid: that kind of make sense in my world

Koe: Right

Reid: but these were like actually your…your other parents.

Koe: Yeah, they were my other parents.

Reid: Okay.

Koe: There was a lot of sharing of responsibility and a lot of like dealing with bureaucracy like the school thing and I…I consider them my parents, right? And so it’s the way that like you framework to your kids how the family is structured.

Reid: Sure

Koe: I know who my biological parents are, not all poly children do and that’s totally fine. So it really depends on like how the family wants to structure their family and then portray it to the children. I’m also really grateful that my family was out to me throughout my whole childhood and I think I mean personally, I think that is the most authentic way to do it, way to like engage in your polyamory and be a parent because the kids are going to find out anyway and I think it’s better and…and more in….integrities to be out and like bring your children into that and teach them certain lessons about like how society might view you versus the support that you can receive from your family and

Reid: And…and what do you think? Have you talked to a lot of kids who grew up in families that weren’t out? I mean because this is also kind of the out kind of thing is kind of similar-ish to…to parents who are kinky who can’t be out to their kids

Koe: Yeah

Reid: or choose not to be so like how…in talking to other because you had that experience been talking to people who grew up in …other situations, how did it fare for them?

Koe: That’s actually one of the reasons that I am such a big proponent of it is I have many friends both older and younger than myself, I’m 27 who had parents who were living some kind of like alternative lifestyle and didn’t tell them about it and they lost a lot of respect for their parents.

Reid: Trekkies. They were Trekkies and they couldn’t tell their kids.

Koe: It’s true, it’s true. Yeah but they…they ended up losing a lot of respect for their parents because there was something going on, they felt the tension within their parents and the fear and so it was kind of like why you know like “why are you lying to me?”

Reid: Oh.

Koe: It creates division and like absolutely… I also have friends where their families were torn apart because CPS got involved, the parents split up, one of the parents went like real straight-laced and was ashamed of the life they had been leading up to that point called CPS and created a whole bunch of like really nastiness

Reid: Yeah, so Child Protective Services

Koe: Thank you. Yeah, Child Protective Services

Reid: Which…which again like just bad divorces, non-kinky, and non-poly people call in the Child Protective Services and stuff.

Koe: Yeah and I

Reid: I have another question but

Koe: Okay.

Reid: keep going keep going.

Koe: But I

Reid: Leave your questions too. We…we might not be able to read them in the sunlight but we can we can answer them later.

Koe: I’ll answer them on my own Facebook live later.

Reid: Ooohh.

Koe: Ooohh.

Reid: Fancy

Koe: Yeah. So…so like these…they creates a lot of division if you’re not out to your children but that being said, if you have an incredibly pragmatic reason for not being out to your children, keep your children safe, keep your family safe

Reid: Yeah. Oh, here’s my…here’s my question, where is it where do parents get to have a private life? Like let’s say like where’s the line for yes we’re poly but kids, this is not your business like this is adult business like where do you…how do you how would you advise people like where to draw the line for themselves so that they’re also role modeling for the kids, you’ll get to have privacy too?

Koe: Awesome. So you know what, you just describe

Reid: What?

Koe: boundary setting!

Reid: Wow. Leanne, look at me. Look at me.

Koe: So, it is an active boundary setting, it is a…something that my parents used it’s called age-appropriate like information and so if I would say like “why is so-and-so staying over?” And they would say “well because we’re having a sleepover just like you have sleepovers with your friends.”

Reid: Ah.

Koe: “Can I stay in the bed with you?” “No you cannot but you can come knock on the door in the morning and then we can all cuddle together.” And

Reid: Okay.

Koe: when I knocked on the door, it would give them the opportunity to put their pajamas on

Reid: Yeah

Koe: get ready and then we could all have cuddles, right?

Reid: Wow.

Koe: So they were like

Reid: Okay. I like the sleepover thing. This is a good fix

Koe: Oh yeah.

Reid: for a lot of for my…my poly friends who were like “what do we do when…when we have kids?” You just tell them it’s like having sleepovers.

Koe: You are having a sleepover

Reid: Yeah

Koe: Yeah. So there’s…it’s just a lot about framing another thing that my parents and I did was any question that we had, we would bring to them so that the parents didn’t have to assume what we were ready for information wise. So if I came up and I was like…like good example when I was nine, I was really curious about what the hell testicles were and because I couldn’t’ figure out why they were usefu

Reid: I’m still curious

Koe: Right, I don’t

Reid: And I’m still wondering why they’re useful. Anyone? Anyone? Leave a comment, why are testicles useful?

Koe: Right. But I came up to my mom and asked about that and she was like okay you know she got her sense that at nine years old, I was curious about like reproduction and anatomy and things like that and so she was able to have that conversation with me or she may or may not have thought I was ready for that

Reid: Yeah

Koe: as an [Inaudible 00:07:57]

Reid: How…how did they establish, how did they teach you to come to them with questions like is that just

Koe: It was…it was something that was instilled throughout my life like any question that you have, feel free to come to me you know and when you are ready, feel free to come to me. So, the funny thing was I would psych myself out about what they would think of a question that I had so but they that’s sort of like it’s…it’s a dynamic that we created. So the parents were always like if you have a question don’t be afraid like I won’t I won’t judge questions that you have and then they followed through, they didn’t freak out when I came to them about really kinky stuff or I came to them with like wanting to experiment with whatever you know

Reid: Yeah.

Koe: or I came to them and I said: “hey, I crashed the car.”

Reid: Yeah

Koe: I never felt the need to lie to my parents unless

Reid: Because they’d, they’d never lied to you.

Koe: You got the thing. Unless I created it, right? You know

Reid: Okay.

Koe: I….I

Reid: Well, I mean kids like I mean people get scared or

Koe: It’s okay.

Reid: get surprised or they test outlying

Koe: Yeah, exactly that was another thing

Reid: that’s another thing in my

Koe: but the…the thing was, whatever you that was the other piece, whatever you did if you lied about it the punishment would be worse for lying about it than whatever it was that you did. So it also installed the dynamic of we trust each other, we are honest with each other

Reid: Sure

Koe: we’re open with our communication.

Reid: Got it.  What…so now you work with families about raising kids and…and in…in non-traditional styles, right?

Koe: Yeah.

Reid: ’coz how do you identify?

Koe: What do you mean?

Reid: Like…like what ‘coz you said pirate fairy, fairy gatherings and I’m like “really there are pirate fairy gatherings?”

Koe: There are, you should come.

Reid: So, I’ve been living in, in, in, in ignorance all these years but like so I say like I’m a queer polyamorous slut

Koe: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Reid: like so how would like what would be your identifiers for…for this video ‘coz maybe they check.

Koe: So, I myself, I’m a pansexual queer polyamorous slut sex-positive person and I’m a poly kid.

Reid: Okay

Koe: That’s what I call myself

Reid: Poly kid

Koe: ‘coz I’m a kid who was raised poly. Other people, I’ve heard like all kids also queer spawn

Reid: Queer spawn

Koe: Queer spawn, the spawn of queer people. I’m also this queer spawn

Reid: This week on queer spawn

Koe: On queer spawn. Oh

Reid: I’ll call dibs on that.

Koe: Okay

Reid: I’ll call dibs on my TV show, queer spawn

Koe: Oh man, yeah so

Reid: And then there’s the spin-off Ren spawn

Koe: Ren spawn

Reid: and pirate, pirate spawn

Koe: Oh my god that. They tried actually to make that a couple of years ago

Reid: for real?

Koe: it was pretty disastrous.

Reid: Pirate kids

Koe: Yeah.

Reid: So other questions, as somebody who travels a fair bit

Koe: Yes

Reid: and talks to a lot of other families and kids of families, for where you grew up and the kind of family dynamic you grew up in, do you do you find that kids and parents battle with different things if they’re from different parts of the country, different cultures, different races, different economic statuses like how does how does all that seem to weave in or weave or not weave in? ‘Coz in some place we talk about like polyamory you know like the poly conferences kind of are pretty white and so I’m just kinda curious for you around that stuff.

Koe: Oh for sure. I grew up in Seattle area so incredibly white poly community and as I’ve travelled there like, like the pragmatics of being out or not tends to be a lot more stringent in, in other places like I’ve done….or…or how…how much community is a rat surrounding the family so if you have other even polyamorous people in your life, there’s a little bit more of a network whereas in places that tend to be a little more rural

Reid: And super conservative

Koe: Yeah, super conservative or even…even not necessarily super conservative but just more rural areas there’s just less community and so there’s less of a safety net for your you as a parent to find support for your kids to have other kids or even other poly role models

Reid: Yeah

Koe: things in that nature and I think that there’s also a sense of like culturally, how…how is the culture that you exist in with trust because there’s a lot of

Reid: Okay

Koe: trust and like were you role modeled in your communities that relationships like relationships are open about their communication, relationships are about trust and

Reid: So if the community that you’re growing up in is all secretive and everybody’s whispering behind each other’s backs and there’s lot of

Koe: Yeah

Reid: like PTA backstabbing and stuff like that would it would feel really different

Koe: Yeah

Reid: than if there’s a community that you’re growing up in where the PTA is practicing nonviolent communication

Koe: Yeah

Reid: and transparency and

Koe: Exactly

Reid: and all that.

Koe: Exactly so it’s…it’s just a little bit harder to grasp these concepts and believe that they work because what you’ve seen throughout your life is different and also you can create what you want. That’s one of the things I always talk about is like your relationships are built by you and you have the…the opportunity to build whatever you feel will work best for you and like Reid said, that may change so try on some of these concepts and if it ends up that like your kids aren’t coming to you with questions, then maybe you work out a different dynamic window.

Reid: Yeah

Koe: Yeah

Reid: Yay! And where can people find you?

Koe: Koecreation online and

Reid: Cool and then for me I guess if you’re looking for poly resources

Koe: Yeah

Reid: it’d be  and I think this is right poly – resources and then you can get some resources and stuff like that hence poly resources. Alright, awesome. Thank you

Koe: Thank you

Reid: And then I’m….oh, we’re 30 days out from sex geek summer camp. You were at the first sex geek summer camp?

Koe: I was at the very first one.

Reid: What…if anyone’s considering they’re on the fence and it’s, what would you tell somebody who’s…who’s considering coming but is hesitating as a camper alumni?

Koe: If you don’t feel like you are put together enough as an educator, go anyway. You will…it’s sort of like it takes you from the ground level of like “I might want to be an educator.” It takes you from that idea and shows you the path. You don’t like you don’t have to have a website, you don’t have to have like you know you know you don’t have to be the projected idea who you should be as an educator you just get to go and be yourself and that’s enough.

Reid: And I know that you’ve been a camp counselor at a queer camp for youth, how do we stack up as a camp? I mean we don’t have we don’t have trust falls and rope courses and stuff.

Koe: No, I’m…I’m saying

Reid: There’s no, there’s no

Koe: where’s my….where’s my archery

Reid: there’s no archery

Koe: where’s my boat in?

Reid: I know it’s no pirates but other than that, how do we stand up as a camp as a summer camp for the adults?

Koe: Oh, it’s awesome. It’s so much fun there’s a swimming hole, the food is great, there was a campfire with smores, there’s a talent show. There’s still a talent show, right?

Reid: Talent show? The talent show yeah.

Koe: Right?

Reid: Always.

Koe: Talent show is the bass.

Reid: That’s how we end. We end strong.

Koe: Oh yeah

Reid: Okay

Koe: It’s super fun.

Reid: Alright, thanks. Alright, I’ll put the links when I get home and we’ll look at questions. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, Koe!

Koe: Yay!

Reid: And there’s your pirate ship.

Koe: Ha-ha. Yawr!

Reid: Yawr.

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