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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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Thank you, ABC & 20/20!

by Sierra on April 21, 2012 · 24 comments

in Uncategorized

Our 20/20 episode aired last night, and I’m quite happy with how it came out. You can watch the episode on Hulu or on ABC’s site. If you appreciate the work that went into it, you can leave a positive comment on the article that accompanies the video segment.

I did this because I wanted to give mainstream America a peek at a healthy, happy, thriving circle of poly families. It’s my hope that we’ve done just that, and that this is a step toward a future where news shows won’t want to do segments on how “kooky” polyamory is, because it’s just a thing some people do.  I am fairly confident positive portrayals on TV can make a difference, and I’m grateful to ABC for their approach in this one.

My great thanks go out to ABC, 20/20 and in particular anchor Elizabeth Vargas and our producers Marc and Michael. I felt they gave a respectful, balanced portrayal of our family life and relationships.

I’m also grateful beyond words to the family, friends and loved ones who appeared in the segment: thank you for your courage and wisdom. To those who counseled me off-screen, practiced interviews, loaned me pretty things to wear (thanks mom!), hosted the viewing party, recorded the show and were there when I needed a hand to hold or a kind word: thank you from the bottom and the top and every in between part of my heart. This couldn’t have happened without each of you.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has offered kind words of encouragement or thanks in comments on these posts and elsewhere. You keep me coming back to this work, and afloat when it feels like I’ll drown in it.

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  • Golden

    I remember you from the early days of MDC. I got to meet you in person at Bossy’s visit to Cambridge last year. I am so very impressed with your family, your courage and your pride. You give a voice to all kinds of family and I love that.

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you! (and I remember you, too! that was a great party!)

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  • Mm99

    I really enjoyed the piece. Rio sounded so grown up!

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you!

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  • Meagan

    The thing I find most alarming about the negative comments is how, in defining marriage as one man + one woman, they don’t even seem aware that this is their cultural/religious law rather than a fact of nature. I know the debate has been going on for a while (with gay marriage) but this oblivisness only just struck me. Never mind what they think marriage should be, they appear to be ignorant of the reality that it’s ever been anything else.

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    Sierra Reply:

    That’s a good point.

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  • Micki

    Love it, love it!  I only wish it had been longer, it seemed like such a quick peek into your life(style).  I stumbled across your blog a few years ago, and have been a rather devoted reader ever since.  You are a terrific writer, your family is both loving and hysterically funny, and I love the way you actually see your children as their own people, and help them grow into themselves.  I hope your career sees a big boost from the publicity!

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    Sierra Reply:

    Wow, thank you!

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  • amadea

    What a nice piece – well researched, thoughtful and attentive. +1 to Mainstream Media. And you guys were great, of course, but that’s no big surprise. Thank you, and thanks to ABC, for getting a little bit of realism out there. 

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  • Natasha

    I found your blog after seeing the special, I loved the segment, it truly does take great respect and communication, and I think most open marriages have better communication than people who are not. We hope to find the extended family like yours someday. 

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you! I wish you luck as you grow your family!

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  • Dindymene

    Wow!  Thank-you so much for stepping out into the spotlight and participating in this great little picture of poly life!  My 7-year-old daughter watched the 20/20 piece with me and her eyes got really big and she said, “Mom, that family is like our family!”  I welled up because it was so great for her to see people we don’t know who value the same family-style that we have.  Thanks for giving us that moment together!

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    Sierra Reply:

    Woah! This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for telling me about your daughter’s response. I’ll be sure to tell my 7-year-old about it.

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  • Anna

    Unfortunately the report is only available to watch from inside the US (on the internet, and I don’t have cable). So being in Canada, I am unable to watch the piece. Darn darn darn! But, I did read the article that ABC put up on their site about the report. It is so great that there are strong and stable voices out there sharing with the world that not every marital relationship fits into a 1950′s monogamous cardboard box.  Across Canada, marriage is the civil union of two consenting adults. There is no legal difference between a “gay” marriage or a “straight” one. Right now, appeals are happening to try to legalize polygamous marriage  within Canada as well. I hope the appeals go through. Hopefully one day, people will decide to be happy for others when they find love, without feeling the need to judge it. Love is a gift, wherever it is found!

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    Sierra Reply:

    “Love is a gift, wherever it is found”

    - right on! Thank you for saying that so clearly.

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  • Anna

    Happy update..my husband cruised the internet and managed to find a copy of your episode that someone had uploaded to their page. So I have now watched it. Yay! It is just lovely to see so many content and happy parents surrounded with love. That rubs off on kids in the very best way. Great interview!

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you! Can you send me a link to that? We have a lot of Canadian friends and readers of this blog who’ve asked for access to the episode.

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    Anna Reply:

     No problem! Here is the link; enjoy my fellow Canadians:)

    http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.ca/2012/04/on-abcs-2020-polyfamily-network-shows.html

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you!

  • Jaime

    I’ll be honest…this completely surprised me.  I’ve read your blog on-and-off for a couple of years and somehow completely missed the fact that you are in a “poly” relationship.

    While I feel really uncomfortable with this, I’m trying to step back from my instincts/biases/emotions and look at this as objectively as possible.  That isn’t going to be easy, but I’m sure many feel the same confliction when they find out that I’m lesbian.

    I can see that you have your family’s best interests at heart.  Bear with me…

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you. This is a really interesting response. I’ll bear with you if you’ll bear with me. :)

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  • Megan

    Here’s the thing, the poly lifestyle is not for me. My marriage is my husband and me. That being said, it clearly IS for you. As your partner put it, it works for your family. That is what matters.
    I started following your blog and was quite surprised to learn about this part of your family. It doesn’t change who you are as a mom so why should I have an opinion?!
    I will continue to enjoy your posts about honoring your children and who they are!

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    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you! That’s exactly the kind of feedback that makes me feel like speaking out about this has been worth doing.

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  • http://twitter.com/blackgirlinmain Blackgirlinmaine

    My husband & I watched the piece a few nights ago, it’s good to see depictions of poly families so that people can see that they are ordinary folks. I appreciate your willingness to be out and to put a face on what poly looks like, as someone who has considered that path yet as a mother and professional too many times I don’t see ordinary folks like me. Thank you! 

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