Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Loving Couple Denied the Freedom to Marry

[Note: I bumped this entry up because it deserves attention.]

[Anonymous Daughter] is a woman who had been regularly contributing to the original Genetic Sexual Attraction forum. That forum was mostly operated towards helping those who are struggling with their feelings of attraction and experiences related to reuniting with long-lost biological relatives, and for their family members who are dealing with the fallout. For some, though, the only struggle with GSA has to do with the prejudice and pressures from others, including people who have experienced GSA, who do not want them to have consanguinamorous relationships involving sexual contact. In other words, some people experiencing GSA do not struggle with it; they embrace and enjoy it.

[Anonymous Daughter], who stands up for those experiencing GSA and enjoying a consanguinamorous relationship, generously agreed to an interview. I think you’ll agree that her intelligence and character shine through in her answers. If you read through this and would still want to deny her the freedom to marry, then I question your humanity. Yet, there are many who not only want to deny her right to marry, but would throw her into prison and break up her family.

* * *

FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe your background. Where are you from? Who raised you? What kind of childhood did you have?

[ANONYMOUS DAUGHTER]: I am from Canada. I was raised by my mother and maternal grandparents as an only child. I had what I would describe as an idyllic childhood until I was a teenager. Being the focus of four adults’ attention as a youngster can be both good and bad. My grandparents were actively involved in my upbringing as was my mother's brother. Each of them offered me many things of value. My grandfather and I were particularly close. I spent a great deal of time in academic and artistic pursuits, each fostered by at least one of these adults.

When I turned 13 my grandfather died, my mother separated from her second husband, my grandmother fell into alcoholism, my uncle got married and became a fundamentalist christian. I met my father for the first time that summer. It was a rough year. Obviously there were a lot of things I didn't understand at the time going on under the surface. Today, I can say I do but it was a long personal journey to really come to grips with who the people I loved were and how that impacted me. I've learned a great deal from it all but it was a travail.

I started visiting my father and writing him often at this point. I met my half-brother, who was eleven years younger than me, also. We weren't able to see one another that often and our visits were punctuated with long separations.

FME: You are in a spousal (including lovemaking) relationship with your biological father, correct? When did you first notice you had feelings for him? Before you noticed you had these feelings, had you ever thought of the concept of close biological relatives having this kind of love?

Yes. We were reunited the first time when I was a teenager. We had a conventional father daughter relationship externally but were to learn years later that we did not feel 'conventional' about each other then. I was struck with a physical and sexual attraction to him almost immediately. I squelched it. I thought I was 'sick' for feeling that way. We stayed in contact for six years at which point I couldn't handle how I felt anymore and not act on it so... I ran and never spoke to him again until twenty some odd years later.

I was aware that other bio relatives had incestuous relationships and had assumed it was an extension of childhood abuse. I realize now, of course, that this is not always the case. I had never heard of GSA relationships though, and had no idea of the GSA phenomenon happening to separated adults.

FME: How do you feel about the lovemaking side of your relationship? Is it a natural extension of your general feelings and love for him?


FME: Aside from being father and daughter, is there any aspect of “kink” to you sexuality? Are you monogamous, in a closed relationship with each other?

No [there is no kink], and frankly there is no kink in being related when you speak about GSA. If you understand that GSA is a genetic reality brought about by separation then you understand that the sex is an aspect of the bonding that naturally occurs. It is our separation that results in our connecting as adults would ordinarily connect and not as parent and child.

We are monogamous.

FME: Who knows the full, true nature of your relationship and how did they find out? How have they reacted? Does anyone know you as a couple, but not father and daughter?

Complete strangers know we are father and daughter. We are literally gender opposite mirrors of each other. The only people who know are my children and other GSA people we've connected with online and you, of course. My children came and asked the nature of our relationship early into our reunion. They were a little uncomfortable with it but all of them had come to terms with how it happened before they even came to me. It helped that two of my children are gay. There was some integral understanding of being persecuted for something you can’t help. It also helped that my father was just united with them for the first time last year. They are bio relatives but no ‘ick’ factor for them where he and I are concerned. I also think the striking similarity between him and I (not just looks, but personality) has made it much easier for them to trust him.

FME: It sounds like you had talked about your feelings for each other before the physical aspect of your relationship became sexual as opposed to the kind of affection between platonic friends or family members - is that right? Or had one of you made a pass at the other first? Was the first time there was sexual contact mutually planned ahead of time (like a date where you both knew this was going to happen), or just something that grew spontaneously out of the kissing/hugging/touching that was already going on?

We discussed at great length the feelings we never acted on but felt when we had reunited when I was a teenager and young adult. My father initially brought it up in order to make amends for something he never actually did but only felt. I reciprocated about my feelings at the time so that he was aware that his read on my behaviour was not his imagination. I was upset that he was taking on this mantle of guilt and self castigation for feelings we BOTH had, particularly when his behaviour towards me was entirely appropriate for a father towards his teenaged daughter. In addition I felt he had been heroic in ignoring the loud signals I was giving him at the time. My poor father... if we had only known about GSA BEFORE we reunited we could both have avoided hating ourselves for our feelings. Feelings that were never acted on until twenty plus years later... and feelings that lead to another twenty year separation-both of us running from each other rather than doing something 'sick' or 'perverted'. I was twenty the last time I saw him.

This led to our conversations about staying in each others lives, trying to understand what happened and why. Both of us committed to our relationship as father and daughter ahead of all else. That we would not allow ourselves to be separated again, no matter what else happened. We drew the conclusion before we knew about GSA, quite rightly, that the physical attraction was a replacement for the bonding we had missed and that it was okay even if others would not understand. That if we were to pursue our bonding through the sexual aspect of our relationship and it didn't last we would stay father and daughter.

The first time we had contact was spontaneous in the sense that we didn't plan it ahead of time. The conversations I describe above happened both before and after. This was a very fluid and intense experience. As far as making a 'pass' at each other is concerned, GSA isn't like that for us... the physical connection is very much about bonding. The line between hugging, kissing and being sexually intimate is blurred in GSA. It is an extension of who we really are to each other.

FME: Can you describe that first event where you gave yourselves to each other, especially your feelings?

This is very private to me, but I will say it is the most spiritual experience of my life.

FME: Do you think family members have some things better or some advantages that unrelated lovers might not, such as more intense feelings and lovemaking? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

I've mentioned several advantages already... the trust between my children and father is unparalleled. My children have connected with my father in a way they never could with a man I became involved with who was not a biological relative. That's huge. Anyone who has been in a step parent situation knows exactly what I mean. My father loved them instantly; he wanted what was best for them, not because of me but for themselves. There was never an attitude of 'putting up with them' in order to be with me.

I believe our level of commitment to one another is deeper because of the relationship. It is easier to be monogamous. The intensity of feeling both good and bad is deeper. Because we communicate well we have learned to handle the difficulties associated with that better, like jealousy (which is far more intense than in an ordinary couple) and sensitivity. We both have learned to be a little more careful in how we express things to each other as a result.

But the big advantage in this is: I am as certain as he is that we do not ever want to hurt each other. We understand that we each wield a great deal of power over injuring the other but that feeling is concurrent with the desire to have the other's happiness at almost any cost and certainly our own happiness is dependent on the other's. It's a difficult feeling to relate to if you have not experienced GSA, but it is truly selfless and imperative to be that way with one another. In most relationships that is an act of discipline, particularly when you are upset with the other person. In a GSA relationship it is a natural feeling and comes the most freely and quickly when you are upset with each other. Do I really need to explain to anyone who has ever been in a relationship why that would be a huge advantage? I'm guessing not.

FME: Do you have feelings for other close biological relative that are anything like the ones you have for your father, whether they are as intense or not?

No, not at all. Though to be fair, I haven't spent much time with any of them yet. My half-brother and I saw each other when he was twenty one and I didn't experience anything like the feelings I had for my father the first time we met.

FME: Some people say an adult daughter can’t possibly consent to sex with her biological father, and thus your father should be prosecuted under incest, rape, or sexual assault laws. What do you say to that?

It's a load of garbage. I am an adult woman under the law-I can consent to sex with anyone I want. As someone who has been raped and assaulted, I can personally tell you that what I have with my father is an act of mutual love.

FME: Some people who have experienced Genetic Sexual Attraction, whether or not they have had sex with the person(s) to whom they are attracted, insist it is wrong for close biological relatives to have sex, even if they are not prohibited by existing vows to others, and discourage others experiencing GSA from making love. What do you say to that?

That's their personal choice. Don't burden everyone with your personal judgments on what is right for you must be right for everyone. My opinion is this: By automatically removing the physical expression of GSA from the equation they could be allowing society to determine for them what the outcome of GSA should be. Because of the taboo, the illegality of sexual contact with a biological relative, these people are allowing people who haven't experienced GSA rob them a second time of bonding with their relative in the way that nature has intended. I think it's a pretty dangerous thing to define any adult human relationship in black and white terms. I know what my father and I required to heal what we had lost... and even if we had not decided to stay in a committed relationship with each other, the sexual aspect of our reuniting was required to heal those wounds. That may not be the case for others... it's not for me to judge.

FME: Would you get legally married if you could, and if that included protection from things such as bullying and workplace discrimination based on your relationship?

I've been asked and have accepted, in the event the laws ever change.

FME: What are your plans for the future?

To live out our lives together in peace and love ensuring neither we nor any family members we love are ever separated unnaturally again.

FME: Do you personally know (not just online), or have you met in person other consanguinamorous couples (that you are aware of)?

Other than couples via online forums, no. And that's not surprising... we are not allowed to live openly without fear of legal prosecution.

FME: What advice do you have to someone who has romantic or sexual feelings for a close biological relative?

Open, honest communication. Educate yourself about GSA if you were separated during childhood. Do not let society or other people define your path to healing and connection.

FME: Is there is anything else you want to add?

The more thought I give to GSA, to my GSA partner and our relationship, the more I feel that this is the new frontier, following the breakdown of the societal barriers toward homosexuality.

Where the support is required for all of us, in my opinion, is living with GSA in this society or in handling the strong inescapable feelings should you or your GSA partner be in a committed relationship with another when you meet. The other obvious area of support is for people about to reunite- they should be educated and aware that this could happen to them so they can make an educated decision about pursuing reunion. But I am uncomfortable with, in truth, angered by the idea that any of us need to be 'cured' or 'fixed'. We are not broken for feeling this way.

I have read a lot of GSA stories and heartbreaks. And I long for the posts by people who have come to terms with how they feel, those who are living with their GSA partner, aware that they are not ill but are social pariahs because society does not understand that this is not an illness or some twisted sexual deviation... it is a genetic reality brought on by separation. Just as homosexuality is genetic. And that we are treated publicly the same as gays and lesbians and biracial couples were 40 years ago.

The maelstrom is coming. As more and more people connect with their adoptive relatives, as more and more children of IVF accidentally marry their blood relatives, as more and more of us already in this situation process their own personal journey and wake up to the reality of their own innocence in all of it, the quiet whispers of our agony will become a screaming cry of outrage for freedom. Freedom from judgement, freedom from social persecution, freedom from criminal penalty, freedom to have the same legal rights and protection as any other couple.

* * *

They want to marry. They should have their freedom to marry. This is another example of why we need full marriage equality. Denying them their right to marry is unfairly hindering them. They have a loving marital relationship.

If you are experiencing GSA, a consanguinamorous relationship, a polyamorous relationship, or some other relationship involving consenting adults that faces prejudice or prosecution and you’d like to be interviewed or otherwise tell your story of your relationship or identity, please contact me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com.

You can also support full marriage equality on Facebook:

Group: I Support Full Marriage Equality!

Causes: I Support Full Marriage Equality!

I don't expect to be blogging much this weekend. Especially if you're new to this blog, I recommend checking the blogroll and links found in the column on the right and reading through the archives here.
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  1. Congrats Freesoul on your honest and happiness. Fullmarriageequality well written and put together. Here supporting you both.

  2. You are truly a soldier for the cause. Congratulations and good luck. Your are strong and brave!

  3. If you want to marry, then you should marry. It doesn't require the permission of the state or a piece of paper to do this. If the two of you choose to define yourselves as husband and wife, then you are.

    Seeking permission from 3rd parties to define your relationship as a marriage is no different than giving them veto power over that relationship.

    1. Anonymous, you have good points, but there are two main issues here: 1. the possibility of prosecution, which can happen whether or not they marry in a private ceremony of course, and 2. general discrimination against them. They do not have the same rights as other couples, and that can matter in many ways.

  4. You people are immoral

    1. If you don't like it, don't do it.

    2. Obviously I won't because this is some nasty crap

    3. On the contrary, this deep and abiding love is awesome. You might see that if you weren't so prejudiced. But then, perhaps other people would think your love life is nasty... if you have one.

    4. I agree, anon. This is absolutely disgusting and vile.

    5. Haha, You'll only approve of comments siding with you now?

    6. No, per reader request I changed the settings to get rid of the annoying (to readers) "type this word to comment" feature. That means I get to see more annoying spam AND I have to approve comments before they appear. I gladly print comments like yours because they reveal that you have no argument against equality, only hatred for other people for loving each other. It is comments like yours that will help bring about equality sooner rather than later, because most people are not so hateful.

    7. No arguments? How about this: IT RUINS FAMILY DYNAMICS

    8. Anonymous, that is an assertion that has no basis in fact. Actually, we have have example after example where it is just the opposite. Even some people who ceased the sexual aspect of their relationship report that their time together made their relationship BETTER. And the ones who are still making love definitely disagree with you.

      If you think of sex that way, perhaps you are doing it wrong.

    9. So you think inbreeding is okay? Do you realize how terrible it is?

    10. Anonymous, did you bother to read the interview? They are not having kids. Tell, though, if you bother to come back and read this: Do you want it make it illegal for people with Huntington's Disease to have children?

    11. I'm with keith. I also feel the need to point out here, it takes several generations of 'inbreeding' before deformities or disorders become an issue, except extreme cases.
      If anyone in this situation wants to marry, and express their love, they should have every right to it

  5. I've read your other interviews and I've seen some of them either planning or having children. And yes, I don't think people with that kind of severe disease should be allowed to have kids.

    1. What's the cutoff, and who decides who should be denied their reproductive rights? What about people with dwarfism? And what if genetic testing shows a couple is highly unlikely to produce children with any serious genetic problems, despite being close relatives?

    2. My girlfriend has Huntington's chorea. She didn't get sick until she was in her late fifties. She's 65 and will die within the normal age range for women like her. (Most people don't realize Huntington's has several different manifestations.)

      She has master's degrees in accounting and in psychology. She helped found Intel. She, also, worked as a counselor. Her contributions to society are real, wide and varied.

      Should she have not been allowed to live?

      You do realize that the right to reproduce is protected by the constitution? Do you want to through out the constitution, too? In the service of your version of eugenics?

    3. MT, thanks for,speaking up. You and your loved one have my positive thoughts.

  6. Okay guys... This is referred as "Electra Syndrome". Know your psychology before calling this healthy.

    Or, in other words, "daddy issues".

    1. Call it what you want. I've known both terms for a long time. Labeling it doesn't change the fact that they are happy together and not hurting anybody.

    2. Giving it a name and calling it a "syndrome" doesn't mean it needs to be cured. We keep expanding our psychological labels until everything everyone does has some "syndrome" associated with it. I don't care about "syndromes," I care about human beings and their welfare. Clearly, you care more about judging people for doing something you don't want to do. I'll stick with "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

  7. Since there are problems with society, it is better GSA persons keep their relation secret and go about their life as everybody, that is marry an unrelated suitable person but sleep secretly with your father/mother/sister/brother, so that even if you have children with secret biologically related lover, they will pass off as children by your legal spouse, so everybody will be happy.


To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

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IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE. If your comment includes graphic descriptions of activity involving minors, it's not going to get published.