One of our favorite friends of FME and Friend of Lily, Liz, generously agreed to be interviewed for another update. You can read about the beautiful relationship she has with her brother by reading this original interview and this previous update. They are essentially married; but they are denied the legal recognition of their marriage by their own government, and not protected from discrimination or bullying. [This has been bumped up because of an update below - November 20, 2014]
FME: How are things going between you and your brother?
Liz: Things are going very well. Our relationship is still strong. Any arguments are minor and don't last long. We don't make love quite as often as we used to, but that's from Ryan being tired from being busy at work as much as it is from having to care for a baby. I still can’t imagine it being any better.
How is your daughter? Last I saw, she was an adorable baby.
She certainly is adorable, and I'm not saying that just because I'm her mom. She is a year-old now, and is walking. She is smart; she recognizes some words, and she figures out how to get into things. Ryan and I love being parents.
I noticed she didn't have two heads.
There is nothing wrong with her at all. Ten fingers, ten toes, completely perfect. I just wish people wouldn't keep making the same old comments when they hear about incest children - that they turn out to be freaks or something. It is simply not true.
As I like to say, most children born to close relatives are healthy, and if it wasn’t so, we’d all be in big trouble because most people, whether the records show it or not, have parents who were close relatives not too far back in their ancestry. Have you let any more people know about the full nature of your relationship, or has anyone else found out that you know of?
As of now, only our parents and one of my friends knows the truth. They needed time to adjust, but now they are OK with it. I have also met many people in online chats and they have been overwhelmingly supportive. I am thankful to those people.
You’re both attractive people. Have you or your brother had to decline date proposals from others, and if so, how have you handled that?
Not recently. People believe we're married, or they at least know we're a couple (without knowing we're related of course). In the past I have had to turn down guys. I told them I was seeing someone else, which was true.
People in love and in a closed relationship often have a “look,” even if they are somewhere by themselves, that tells other they are not available and that they are happy. I would imagine that is strong in your case, and now you have your young daughter with you. That probably lets people know not to bother asking you out. What do you want people to know who disapprove of your love, or say you are sick or that you couldn't possibly have consented to this relationship?
I want them to know that they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. They can not convince me that it is wrong, because I know in my heart it is right. I have always felt it was right that my brother and I are together. I would feel empty without him, incomplete. He is my soulmate.
What do you want to say to supporters and allies?
Thank you, to everyone who support us, everyone who knows what we are doing is right. We need all the people we can to try to change society for the better. There are many people out there who are having these feelings and they are being told it's wrong. We need to reach out to them, support them, tell them it's OK. We need to work together to repeal the laws against incest. They've already done it in some countries and some states here in the US. We need to build on that.
I understand you are helping others. What can you tell us about that?
I have met many people through online chats. Some have wanted advice or help with their situation. I do whatever I can for them. Some are in situations that remind me strongly of the early days of my relationship with my brother, and I let them know that I understand what they are going through and I tell them what I did and how I got to where I am now. If anyone wants to chat with me, either for advice or just to talk about their situation, I am more than happy to do it.
Any additional advice to someone who has romantic or sexual feelings for a close biological relative?
Yes. First of all, you are not wrong or sick to have these feelings. There are many out there like you. Second, do not think that you will never be able to enjoy a romantic or sexual relationship with a relative. Yes, there is a chance that he or she would not feel the same way. However, you will never know unless you try. I wouldn't be in this wonderful relationship if my brother hadn't confessed how he felt to me, and I am so glad that he did. Just take things one step at a time, and when you feel it's the right time tell your brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, cousin, or whoever, how you feel. If you need help, there are people out there, like me, who will do what we can. You can do it, don't give up.
Any particular plans for the future? Would you still get legally married if you could?
Yes, we would get married if we could. We would announce our happiness to the world if we could. I don't like having to hide things from my friends and neighbors. As for future plans, we do plan on having more children one day. Also, we will one day have to find a larger house for our growing family.
Is there is anything else you want to add?
Never, ever give up. It sounds like a cliche, but it's true.
The years go by, and people in consanguinamorous relationships, living as spouses, have to hide and live with their freedom to marry being denied. We need full marriage equality sooner rather than later, so that they can have the marriages they want. It is ridiculous that they have to wait any longer.
Read other interviews here.
UPDATE from November 20, 2014...
Liz has joined the fun at Kindred Spirits.
Here are a couple of the things she's had to say there, updating us on her love with Ryan.
I'm 25 and in a happy relationship with my brother. We have been together for some time, and live as a couple. It hasn't always been easy for us, of course, but we're happy and making this relationship work.
I am in a relationship with my brother, and we have a daughter. I had wanted to have a child for some time, but was unsure about whether it would be ok to do so. After researching and also chatting with couples like us who did have children we decided to do it. She is nearly 4 now, happy and healthy. I am so glad that we had her, and we do plan to have another.
It's always good to hear from Liz.
Here's an update!