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Saturday, January 17, 2015

They Served in the Military But Aren't Even Free to Marry

By my count, this is the twenty-first ongoing relationship I've covered through exclusive interviews in which the lovers are denied the freedom to be open about their love and denied their freedom to marry.

“Edward” and “Elizabeth” are genetic father and daughter, reunited after Elizabeth became an adult. I contacted Elizabeth after she linked to this blog. Since this is a Genetic Sexual Attraction situation that has led to a consanguinamorous relationship, Elizabeth and Edward value their privacy. Thankfully, they opened up to me and were generous enough with their time and privacy to be interviewed.

Read the interview below and ask yourself if there is one good reason their rights to love each other the way they want should be denied.


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FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe your background.

Elizabeth: I was born and raised on the west coast, and I moved in between living with my mother and my grandparents many times as a child. In the end I wound up with my mother, stepfather and half-sister...it was not an unhappy time, but my mother and stepfather had a very turbulent relationship and were very hard on me. After I graduated high school I was happy to go into the military and get out of the stressful situation, and got married at 19. I discharged from the military and moved to the Midwest with my husband to be closer to his family, and worked as a CNA/MA until recently. I was in the middle of getting this divorce when I moved in with Edward, which was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I’m 22 this year and I have planned to attend art school. As for my hobbies I like to read and play World of Warcraft, as well as browse the internet (if you can consider that a hobby). I have to say, I’ve never been happier in a relationship than I’ve been with Edward. He’s the best man for me.

Edward: I was born in the southwest where I lived most of my life. I joined the service at 19, married and moved to the east coast. Left the service at 21 and moved back west where I attended college and worked odd jobs. Moved to the mid-west at 23 where I worked more odd jobs. At 25 I moved to the Great Lakes area where I learned drafting and design. I moved back to the mid-west at 27 then back to the Great Lakes area by 30 and another move back to mid-west in 2003. I’ve been in this region since then. I am a 43 year old structural designer for the petroleum industry. I had given up on ever finding a meaningful relationship with any woman any age at this point in my life. I had consigned myself to the reality that I might very well be better off being alone for the rest of my days.




FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation... are you heterosexual, bisexual, what?

Elizabeth: I’ve always identified as bisexual, and I’ve been in relationships in the past with both men and women.

Edward: I’ve always identified as a heterosexual unless I didn’t have time to date. In this case, I operated under the ‘Code of Silence’. Meaning...I would behave in an ambiguous fashion, leaving many questions unanswered among coworkers and friends alike.


FME: You're a genetic father/daughter pair, does that include sex?

Elizabeth/Edward: Yes, and a lot of it.


FME: How was your relationship with each other growing up?

Elizabeth: On my end I heard practically nothing from him or from his side of the family. I discovered later that a lot of letters and things like that were intercepted by my grandmother and destroyed, for unknown reasons. I’d heard a great deal of things about him from both my grandmother and my mother, none of which was very good. I had no idea that he was artistic or interested in music, and they never seemed to mention how much he doted on me or loved me. I see a very different picture now, painted not just by him but by his side of the family. They all loved me, and I never got to see it.

Anyway, I talked to him once on the phone in junior high and a few more times near the end of high school. That experience was somewhat embittering, since communication ceased for reasons unknown to me...its easy to internalize things like that when you don’t know what’s going on. Our relationship is excellent now, even if it feels surreal sometimes.

Edward: From the time Elizabeth was born until the age of 2 when I left her and her mother, she always clung to me and I was very overprotective. There was no abuse or neglect of any kind whatsoever during that period in her life. Her mother and I simply parted ways. I spoke with Elizabeth briefly as a preteen and the conversation was quite awkward, as neither one of us had ever spoken to each other ever. The second time we communicated with each other was in early 2009 when she was 17. 2009 was a very difficult time in my life, as I was currently going through a very messy divorce. There was a break in communication with my daughter that resulted in some hard feelings all around. Those hard feelings have all been replaced with feelings of joy at our reunion. I can’t begin to describe how it feels to have her in my life. I only wish that everyone could feel this in love.


FME: How did you connect/reconnect?

Elizabeth: I initiated contact with him through Facebook earlier this year, and it grew from email, to texting, to talking on the phone.

I’d seen pictures of him on his profile, and he was very good-looking to me; it brought feelings to my attention that disturbed me a little, and made me have to do some self-exploration on the subject. I knew nothing about GSA at this point, and so these feelings were totally alien to me and it was all very weird...so weird that I shoved it under the rug, I’d never spoken with him even and what if he was an idiot or something?

When we started talking on the phone, those feelings got stronger...he was smart, he was funny, good-looking, and I couldn’t help but revisit those emotions I had experienced before. I flirted with him, trying to get him to give up some information willingly so that maybe I could ask him about being in a relationship with me.

He was very stubborn and wouldn’t give up anything until I asked him straight-up if he would consider being in a sexual relationship with me.

Edward: My first thought was that this was some kind of diabolical scheme to mark me as some sort of deviant. My second thought was a question. I asked myself...’Self, if I say no, what will it do to her self-esteem? If I say yes, I’m a pervert. Or worse...is this phone call being recorded?’ She reassured me that it was legitimate. So my answer was yes. That was the beginning of the last true and loving relationship with a woman I will ever have again.


FME: How did things progress from there?

Elizabeth: After we established that we wanted a relationship together over the phone, we arranged a meeting together. We acknowledged that sex was a great possibility but not a requirement, a fact that is very important to us even now...we aren’t together because of sex. That notwithstanding, we did have sex the first night we spent together. And it was awesome.


FME: Describe your relationship now. How long have you been together? What are your living arrangements? Do you see each other as father/daughter or lovers, or are those two roles inseparable at this point?

Elizabeth: We’ve been together for about 4 months now, and we live in a loft-style apartment near his side of the family. I see him as a mash-up of a few different people- my husband, boyfriend, lover, father, and my best friend. More than anything I see him as my life partner.

Edward: As you stated in the question, all these roles are inseparable. We both see each other as all of these things and more. We will always be together, no matter what people want to call it.


FME: How do you describe your lovemaking now? Taboo? Natural? Especially erotic? Some people say eroticism between genetic relatives is inherently kinky, but I have found that for many it doesn't feel kinky. Rather it feels natural, although very intense. What about for you?

Elizabeth: In the past I’ve been involved in the BDSM community and have partaken in all kinds of deviant sexual activities....one of which is daddy/daughter fantasy.

Surprisingly this DOES NOT feel at all like a fantasy fulfilled. This does not have the feel of a deviant relationship at all, and we don’t have a BDSM element in the bedroom. I don’t really feel like we need it to be happy. This relationship as a whole has redefined my wants and needs entirely. As you stated....it feels natural, though very intense.

Edward: When I’m with Elizabeth, I feel free to do whatever I like. It does not matter whether its in the bedroom or on Main Street. Public displays of affection are always a problem because we love to express our feelings for one another by touching in some way. This means that holding hands, hugging, kissing, snuggling, cuddling, sitting unusually close, etc., have to be closely monitored when in the presence of family or friends. We very much believe that now is not the time to make this public.


FME: Do you have these kinds of feelings for, or involvements with other family member or relatives? Any experience in the past with sex or experimentation with a family member?

Elizabeth: I’ve never experienced romantic feelings for any other member of my family, or experimented.

Edward: My cousin and I played doctor a few times when I was 7.


FME: Does anyone know the full, true nature/history of your relationship? Are you able to act like a couple in a public place anywhere, such as a place you visit? Does anyone know you as a couple but not as father/daughter?

Elizabeth: As far as this question is concerned, you’re really the only person we’ve talked to about this. In supermarkets, the mall, certain places where no one knows us, we can act like a couple. Its very refreshing to be able to let loose without worrying if someone will see you and flip out. I imagine if any of my other family found out we’d be immediately ostracized.

We have introduced ourselves as a couple before to people who don’t know us.

Edward: My parents have questioned the nature of our living arrangements. Thus far, my response has been less than informative. ‘My daughter Is living with me for as long as she likes. Can plan for whatever future she decides. She can take as much time as she likes laying those plans and I will support her until the day I die.’


FME: Is there anything you've had to do to hide the full nature of your relationship? Having to hide can be a lot of trouble. Are there other disadvantages to being in a relationship like this? Conversely, do you think consanguineous relationships have some advantages and some things better than unrelated lovers?

Elizabeth: We have to be very, very discreet about how we act around family and friends. We live close enough to our family that they can be on our doorstep at any time so we have to present a certain appearance in our apartment (such as...no condoms, toys, underwear, etc. just lying around). The fact that we can’t act as freely around each other as we want is definitely stressful. I’d say the only disadvantage this type of a relationship has are the legal ramifications.

Advantages....we have a huge amount of trust in one another. I can trust him in ways that I can’t trust anyone else, as he has more to lose by leaving than some Joe Blow on the street.

Edward: We do have to be mindful at all times where we are, and what we are doing. I find myself limiting the time we spend with family and familiars so that we CAN behave naturally. We are always aware of the legality of what we do, the public reaction, the consequences in all their forms.


FME: What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your relationship, or disapprove of anyone having this kind of relationship? What's your reply to those who would say that this is one of you preying on the other (and that you can’t really consent)?

Elizabeth: I’d like to say that simply because someone wouldn’t do what we’re doing does not make it wrong. Plenty of people disapprove of how much sugar is in soda, or how tight someone’s pants are...but you don’t see soda or skinny jeans being illegal. Everyone has opinions, and you’re allowed to have them. My opinion is that my relationship is awesome and amazing and you can’t stop me.

Preying...if this is preying, every relationship is some person preying on the other. I’m a consenting adult, and if I can consent to having sex with any other 43 year old in the world why can’t I consent to this?

Edward: Elizabeth and I are in a consenting sexual relationship and there is no desire for procreation from either of us. There is no logical explanation why a federal or state law should prevent us from what under the surface appears to be our pursuit of happiness; our rights as citizens of this country. I would say to people that disapprove, maybe I find marrying a stranger repulsive. Maybe in a creationist-driven mind, a man is ordained by God to prey on a woman. In my world, men and women are equal.


FME: Aside from the law, can you think of anything that would make relationships like this inherently wrong?

Elizabeth/Edward: No.


FME: I know the relationship as it is still fairly new, but if you could get legally married, and that included protections against discrimination, harassment, etc., would you if things were still going well between you two after a year or two?

Elizabeth: Absolutely! There’s no man on earth I’d love to spend my life with more than my Dad.

Edward: I would wholeheartedly without hesitation.


FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be experiencing feelings for a genetic relative, especially a daughter or father? What advice do you have for family members and friends who think or know that genetic relatives they know are having these feelings for each other?

Elizabeth: For the daughter and the father, or any other pairings, I’d say educate yourself. Do some soul-searching. Put the same amount of thought into it as you would going into a regular relationship, and maybe even a little more....if you lose one another, you’re losing twice. So you need to figure out if its what you really want.

And ask yourself if you would be willing to lose your whole family’s support if they found out, because that is one of the hardest things to accept.

For friends or relatives of people who are experiencing GSA, keep an open mind. For their sake you need to put aside all of your prejudice and everything society has impressed upon you, and really think about what’s better:

Tearing them apart for the sake of the law or differing opinion, or supporting the ones you love to try and make them happy?

Edward: Before going public, consider your legal exposure. Now think of anyone on earth that might want to do you wrong. The consequences, if caught for this kind of crime, are very strict. And no one will plead your case. Be wise in the decisions you make and be aware that the whole world is against you. That’s the reality.


FME: Any plans for the future?

Elizabeth: As I said before, I want to go to school. Eventually I’d like to get work as a designer of some kind.

I want to eventually get married to him, if marriage is legalized for us in the future.

And I want us to live in a place that we can live freely and without worry.

Edward: We plan to move to a place where no one knows that we’re related. I plan to support my daughter through school or work, or whatever she decides to do in the future. I am here for her. My plans are to take care of her for as long as I can and keep her happy if it kills me. Her happiness is my happiness.


FME: Anything else you want to add?

Elizabeth: Thank you for interviewing us, this was a wonderful opportunity to show people that our relationship is something beautiful.

Edward: Thanks, Keith.


*****


There you have it. Two consenting adults who plan to continue to live as though married, and who will legally marry once they are no longer denied their freedom to marry. They both served the US in the military, but don't even have their fundamental right to marry in the country that is supposedly land of the free.

Why should they be denied their rights? There’s no good reason.We need to adopt full marriage equality sooner rather than later, so that an adult is free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage any and all consenting adults. People are being hurt because of a denial of their basic human rights to love each other freely.

You can read other interviews I have done here.

If you are in a relationship like this and are looking for help or others you can talk with, read this.

If you are a family member or friend of someone who is in or may be in such a relationship, please read this.

Thank you to Edward and Elizabeth for sharing their situation with us!
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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful interview of a very happy couple. I wish them both good luck.

    ReplyDelete

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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