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Monday, August 18, 2014

A Treasured Love Denied Marriage

By my count, this is the thirty-sixth ongoing relationship I've covered through exclusive interviews in which the lovers are denied the freedom to be open about their love and are denied the freedom to marry and have that marriage treated equally under the law.

The man in the interview below is an  adult in a vibrant, consensual relationship with another adult. Yet they face discrimination and prejudice for their love. They are very much in love and it is cruel to discriminate against them or criminalize their relationship.

Read the interview below and ask yourself if there is one good reason this person, going under the name "Billy Lee Black," should be denied his right to marry and have his marriage treated equally under the law or should have to hide the full, true nature of his relationship from anyone.



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FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Tell us about yourself.

Billy Lee Black: I’m 5 feet 8 inches, thin, green eyes, brown hair. I've been in many different lines of work. Up until recently I was a computer technician dealing mostly with fixing laptops, mobile phones, TVs etc. I always wanted to be a history teacher, in truth, but I always had something going on in my life that turned into a road block. Since being laid off because the company downsized, I became a part-time cleaner and intend to go to university to fulfill my dream, that or become an assistant teacher as that's something I always wanted to do, too. Helping children with special needs was always something I wanted to do since I had learning difficulties growing up, which I overcame thanks to a great assistant teacher.

I have one sibling and that's my half-sister who I'm in a relationship with. I have a son from a previous relationship; let's call him Billy Jr. Currently I live in the UK. It's illegal here to marry or be with any family member including family members who are married into the family such as step-fathers, step-mothers, step-sisters, step-brothers.


FME: Are you legally married or have you ever been legally married?

BLB: I've never been married and never wanted to be married before no. I'm atheist so the idea of marriage never appealed to me, but the idea of marrying my half-sister is something I really want to do.


FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation and your relationship orientation?

BLB: Not exactly sure how to answer that; we are both straight and we are both committed to each other and nobody else.



FME: You currently live with... ?

BLB: I live on my own


FME: You are in a sexual relationship with your genetic half-sibling? What are your ages?

BLB: Yes, I am 27, she is 24.


FME: Since Billy Jr. is your only child, you don’t have any children with your half-sister, correct?

BLB: We have no children together, but we don't believe in the tall tales of birthing mutants. That’s horrible word, I know, but this is how it's worded to us by many people in our society. However, should we choose to have children, we will explore every avenue open to us to make sure the baby will be healthy.


FME: What kind of relationship, if any, did you have while you were growing up?

BLB: Growing up, we never met; not once. I had heard about her from time to time over the years but never thought anything of it. I never really saw my dad a lot. Couldn't say I wanted to. It was only later on that I started meeting up with my father as an adult and got to know him on a different level. He mentioned her a few times but told me because he'd never been in her life, she never met him once, and that I couldn't get in contact with her and that was the end of it. He passed away and somebody told her about it a year on. She looked him up and found out about me. She contacted me and it went from there. The only family now on my dad's side is me, her, my uncle and my granddad. Growing up, I always wanted a sister and she always wanted an older brother so we were overjoyed to have found each other.


FME: When did you first notice an attraction?

BLB: I noticed straight away, when she added me on Facebook. The first thing I thought was "pwoarrrr she's gorgeous" when I looked through her pictures. At first I thought nothing of it because some brothers have no problem thinking their sisters are beautiful.

It wasn't until I met her for the first time that I noticed the attraction was more than any brother should have for his sister. I felt a spark from the moment I laid my eyes on hers.

When she gave me a long, emotional hug, nothing ever felt as right as it did in that moment. I felt safe, protected, loved, every positive feeling possible in one hug. It's like nothing I ever felt before. The whole time of being around her, I smiled, my eyes kept catching hers, her eyes kept catching mine, we had the most sincere unforced smiles on our faces, it was the first time I ever seen anybody's eyes twinkle for me.


FME: Before your relationship became sexual, had you heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction or relatives being attracted to each other? What did you think about that?

Before I even met her, I looked into everything I could on the subject of incest. It really interested me. I studied law in school, and next to the subject of History, it was my favourite subject. Every now and then I would come across a law that made me scratch my head and go "hang on a minute." This was one of them. Before reading into this, I felt it was a little icky to think about family members in that way but never gave it much thought about it other than that. When I came across the law in the UK about it, I thought “okay it's illegal here,” then read up that it was legal in a few countries around Europe, so I thought "is it really wrong?"

After thinking about it with some common sense it really irked me. I just couldn't figure out what was unjust or illegal about two consenting adults being in love. I feel it breaches human rights to tell anyone who they should be in love with and be with. I considered the abuse that goes on in some cases of incest but figured there was quite an abundance of laws in place to protect people in general and children against the negative aspects of incest, so I felt “what was so wrong about it?” If a brother wants to marry a sister, a mother a son, a dad a daughter, as long as they both consent and are of age, why not?

The only argument I saw as valid, at the time, was the idea of children, so I thought if that was the main problem, just rewrite the law as incest between consenting adults is legal but children are off limits unless there is proof a child would not be born with health problems. I came across a few stories of Genetic Sexual Attraction and really felt for the people involved who just wanted to be together, but lived in fear of the law's outdated views on the subject. I never once thought it would happen to me, but y'know,” apples and pears.” [Laughs]


FME: When/how did sexual affection become a part of your relationship?

BLB: I kind of noticed it way before we ever did anything, way before we even kissed.  We would cuddle constantly. We thought it was just because we were close. Well I say that, but I think that was something we said to mask our deeper feelings for one another.

I felt her grinding into me, giving me peck kisses on the lips. They always felt romantic and it was never just one; more like twenty in a row. Also, I think she noticed something poking her at times.

Our first kiss was when we were watching a movie and I told her she was beautiful. I was stroking her hair with her head on my chest. She looked up at me and I thought "okay here comes twenty pecker kisses in a row." By the time we made it to the tenth peck kiss I noticed her mouth opened a little and her tongue gradually met mine. From there it spiraled into pure passion. We stopped to look at each other and say "this is crazy," "did that just happen?" Neither of us cared either way.


FME: Can you describe your feelings during that? Did you feel pressured in any way? Did you have any negative feelings or reservations or hesitations?

BLB: We didn't feel any guilt; no shame. We felt nothing but love and passion for each other. None of it felt wrong. Everything couldn't have felt more right between us. There was no pressure. That was new to me. For once in my life I was at the most comfortable I'd ever been in my entire life. Once that first kiss happened, the spark ignited and, after a few hours, led to the bedroom for the most passionate lovemaking imaginable. My breathing was shallow, my heart felt like it could just stop at any minute. We admired each and every aspect of each other, body, mind, heart and soul, all in one moment.


FME: Some would say that consent is not truly possible in a situation like this and that one of you must be abusing the other. What do you say to that?

BLB: I would completely disagree with that. I have had relationships in the past that have felt like one person leads another. It always felt like there was a power dynamic, either from my part of theirs, but with my half-sister, nothing has ever felt so mutual and natural. There was no feeling like it. It's so hard to describe in so many words. It was like her fingertips moved gently into my heart, and mine to hers. We'd stroke each other’s faces gently and smile into each other’s eyes, we gave each other to one another and felt completely accepted with every fibre of our being. You can take that as you want to. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it was definitely consensual, respectful and beautiful.


FME: Do you, or have you had feelings like this for any other close family members whether they are genetic relatives or not? Any prior experience with family?

BLB: Never. I've noticed one or two of my family members as being attractive, but I've never once had any sexual thoughts or romantic feelings for them. It's really just the kind of thing most people probably notice from time to time within the family.


FME: How do you describe the lovemaking now?

BLB: I never felt like I ever made love to anybody before we connected with each other in that way. It doesn't feel taboo one bit, it doesn't feel wrong one bit. Making love with her is the most intense feeling I've ever felt. It's also the warmest, most beautiful feeling I've ever felt. It not only feels good, it makes me feel good about myself. It's love in its purest form.


FME: Describe your relationship now.

BLB: Our relationship is just that, a relationship. We are one hundred percent committed to each other. Since I first lay my eyes on hers, there was never anybody else in my heart. I couldn't think of anyone else. I couldn't see myself or my life with anyone else. Nothing had ever made more sense. She feels the same way. Our love is the treasure that cannot be stolen.


FME: Does anyone in your life know the full, true nature/history of your relationship and how did they find out? Are you able to act like a couple in public?

BLB: Quite a few people know about us. They had to know, because we told people beforehand that we were half-brother and half-sister. Our grandad on our dad’s side was the first person to encourage me by saying "I can tell you have a thing for each other, it's obvious. If you ever find out she feels the same one day, don’t be shy and don't let nobody tell you it's wrong. If they got a problem, buggar ‘em."

I told my family and they just accepted it. I told three of my closest friends. A joke here and there, but they didn't care. One didn't agree with it from his own beliefs but said so long as I was happy, he'd support me on it.

Her mother didn't agree with it and is dead set against it even. She wouldn't even discuss it or hear out an opinion that wasn't hers; just gave us reasons to feel ashamed.

We don't really act like a couple unless we are behind closed doors. If we’re in a place where nobody knows us, it's great. Nobody realizes a thing and we can act like a couple. Other than that, we had to delete our Facebook accounts as people were getting suspicious and I just really didn't like the idea of being on there as brother and sister only. It felt really heartbreaking knowing we couldn't say we were more, so we prefer to live our lives in private away from that sort of stuff.


FME: Having to hide the full nature of your relationship from some people can be a disadvantage. Can you describe how that has been? Are there any other disadvantages? Conversely, do you think consanguineous relationships have some advantages and some things better than unrelated lovers?

BLB: Having to hide away has just been very exhausting and anxiety producing. We know we haven't done anything wrong to anybody; we haven't harmed anybody either, yet we feel like were criminals on the run just waiting to be caught.  Personally, I couldn't care less what people think about our relationship. If the law didn't have a say in the UK, I would happily walk around with my head held high. At times there's been a lot of heartache and tears, mostly because we realize we hit the ceiling quite a lot with the limits we have. We both have circumstances that prevent us from living together and living each day as a happy couple together, mostly due to peoples’ opinions on our relationship, yet even with all that in mind, it's not something I'd trade for anything in the world and I'll happily fight whatever comes our way, even a jail sentence if I have to, just to be with her, because I couldn't ever be happy being without her.

The main advantage I would say over relationships I've had in the past would be that there is a connection there with my sister, a very strong bond, unbreakable even. I think it's something exclusive to us, something I could never feel for anyone else, if that makes any sense at all.


FME: What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your relationship, or disapprove of anyone having this kind of relationship?

I would say the same thing I've always said, even before being in a relationship or ever meeting my half-sister: take away the Bible's teachings on the subject, take away the fact that it's against the law in some countries, and what do you have? To me, I see two people who want to be together and should have the right to be together. I think anybody should be able to be with anybody so long as it's consensual and both are at the age of consent. It's not for me to tell you or anyone else to tell you, and it's sure as hell isn't the law's place to tell you who you can and cannot be in love with. If it feels right in your heart, if it's absolute, don't fight it, fight the people against it and be together.


FME: What is your advice to others who are having feelings for a genetic relative? What advice do you have for people who think their friends or family may be in a relationship like this?
If the genetic relative feels the same for you, go for it. It's really down to your own morals and your own sense of right or wrong, not everything were told is the absolute truth and be all and end all, sometimes it's just BS and BS, something to suit the lifestyle the government and various religions plan out for us. Live your own life, decide with your own mind and your own heart which is the right way for you to go. You’re lucky if you get a hundred years to live on this planet, so better make the most of them years with the person you love. Stay true to yourself and if it lands you in hell... well you have no regrets at least.

If it's your family member going through this, don't be judgmental. Really put yourself in their shoes, think about it with an open mind. Take away the fact they have the same blood and see what they see. Then make your decision on how to advise them on how to act.


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

BLB: Nothing at all. The law is ridiculous.


FME: If you could get married and it would be legally recognized and would be treated equally under the law and protected from discrimination, would you?

BLB: I've never been married but, if it was an option and everything was A-okay, I'd love nothing more than to see my sister in a white wedding dress smiling back at me.


FME: Have you met in-person or do you know anyone else who has experience with GSA or consanguinamory or consanguineous sex?

BLB: I had a friend I went to school with. He was in a long-term relationship. I was friends with him all the way through college. He found out his girlfriend of eight years was actually his full-blood sister. She was a year younger than him and at the time his parents gave her up through being too young to have two children. She was adopted and knew nothing about her birth parents or him. When she looked into it, that's what they found out. Everyone on both sides was against it, wouldn't hear a thing about it. To please people they broke up but lived a good few months in nothing but the worst possible agony I could imagine. It really made me realize why they were so close, even without ever knowing of their connection to each other. He used to tell me it felt like an invisible rope pulling him towards her. Eventually they both caved in and couldn't bear to be without each other ever again. For most it was weird. For me, it was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen. It actually made me tear up. They live abroad now and because they have different last names, they managed to get married; credit to them.


FME: Any plans for the future?

BLB: One day I hope to marry my half-sister, or at the very least, live with her and live a happy care free life where it isn't illegal to love and be with each other. I feel torn in half when she isn't in my arms. It's a dream at this point in time but hopefully one day it'll be a reality.


FME: Anything else to add?

BLB: My personal words of encouragement for anyone going through this. It isn't wrong.  Don't believe anybody or any law that tells you that it is. Once you start to take peoples’ word at face value, they eat away at your soul. Stay loyal and true to the person you love. Cherish this person and always stand by them. Like or lump it, don't let the world have their way.



*****

There you have it. Consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone, who have a beautiful love, but are denied their rights. [UPDATE: Read her perspective in this interview.]

Why should they be denied their rights? There’s no good reason.We need to recognize that all adults should be free to be with any and all consenting adults as they mutually consent, and part of doing that is adopting relationship rights for all, including full marriage equality sooner rather than later. 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.

Thank you to "Billy Lee Black" for doing this interview! If you want to be interviewed about your "forbidden" relationship, connect with me by checking under the "Get Connected" tab there at the top of the page.

[UPDATE from December 30, 2015: Scroll down in this entry to get more information about this relationship.]
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1 comment:

  1. This made me think a bit. While thinking of any of my relatives in a sexual way disgusts me absolutely, it doesn't apply to anyone else. If I saw a happy couple that are biological siblings my only thought would be 'good for them', and it always would have been from the moment I could comprehend what relationships are. I never understood why a majority of people object at seeing OTHERS live their life in a way they want.

    Oh, and best of luck to ya Billy!

    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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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.