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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Building a Family, But Denied the Right to Marry

If my recollection is correct, this is the 41st ongoing relationship I've covered through exclusive interviews in which the lovers are denied the freedom to be open about their love and are, by law, denied the freedom to marry and have that marriage treated equally under the law.


The woman in interview below, "Devi," is a adult, someone you might live next to see every day, in a consensual relationship. They are an attractive couple that look very happy together. Yet they face discrimination and prejudice for their love, and must hide the truth. They aren't hurting anyone; why should they have to hide and be denied their rights?


Read the interview below and see for yourself what this woman has to say. You may think their relationship is interesting, or it might make you uncomfortable, but either way, should they be denied equal access to marriage or any other rights?



*****

FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe yourself.

Devi: I live in Kentucky. I have an Associate’s degree as a paralegal and am currently working on a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. I’m 5’4”, dark hair, blue-green eyes, petite. I have a half-sister from my mom, and two half-sisters and a half-brother from my dad. They are all older than me. I am 24.


FME: You currently live with...?

I currently live with my half-brother/husband, as I have for the last five years and our son. He knows we are Mommy and Daddy. He will be four in June. My oldest son lives with us through the week and goes to his dad’s on the weekends. In 2013, the court granted us joint custody of three of my husband's grandchildren and, later, a baby. They all know that we are in a relationship and have never asked any questions. They are happy, doing well in school, and are overall well-adjusted.


FME: To be clear, you are in a sexual and romantic relationship with your genetic half brother, correct?

Yes. Our relationship has been both romantic and sexual since April 2010. He is older than me by 28 years. Our dad got started early and quit late. [laughs]




FME: Are you married or have you ever been legally and/or ceremonially married?

I am not married and never have been, although I would love to get married. I want nothing more than to marry the man I love. I never thought I could love or be loved as much as I have the in last five years. I’m sure there are many more years to come.


FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation and your relationship orientation... are you heterosexual, bisexual, what? Are you a monogamist, polyamorist, or....?

We are both heterosexual and monogamous.


FME: What kind of relationship, if any, did you have while you were growing up? What was family life like? What was your childhood like?

My mother never liked my dad’s other children, so I never really knew them. She disliked my brother the most and frequently spoke badly of him to me whenever I would ask about him. I saw him only twice that I remember growing up. Once when I was around three or four, and again when I was around eleven or twelve. Both were very brief meetings. I only remember the image of him from our first meeting, and the second time I saw him was because he brought my sister a television after her house had been broken into. Neither encounter lasted more than fifteen minutes due to my mother. Other than that, my childhood was pretty normal until my dad died when I was fifteen and my mom kicked me out a year later. She went kind of crazy for a while but I don’t hold that against her.


FME: Tell us about your son you have together.

We have one son together, unplanned but not unwanted, and he is perfectly healthy and very smart. His only real health problems have been colds and a couple of ear infections over the years, like any other child. When we found out I was pregnant, we made up a story that I had been with someone that moved out of state. Some people still believe that. We want a little girl and had planned on trying, but then we had to take custody of the other kids and it’s not affordable anymore. If the other kids ever get to go back to their mom, then we are definitely going to try. We have discussed going on and trying now anyway. We just haven’t decided for sure so I am keeping my IUD for now.


FME: How did sexual affection become a part of your relationship?

When I was 19 my sister asked if I wanted to go see him. I was so excited to finally be able to spend time with my brother. But when we pulled up and I saw him standing outside I immediately thought, “He is so hot. I want to be with him. Too bad he’s my brother.” When I stepped out of the car though, our eyes met and I was certain by the look in his eyes that he was feeling the same thing I was feeling. So I had some idea that it could turn sexual, and I certainly hoped it would, but I couldn’t be 100% sure.

We started talking and texting every day. He would come pick me up and we would go out to lunch or to a local lake park and hang out by the water. It was wonderful. I made the remark once or twice to friends that I felt like I was dating my brother. I even stayed the night a couple of times. We shared the same bed and that gave me hope for a future together. We would cuddle in bed and months later he even told me, “I knew that first time that you spent the night and you laid your head on my chest and put your arm across me the way a woman does a man that I was in trouble.”

After about three weeks of texts that others would have sworn were between long lost lovers, a couple of sleepovers, and seeing each other nearly every day, the talk came. He sent me a text that saying that he loved me and I said I love him too. He said "No, I think I love you more than I should."

I just replied, “I know. I think I love you more than I should too.”

That was a Tuesday. We agreed that he would pick me up that Saturday and take me to a fireworks show, and we would see what happened then. We cuddled together, held hands, and watched the fireworks. When we got to the car we just leaned in at the same time and kissed each other. We had a pretty heavy make out session and then he took me home. I called him before he even left my neighborhood and told him to come back and get me. I missed him terribly already. He picked me up, I went home with him, and we made love for the first, second, third, and fourth time that night. It was the most intense, passionate, mind-blowing sex I have ever had. I moved in with him two weeks later and we have been together ever since. The sex is as great as it was that first night.


FME: Can you describe your feelings during that event?

I was nervous, but in a good way, and I was super excited. I have never been more happy or satisfied in my life. I was full of butterflies, and I still get butterflies when it comes to anything having to do with him.



FME: Before this had you ever thought this would be possible or enjoyable; did you have any opinion one way or the other about close relatives or family members being together or Genetic Sexual Attraction? Do you, or have you had feelings like this for any other close family members whether they are genetic relatives or not?

I knew that this was possible, and I thought that I would enjoy it. I did not know that it would happen with my half-brother, and I had no idea it would be as enjoyable as it actually is. Prior to this, I had never been sexually attracted to any of my family, but one of my cousins asked me out once when I was eleven. When I was 17, two of my first cousins started dating and I saw no issue with it. They were happy, and that was what mattered. They now have two healthy children together and have been living as husband and wife for at least seven years.


FME: How do you describe the sex now? Taboo? Natural? Especially erotic? Kinky?


What we do together is not simply sex; it is lovemaking in the truest, purest form. It is natural, intense, and amazing. There is nothing kinky about it. It feels a little taboo, but only when I sit and think, “I have sex with my brother”. We are husband and wife in every way but by law, and everyone knows us as husband and wife except the government. The bond we feel between us in those intimate moments is like nothing neither of us have ever experienced with anyone else. It is truly a connection of souls. It sounds cliché, but two really do become one and we lose ourselves in each other. Nothing in the world matters or exists when we are together.


FME: Describe your relationship now. Is it a closed relationship? Do you see each other as family or lovers, or are those two roles inseparable at this point?


We have been together five years now and the relationship has been a closed relationship the entire time. We have no desire to be with anyone else. I have told everyone I have met in the last five years that I am married. We don’t see each other much as family. Every once in a while I realize again that he is my brother, but we are mainly just lovers. Lovers first and family second, I suppose.


FME: Does anyone in your life know the full, true nature/history of your relationship and how did they find out? How have they reacted? Are you able to act like a couple in public... does anyone know you as a couple but not as family? What kind of steps, if any, have you had to take to keep your privacy?

The only people that know we are related are family. Our dad’s family is perfectly OK with it and even supportive. They were even excited to see our son when they met him. My sister knows and is also very supportive. Even my oldest son’s father knows and he is fine with it. He has become a good friend and I talk to him when I need someone different to listen. I recently told my mom and she has nothing but bad things to say to me so we are not speaking at this point. She is trying to make me choose, but she doesn’t seem to realize that if she does, she is going to lose every time. I refuse to give up my life, happiness, family, and the greatest love I have ever known just to please someone else. Of course in the beginning we didn’t tell anyone, but gradually it traveled through the family. We told or confirmed it to everyone ourselves, and have been mostly welcomed. We are very blessed and we do not take this for granted. We act like a couple everywhere we go because anyone that matters now knows. Everyone else just assumes we are a normal couple.


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?

It was very hard and disheartening. Another disadvantage has been having to spend some time apart on holidays. The hardest disadvantage to deal with though is that we couldn’t put his name on our son’s birth certificate. We both hate it and it breaks both of our hearts when we think about it.


FME: Conversely, do you think consanguineous relationships have some advantages and some things better than unrelated lovers?

I think there is a whole other level of love in consanguineous relationships and that makes the relationship stronger. The love is unconditional. You really are with your best friend. There is unwavering support. Most of the fears that people have in “normal” relationships don’t exist. It’s honestly indescribable.


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?

I say it is none of their business. It is not a part of their life, so why let it affect their lives and their thoughts? Why should I be denied happiness just because you don’t like it? I’m not polyamorous but I will never tell someone who is that it is wrong and they shouldn’t live like their life in a way that makes them happy.

Maybe they should try to just not love the person they are with and see how that works out for them. No one is preying on anyone in this relationship. I wanted him as soon as I saw him, and he felt the same way. How could the consent be invalid if we both mentally consented before we even knew the other felt the same way?


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

No, nothing. Especially when it is GSA. It is not our faults that we never got to build that familial bond with one another, and it is not our faults that we still don’t feel that bond. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support non-GSA consanguineous couples as well, but I think the laws are exceptionally ridiculous to criminalize GSA consanguineous couples because of all of the broken homes, unplanned pregnancies, and egg and sperm donations we have today.


FME: Clearly, you'd get legally married if you could.


In a heartbeat, without any hesitation. He is the love of my life and I couldn’t have built a better husband for me or father for our son. We even went so far as to pay for a DNA test in hopes that it would say we are not genetically related so that we could get legally married. We still talk about marriage though and will likely have some type of ceremony of our own.


FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be experiencing these feelings for a relative or family member?

You will never know if your feelings are reciprocated unless you take the risk. Really think about it before you act though, and act subtly, if possible. Don’t be afraid to talk if you think they are trying to send you hints or signals. It can be harder not to talk about it. If you do talk or act boldly, do not push it if you are rejected. If they need space then give it to them. Whatever is meant to happen will happen.


FME: What advice do you have for family members and friends who think or know that relatives they know are having these feelings for each other?

DO NOT corner them. DO NOT tell them they are wrong, shame them, or otherwise try to convince them out of it. You will either hurt them possibly beyond repair or push them even closer to each other and farther from you. Try to understand. Do your research. Practice the golden rule, and if you do not have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Silence is a perfectly acceptable response and far better than negativity.


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

Only the first cousins that I mentioned before. I probably know more people like us, they just haven’t revealed it.


FME: Any plans for the future?

Just to stay together, in love, and happy. Raise our children, continue to build our life together, and maybe try for that little girl.


FME: Anything else to add?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are wrong or sick for loving another adult. Don’t sacrifice your happiness just because it bothers someone else. Be yourself. Be happy. Love who you want to love and who wants to love you. Consanguineous love is beautiful, deep, unconditional, and true. There is nothing in the world like it. If you want it and you have it, embrace it and never let it go.




*****

There you have it. Consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone and yet face discrimination and denial of their rights simply for loving each other. They are happy and in love, even supported by some of the people in their lives, and yet they are denied their fundamental right to marry.

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 Devi 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.
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3 comments:

  1. This is lovely.
    One thing I can never understand is why people want their relationship so badly on official documents though. I understand marriage due to the benefits the state gives, but a piece of paper like a birth certificate sounds inconsequential. If you can walk out holding hands together (in this case due to the obliviousness of everyone around you), why care? Your kid can obviously tell who his dad is, and most people will just assume.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is my interview. It is important because my mother is spiteful and doesn't approve. If something should happen to me she could fight him for custody of our son because there is no legal proof that he is the father of our son. My mom would do something like that. Other than legal matters though, I do know we are very lucky to be able to be so open.

    -Deborah-

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I guess it is not an opportunity, but you and your family would be very welcome to my country. Although our laws unfortunately doesn’t give this right to other siblings, as half-sibs grown up apart you could by permission from the County Board get married in Sweden (all half-siblings are allowed to have sex). Hopefully laws (in the US, here and everywhere) will be improved in the future.

    /Jakob

    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.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

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.