Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Slowly Simmered Love

If my recollection is correct, this is the 49th 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 interviewed below, "Andy," is thoughtful, articulate, and clearly able to consent to this relationship. She and her lover should be free to decide whether or not to legally marry. Yet they could be criminally prosecuted and face other forms of discrimination if the wrong people found out about their relationship. They are consenting adults (and a very cute couple, too) who aren't hurting anyone; why should they be denied their rights?

Read the interview below and see for yourself what he has to say. You may think this relationship is interesting, or it might make you uncomfortable, or you might find it incredibly sexy, but whatever your reaction, should these lovers be denied equal access to marriage or any other rights?


FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe yourself.

Andy: I grew up in Michigan near lots of rivers and lakes, which has been a lot of fun for me because most of my hobbies involve being outside. I like camping, hiking, spinning fire poi, swimming, and reading.

My childhood was pretty typical. I had a Mom and Dad, two younger sisters, and a younger full brother.

"Ryan", my older half-brother, lived with his mother. My Dad had signed over his rights to him. Ryan's mother's husband at the time adopted him and he moved to another state when I was still very young.  

I was a nerd in school because I wore rock t-shirts and ripped-up jeans. I kind of got picked on for it until the punk rock revival we had and I started playing in bands as a bass player.

I am in between jobs right now due to a bad allergic reaction I had. I've operating heavy machinery for five years now. I'm kind of a tomboy.

FME: What is your sexual orientation and relationship orientation?

Andy: I'd say that I am straight, although I have kissed a few girls. I enjoyed it, too, but I prefer men and monogamy. I'm not too keen on the idea if sharing. I think polyamory is great but I don't know how they do it. I'm not wired that way. I couldn't share my significant other.

FME: Are you married of have you ever been married?

Andy: I've been divorced for three years. Ryan and I are currently in a relationship and hoping to get married in the fall. Since our father is not on either one of our birth certificates we may have found our loophole for that.

FME: You are in a romantic, sexual relationship with your genetic half brother, Ryan?

Andy: Ryan and I are in a very romantic and fulfilling sexual relationship.

FME: What are your ages?

Andy: He is 35 and I am just shy of 30.

FME: How did you get together?

Andy: We did not meet for the first time, really, until about 15 years ago. He's seen me as a baby, but I have no memory of that, of course. I found his grandfather's address and sent his grandfather a letter and another to give to Ryan.  His mother made it really hard to get a hold of him, but eventually he got one of my letters and he was able to arrange a visit here.

I was excited about meeting my brother. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to fall so in love with him at first sight. I didn't say anything about it, fearing he would be offended or grossed out.

After a week, he went home. I didn't find out until years later he had felt the exact same way I did.

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

Andy: We kept in contact through Facebook over the years, talking randomly, but never about the real feelings we had for each other. There were some very subtle hints, but we thought it was something we were just misreading or what not.

One night last October we were talking about past relationships and how they were horrible; talking about all the things we had in common. He asked me why there couldn't be any cool girls like me where he was and something in me just snapped and I figured, "What the Hell?" and went for it. It wasn't like we ever saw each other in person. I wanted to finally know if it was just me who wanted this once and for all, so I typed "We could you know..." leaving it wide open.

He bit. A month later I was picking him up at the bus station and sharing our first kiss in the terminal.  We've been together every day ever since. I had even gotten him a job working with me before I had to quit.

FME: Who do you live with?

Andy: Right now, I'm living with my mother who is one of the few people who supports my relationship with Ryan. My elderly uncle is here, and I help take care of him. Ryan stays here with us, too.

FME: Have you ever had any feelings like this for any other relatives? Had you heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction?

Andy: I have never had any feelings like this for any other family member. One time, at a gay pride event in New Orleans, I made out with my sister to upset a bunch of religious gay-bashing bigots, but that doesn't count. It was more if a statement then anything; I'm not sexually attracted to her at all.

I think my feelings for Ryan might have been made possible because we didn't grow up together. I have heard the term Genetic Sexual Attraction before, and that might be it. I don't know.  The way I feel about him I think it's possible we might have ended up together any way.  When I asked Ryan about it he said he'd like to think so.

FME: How would you described the sex? It is natural? Taboo? Kinky?

Andy: I wouldn't describe our sexual relationship as kinky whatsoever. It's passionate and very loving. Neither one of us have ever been kinky. In fact, I have been called vanilla in the sack. I took that as a polite way to say I was boring. I like to think of it as traditional.

It is the best sexual relationship I have ever been in. I feel loved, respected and appreciated, where in other relationships I felt used. I want to spend the rest of my life with only him. I know he feels the same way.  There was a short time I thought a little about the taboo aspect of it and it bothered me a little but that was only because after confiding with my sister she told my Dad, he freaked out and disowned me.

I got over it quickly and just didn't care what anyone thought about it anymore. I can't help who I love and nor do I wish too. Ryan is so good to me and we make each other very happy. My dad has since gotten over it for the most part and has since apologized for how poorly he reacted and treated us.

FME: Who else knows the truth about the relationship?

Andy: There were only a couple people we told initially, people we knew would accept us. I have a bisexual swinger friend, and she the first person we told. Also, a friend from work and his daughter who is also bi were people we told and were extremely supportive.  My mother guessed it right away and told us she wasn't surprised because when he came to visit years ago she could see the chemistry even though we couldn't, really. The rest of the family knows because my dad told everyone. No one really talks about it and just ignores us, which is just fine with me. We never really talked to the rest of the family much any way.

FME: Are you able to like a couple in public?  What kind of steps have you had to take to protect your privacy?

Andy: We act like a normal couple in public. We are beyond the point of caring what others think anymore. My home town is small and by now I'm sure most people I know have an idea of what's going on, but they don't say anything.  We don't really go out very often anyway; neither one of us prefers going to the bars around here, but would rather stay home to play around in our yard. Sitting around by our pool and building bonfires is way more fun and keeps us out of trouble.

When we were working, everyone knew us as a couple but since we worked out of town there was no real risk of anyone finding out about us and giving us trouble. Hiding it has never really been an issue with us; we knew that would be something we would have to do until we felt ready to explain it. We love each other so it's worth it.  We haven't made it completely public, like on Facebook, yet. We want to, but are still a little leery of rubbing it in people's faces, so to speak. They will eventually find out when I post wedding pictures, if they hadn't found out by then.

FME: How would you describe your relationship overall? Are you siblings, or lovers, or are those roles inseparable?

Andy: Ryan and I have been in a physical relationship since early last November. He is my best friend and lover. I have never really felt a sibling like connection there, but like I said, there was never any time to establish that type of relationship while growing up so far away from each other. It feels very normal and right.

FME: Aside from hiding from some people, is there any disadvantage to a relationship like this? How about advantages?

Andy: Our relationship, I feel, is just like anyone else's.  I don't see it having any advantages or disadvantages, really. We both treat it like a regular thing. We do have a lot of similar interests, but that happens with any couple. I guess the adverse reactions can be kind of hard to deal with, sometimes, especially when it's from someone you care about but life is too short for "what ifs" and I wasn't going to let someone's ideas of morals keep me from being happy.

FME: What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your relationship, or that one of you is preying on the other?

Andy: No one is perfect. Who are they to judge me?

I think it's funny that someone would think one of us would be preying on the other. We are both well into adulthood, and had a lot of time to think about this before either one of us acted upon it. 15 years is a long time to contemplate something as big as this.

Anyone who disapproves of my relationship can just keep to themselves. Their opinion could never change how we feel about each other. We aren't hurting anyone. This is my life, and I'm not going to waste my time trying to pick them apart. I'm sure if I tried hard enough, there would be plenty if things I didn't like about their lifestyle. I see a lot if people knocking others for doing what makes them happy. Maybe they should do more of what makes them happy?  If you don't like it, ignore it.

FME: If you could get legally married, and that included protections from discrimination, would you?

Andy: We will get married somehow. Legal or not. We plan on it being in the fall and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it. We are very much in love. I can't imagine life without him.

FME: Are you planning to have children together?

Andy: We don't have children and don't plan in having any, but if we did I think they would turn out just fine. I would not be worried about any birth defects. However, in the unlikely event we had children with birth defects, we would deal with it like any loving parents would and have. That type of thing happens to people not in consanguineous relationships, too.

FME: What advice do you have for someone who is experiencing feelings for a family member or close relative?

Andy: My advice to anyone experiencing these feelings is to follow your heart.  I don't think it's something to be taken lightly but that's the same with every relationship.  I do think some people might experience these types of feelings for different reasons, but they are your own. The decision to pursue any type of relationship is very personal.  You can't help who you love and you shouldn't have too. Never pass up an opportunity to be happy.  Being loved unconditionally is an amazing gift that everyone deserves. Don't let anyone stop you from enjoying that experience.

FME: Any plans for the future, in addition to marrying?

Andy: Our plans for the future are pretty exciting. My mother, Ryan, and I are planning on starting a business that centers around herbal healing as well as a library that's oriented around spiritual healing and the metaphysical. It was a dream my mother had with her fiance, who just recently died of cancer. We are planning a yearly benefits in his honor to fund the project and already have tons of people on board.


If Andy's interview has touched you in a positive way, or you or someone you know is going through something like she has, you can write her at:
inthislifetimemylove at gmail dot com

There you have it. They are 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, 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.
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.

If you think you or someone you know might be experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA), please read this.

If you know someone who is in a relationship like this, please read this.

Thank you to "Andy" for doing this interview! We wish you and "Ryan" well in your consanguinamorous relationship.
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