There are scores of ongoing relationships 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 men interviewed below are consenting adults living life together, with successful careers.They should be free to decide for themselves whether or not to legally marry each other. Yet they face discrimination and prejudice for their love, and could even be criminally prosecuted. They aren't hurting anyone; why should they have to hide their love and be denied their rights?
Read the interview below and see for yourself what these men have to say. You may think this relationship is interesting, or it might make you uncomfortable, or you might find it incredibly erotic, but whatever your reaction, should these lovers be denied equal access to marriage or any other rights?
FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Tell us about yourselves.
Joel: My name is Joel and I live in Texas. My brother and I work together. Elijah and I are identical twins. We both have pale blonde hair that we keep just past our shoulders. Both of are only 5 feet 2 inches tall. We are in our late 20s, although we look much younger than that. In addition to my twin we have one other sibling, a younger brother, although he has a different dad. We never call each other “half-siblings” and personally I hate the term “half-sibling.”
I make enough that I can afford the life I want, and Elijah makes about the same. I don’t have children, I don’t plan on adopting, and I have no desire to have children. In my free time I play board games, and go to nudist resorts. I am gay and polyamorous, and so is my twin, but right now it is only the two of us in this relationship.
Elijah: I am the older of the two of us; it’s not like a few minutes matter. I look so much like him that most people have a hard telling us apart, which we both still find fun. We recently celebrated our 12th anniversary, for which our mother gave us cruise tickets.
FME: Are you married or have you ever been married?
Joel: No I am not married, nor have I ever been. I would love to get married to my brother if it were legal. We have not really thought about have a ceremony, but after visiting your site we might plan one.
Elijah: I think mom and dad would like for us to have one. Personally, I would rather have a nudist ceremony.
FME: You currently live with...?
Joel: Right now, we live with just the two of us in a nice apartment, although our younger brother does visit and spend time here.
FME: What kind of relationship did you have while you were growing up? What was family life like? What was your childhood like?
Joel: This will take a bit to explain, but I am glad to share this with you. I have never slept in a different bed than my twin; we even shared the same crib as babies. Growing up I was very close to both of my brothers. The 3 of us even shared a room until I was 12, then my younger brother got his own room, but Elijah and I still had the same room. I think one thing that made us closer was that we had few friends because we were picked on a lot as kids, and we were both bed-wetters. This made it rare for us to have friends over, although I do remember one friend that was also a bed-wetter and he spent the night a few times. Our youngest brother did have friends over more. Really, growing up, the three of us were very close and we are still close to this day.
Our mother was 14 when she got pregnant with us, and struggled to make money until we were around 8. It’s not that she was totally poor; her parents did help out and they even paid for us to go to a private school. Our mother was always very accepting, she even told us when we had the sex talk that if one or both of us were gay it would be fine. This was back in the late 90’s in Texas, so she was very progressive for the day. She also let all three of us get earrings when we turned 7. Oddly enough, she is very tall, being over six feet.
Our dad is my mother’s foster sibling. Now I know that technically means it is not incest, but most people would call it that. He told me that he had always been close to our mother, and he wishes he could have helped us out more, but he just did not have the money and he was going to college. Once he did, though, he had mom move in and bring the three of us. This was in a small town so he had to be discrete with his relationship. Later, he told us that he and his sister had feelings for each other back in high school. He is great dad and I make sure to call him dad in private.
Elijah: I agree about out mother and father being great and very supporting and even out younger brother never made fun of for being gay; short, yes, but not gay.
FME: How did sexual affection become a part of your relationship?
Joel: We first made out with each other when we were young. I remember we were at a campsite walking in the woods, just the two of us. I made the comment that it’s like we are on a date. I took his hand and I then leaned in and we kissed for the first time. At first we tried to explain it away as it is just experimenting or a phase, but we did keep kissing at night in our bed and even when we took baths together. Not every night, but weekly. It really happened over such a long time that I can’t believe we only got caught when we did.
Elijah: We had a computer in our room. Since we were horny teens, we masturbated together, and I don’t think either of us really hesitated to [engage in manual sex]. But it got more intense when I asked Joel if he wanted to try [giving me oral sex], which was about three years after we’d first kissed. I do know that it happened pretty gradually and we did know that once we started preforming oral we need to make sure to keep it a secret. We both loved each more than siblings, and we moved on to taking each other’s virginity.
FME: Can you describe your feelings during that process?
Joel: We knew that most people would not like us for even being gay, and since we went to a Catholic school we always tried to not let people know about us. When I started to feel attracted to Elijah I didn’t think it was wrong, but knew most people would. I always felt very strong romantic feelings for him and I never once felt like we forced each other. When I told Elijah for the first time that I loved him more than a brother and I wanted to always be with him, I was so nervous because I knew that even though Elijah would say the same, most people would not accept this. Overall, I think I have the healthiest relationship of my social circle.
Elijah: I remember I always felt strange when people told we were too close as kids or that we needed to spend time apart. Our family never said that to us but other people did. I remember when we decided that we were more than brothers, I was so happy. It seemed to happen so gradually over the years from when we first kissed. I think that having a brother for a lover is a great thing and really makes me happy that I have someone so close to be with.
FME: Do you, or have you had feelings like this for any other close family members?
Joel: I did think my younger brother was hot, but I would never pursue this since he is straight. I did once talk to a psychologist once about my incestuous relationship; I went to see him for unrelated reason to my relationship. He told me that it sounds like I just don’t have the Westermarck effect.
Elijah: I do like to view and read incest porn, but I never had relationship or experience with someone else in the family.
FME: How do you describe the lovemaking now? Taboo? Natural? Especially erotic? Is it family-with-benefits, an affair, boyfriends, a marriage, what?
Joel: I don’t feel like it is taboo or kinky when we just make love, but we often engage in kinky activity as well.
Elijah: It feels natural to me. We did once have a boyfriend as a third person in the relationship that had a fetish for incest, and he liked it when we called him brother.
FME: Describe your relationship now. Do you see each other as family or lovers, or are those two roles inseparable at this point?
Joel: We have been together 12 years. We use the date that we first said we want to be more than brothers as an anniversary date. Right now, we have a stable relationship and we have a two-bedroom apartment together. The spare room is a guest room. Really, at this point, the family and lover roles are inseparable.
Elijah: Same here and I do love that I can call Joel my brother and my lover.
FME: So you have had other lovers since your relationship with each other became sexual?
Joel: We have been in a few poly relationships, and we have been in a few sexual parties, but we have never not been together.
FME: Does anyone in your life know the full, true nature of your relationship and how did they find out? How have they reacted?
Joel: Here’s who knows about us: our mother, brother, father, ex-boyfriends, and about six cousins and personal friends. Our father and mother found about us when we were still teens, when she caught us having sex. Our mother was very understanding and just wanted to make sure that it was consensual. Dad also just told us to make sure to keep it secret. That’s when we found out their relationship was fully sexual. They both said that this might be a phase or not, and if we wanted to talk to a professional they knew one who was understanding about this. Mom even gave us money to go out on a date to the movies and said “it’s a little late for this but no kissing on the first date.”
Elijah: I remember that when she first found us I was so panicked that I blurted out “it’s not what it looks like; it’s consensual.” She did tell us that we need still follow the rules for any relationship and made sure that neither of us was forcing the other. After a few years I told that we will stay lovers forever and that it wasn’t a phase, and she just hugged me. Dad handled it the same way, but he told us that if our school found out the authorities might get called. After we had this talk it really improved our relationship both as a couple and with them. When they visit us they always treat us like a fellow couple and even send us anniversary gifts.
FME: Are you able to act like a couple in public? Probably not, given that you are identical twins, right?
Elijah: We look so much alike that we can’t get away with public displays most of the time. When we go out on dates we like to sit in the back of the theater and kiss. Also, we have few friends who are supportive of us and we can be open around them.
Joel: Finding a poly group was great since they are rather supportive about us, and we do make out in the woods when we go camping. Mostly we keep any signs of our relationship private.
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?
Joel: It can get stressful at times, but thanks to our family we did not have to worry that much. After all, we can stay home and be all over each other.
Elijah: It is great to have a brother lover. It makes me feel closer than I have been with any lover in my life.
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?
Joel: I remember one time I asked someone about consensual incest between adults foster siblings. He said that people who would do that should not be allowed to have kids since they are likely to molest them. I simply told him that that’s not true since I was not molested. I did not stick around to see his reaction.
Elijah: I was worried that people might think since we were young, and we looked very young at the time, that one of us had to be forcing the other. After all it is “not natural” for brothers to do this. I was so worried that we would get separated. I’m so glad that mom and dad accepted us.
FME: What have you experienced as far as acceptance or rejection from other LGBT people?
Joel: Overall acceptance, but most of our friends are gay poly people, or furries. I think we are very lucky to have any support.
FME: Aside from the law, which I think is ridiculous, can you think of anything that would make relationships like this inherently wrong?
Joel: Only if one of us was unfit to consent to sex.
FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be experiencing these feelings for a relative or family member?
Joel: Step one it to wait to make sure the feelings last and that it is not just a phase. Step two is to make sure when you tell them they are sober and that you are not coercing them. Remember they may say no and you have to respect that. Most importantly you are not wrong or sick for having these feelings.
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?
Elijah: Let them come out about the relationship when they want to. I would have much preferred that instead of how mom found us.
FME: Have you met in-person or do you know anyone else who has experience with consanguinamory or consanguineous sex?
Joel: We have a met a brother sister couple in real life. They moved away shortly after we met them, but they were happy together.
Elijah: I remember that some of our cousins got in trouble when they got caught making out. But that might have been experimentation and not a relationship like ours. I think the lack of the Westermarck effect might run in the family.
FME: Any plans for the future?
Joel: Find another person to add to our relationship since we do want a poly relationship.
Elijah: Go on the cruise for which we have tickets.
There you have it. These men 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. They could be still be criminally prosecuted in most US states.
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.
[UPDATE: Here is an interview done with their supportive mother and brother.]
[UPDATE: Here is an interview with their mother about her relationship with her (adopted) brother.]
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 know someone who is in a relationship like this, please read this.
Thank you to Joel and Elijah for doing this interview! We wish you well in your relationship with each other and your polyamory.