Monday, February 26, 2018

Solidarity is Needed to Advance Rights

While solidarity is needed for general relationship rights and full marriage equality, for this moment let's focus on the rights of consanguinamorous people to have their relationships and not be denied their freedom to marry. In many places, consanguinamorous people can be thrown in prison simply for having their relationships. Allies are essential to the cause of liberating the consanguinamorous.

In addition, though, there needs to be solidarity within the community.

What do I mean by that?

In my experience, when a consanguinamorous person seeks to connect with the community and be active within the community, and to work with journalists to raise awareness, it is more likely that they are someone who has experienced reunion GSA, rather than being someone who grew up with their partner(s).

If I had to guess why this is so, I think there are several factors at work. People who grew up with their partners, especially if their physical affection escalated gradually, usually "knew what they were getting into" and many have accepted that the discrimination, prejudices, taboos, and even criminalization were to be expected. Some have even embraced that, feeling like they are rebels or kinky. They take a certain thrill in being "naughty." Grew-up-with consanguinamorists might seek the community and advocacy if their initiation into consanguinamory comes well into adulthood as a sudden, and surprising, event, as that can be similar to reunion GSA situations in some ways. Another exception to this general situation is people who recognize they are consanguinamorous as an orientation.

In reunion GSA situations, in which the individuals didn't grow up together or weren't raised by one another, what is usually a sudden and overwhelming attraction usually takes them by complete surprise and the cruelty of prejudiced stigmas and discriminatory laws slaps them in the face with full force. I've found someone I love like nobody I've ever known before, we're passionate for each other and we belong together, why can't we be together like anybody else? Why can't we marry? That's what they're hit with. Until recently, they haven't socialized at all as family members. They almost never had time to contemplate growing feelings and affection and the discrimination against it, like the grew-up-with lovers usually did.

With the grew-up-with lovers, everyone around them has always known them in their familial roles. With the reunion lovers, the people around them might not even know they're related.

Most consanguinamorous people are outed, at least not beyond a few close family and friends. Some reunion GSA people can do little to avoid being outed.

I have been contacted by far more consanguinamorous people than ever join Kindred Spirits or some other gathering place for the community, but it seems like they're more likely to get involved in those places if their initiation into consanguinamory came as a later event in their life, especially if by a reunion.

In order to advance rights and equality, internal solidarity needs to increase. There are at least three things that could do that:

1) Reunion GSA consanguinamorists need to be willing to welcome and network with grew-up-with consanguinamorists, even if the people in the reunion relationships can't understand how someone could be in love with, or attracted to, or sexual with, someone with whom they grew up.

2) Those who grew up their partner(s) need to reach out and support the cause of equal rights, even if they prefer being closeted and do not want to marry. The same goes for people in reunion relationships who are "OK" with remaining closeted. Even if someone doesn't want something for themselves, we need to work together to ensure everyone has their rights.

3) Reunion relationships or not, consanguinamorists need to support and welcome each other regardless of whether the relationship is "lateral" (siblings, first cousins) or "vertical" (such as parents with their adult sons or daughters); hetero, gay, bi, polysexual, or pansexual; or asexual, monogamous, or ethically nonmonogamous.

All that should matter is that everyone involved is a consenting adult. There is no good reason consenting adults should be denied their basic rights.

You don't have to out yourself to network with and support others, nor to advocate equal rights or generally help the cause. Everyone is welcome at Kindred Spirits, for example, and you are encouraged to use a screen or user name. People who are steprelations (stepsiblings, for example) are welcome. Allies are welcome, too!

If you're thinking about connecting but are still hesitant, go ahead and reach out to me, Keith, via email at fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com, or via Wire at fullmarriageequality.
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  1. I would add: Kindred Spirits is most definitely not a fap site. I went in after lurking for over a year, and I’m glad I did. If you’re in a relationship, an ally, or just genuinely interested, you’ll be welcomed and supported there.

  2. dictionary companies need to redefine the word incest.


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