Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A Change of Heart Into Becoming An Ally

It happens a lot.

Someone grows as they go through life and they realize they now have more understanding and more compassion when it comes to who other people are and who those people love.

An example was expressed in this comment:

I'm a friend who reacted badly because I liked the guy and found out about him and his niece. That was ages ago. I understand now but I don't know how to repair that friendship. Any thoughts?

I'm assuming you're not talking about the specific people in that interview. I don't know you, and I don't know the guy, so I can only give generalized advice. Feel free to contact me directly for further consultation.

I'd go see the guy in-person, if possible. Ask him when and where you can meet him "because I owe you an apology." You two should either meet alone or with his niece; nobody else should be along. For everyone's comfort, it should be somewhere "public" but where you can get out of earshot of other people. 

Get to it as soon as you can. Say something along the lines of: "I owe you an apology for how I reacted. I did some thinking, and I realized that you both have the right to choose who you're with. If you can forgive me and accept my apology, I'm here for you." 

That is vague enough that if someone is somehow listening in, there's nothing that incriminates them.

It's best if you allow him/them to react. They might need some time. Their reaction might not be what you hope it will be. On the other hand, it might turn out great for all three of you. Please understand they've probably had to hide their relationship, deal with bigotry and discrimination, and lost other friends and family over this, so it can be very difficult for some people to talk about it.

Don't make promises you're not going to keep, like telling them they can talk to you about their relationship or act like an affectionate couple around you if you can't handle that.

Do tell them you won't out them to anyone, and be sure you don't.

If it isn't possible to see him/them in person, then do it by phone call or video chat; some way that will feel sincere and they can hear your tone. But again, while making it clear you are apologizing and you are now supportive, be vague enough with your choice of words so that if someone is overhearing it you are not incriminating them or getting them to incriminate themselves.

Please let us know how it goes.

You might want to to read this:

How to Be An Ally to Consaguinamorous People You Know

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Coping With Being Outed as Consanguinamorous

If you are consanguinamorous or have experience with consanguinamory, hopefully, you'll never be outed against your will. It's a cruel thing to out someone unless they're hypocritically using their power to persecute other consanguinamorous people. Fortunately, most people in consanguinamorous relationships are never outed to anyone hostile, at least not anyone with any power over them. Still, it happens to a few people.

In some places, consanguinamory is still criminalized. There are not yet any protections against discrimination (such as in employment or housing), and some people have an irrational hatred against consanguinamorists, to the point of being violent and even murderous against consangs.

So being outed against your will can be a very big deal.

It's best not to be outed against your consent in the first place, so see here and here and here, and discuss with your consanguinamory partner(s) what you'd do if you were outed. In some situations, you might want to Press the Red Button.

One of the significant problems with ignorance around consanguinamory is the false "guilt by association" in which loving relationships are equated with assault and child abuse. It is so irrational that if, for example, two middle-aged siblings are together, some bigots will accuse of them of abusing children. It is senseless, but it happens.

The bottom line in some cases, you might need to:

Deny/remain silent.

Remove your online/social media presence (other than burner accounts) or set everything to private. Don't allow tagging, location info, and block as much as needed.

Change your name.

Relocate to where people don't know you; let as few people know where you've gone as possible.

Let's consider what might happen.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Polyamorous) Love #11

“It will be a legal/paperwork nightmare as our system is set up for couples.” That’s what the bigots said about same-gender marriage and the Americans With Disabilities Act and just about any civil rights laws. Of course it is easier for those who already have what they want to keep things as they are. But what about all of the people who are denied their rights?

Adopting the polygamous freedom to marry under full marriage equality will take much less adjustment than adopting the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Violence Against Women Act and many other laws necessary to for equal protection and civil rights. Contract and business law already provides adaptable examples of how law can accommodate configurations involving three or more people, including when someone joins an existing relationship or leaves a relationship.

There is no good reason to deny an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, the right to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (and any of those without the others) with any and all consenting adults without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

Feel free to share, copy and paste, and otherwise distribute. This has been adapted from this page at Full Marriage Equality:

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Polyamorous) Love #10 

Go to NOT a Good Reason to Deny (Polyamorous) Love #12

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Polyamory Day is November 23

November 23 is Polyamory Day!

I am polyamorous, but even if I wasn’t, we should all support the rights of all, including the rights of polyamorous people.

Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one loving intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

The image reads: November 23 is Polyamory Day. Celebrate!

Feel free to share this image anywhere that’s appropriate as long as you’re doing so in support of polyamory and polyamorous people. 

Let consenting adults love each other how they mutually agree!

There is much diversity in polyamory. The uniting factors to polyamory include that it is ongoing nonmonogamy and not cheating.

It has been great to see awareness and acceptance of polyamory grow in recent years. Let's continue to make progress!

As always, comments are welcome below. Are you celebrating? If so, how?
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Monday, November 21, 2022

Planning For the Holidays

The year-end holidays are coming up. In the US, that is kicked off with Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. This year that the 24th. That has traditionally meant seeing family, such as parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.

If you might be getting together with family for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Winder Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve/Day, or any other holiday coming up, you might be facing specific decisions and considerations, especially if you're in an interracial relationship or an age gap relationship, or are LGBTQ+, nonmonogamous, consanguinamorous, or are exploring/living out kinks and certain dynamics:
  • Avoiding hostile people
  • Keeping closeted
  • Coming out
  • Making a move
You are under no obligation to spend holidays with people who are hostile to you because of your gender, orientation, relationships, or kinks, even if they are related to you. Repeat that to yourself as needed.

That being said, if there is just one or two hostile people and there will be dozen or more other people, consider if you can go and simply avoid the hostile people. Some families and gatherings allow for that.

What you tell people, how, and when, is up to you. If you're not ready to come out to the people you'd be spending time with, you shouldn't have to. Or, if you think coming out now to one, more, or all of the people who will be there would be best, you'll need to prepare yourself for emotionally for that.

As far as making a move, if there is a person or people likely to be there you want to "get closer to," whether relatives or family friends, plan ahead for the possibilities. Will there be a way to get them alone? Would it be good to get things in motion ahead of time through texts, messages, video chats, calls, etc.? Or do you want to wait until you're face to face to get things in motion or back into motion, as the situation might be.

Plan ahead and make the most of the season. What that means is up to you. For some of you, it will be making plans with friends and "found family" or your partner(s) and their families. Others will make the most of their opportunities by going "home." Plans can change, and that's fine. But do consider what you might want to do.

If you need someone to talk with or to give you feedback about your plans, or you just want to say hello to Keith, you can do so, as always, by emailing fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com or message him on Wire at fullmarriageequality or on Facebook.

You can also comment with your thoughts, plans, or past experiences below.
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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Transgender Day of Remembrance - Sunday November 20

On November 20, especially, we remember transgender people killed by hatred and ignorance. It's the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

For all transgender people reading this:

We value you. You are valid. You deserve to live your life free of prejudice, free of being attacked for who you are.

We are going to help make things better sooner rather than later.

We are with you.
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Thursday, November 17, 2022

How Nonmonogamous People Can Avoid Trouble

Believe it or not, there are still criminal laws in many places criminalizing consensual sex and relationships between adults.

It doesn't matter to them how loving, happy, and lasting the relationships are. It apparently doesn't matter to the people interfering that every dollar or minute they spend trying to stop consenting adults from loving each other is a dollar or minute that could instead go into protecting people, especially children, against predators.

In addition to the persecution and prosecution of consanguinamorous people, polyamorists, polygamists, and other ethical nonmonogamists can face discrimination and even prosecution.

Some awesome people put together a very helpful lists of state laws for polyamorous people in the US or considering moving to the US. First, note the disclaimer that there is an ever-present at the bottom of this blog. I'll mostly repeat it here:
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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Respect For Marriage Act

Like many countries, the US needs a national "Respect For Marriage Act."

Our laws should ensure that an adult is free to marry any and all consenting adults, and have their marriages respected under the law, in courts, by schools, in hospitals, by insurance agencies, and so forth. This should be the case in every state, county, and city.

Ideally, we would adopt a Marriage Equality Amendment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

There is no good reason to deny an adult, who is capable of consent, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other personal characteristic, their rights to consent to relationships, love, sex, kink, residence, or marriage with any and all consenting adults.

Denying the polyamorous right to marry shouldn’t be part of any law. Equality “just for some” isn’t equality.

Let's support full marriage equality.
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Monday, November 14, 2022

Transgender Awareness Week 2022

November 13 through November 19 is celebration to educate about transgender and gender non-conforming people and the issues. It leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20).

To learn more, visit HRC and GLAAD.

We stand with our transgender and gender non-conforming family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and neighbors.

We oppose discrimination against them. We support them having their rights, including their right to marry or to otherwise have the relationships to which they mutually agree.

Oppose bigotry. Support rights.
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Friday, November 11, 2022

Veterans Day

November 11 is the Veterans Day holiday in the US.

I can’t help but think of the people who risked their lives (and those who gave them) and endured so many things in service to their country, who weren’t and haven’t been free to be who they really are and share their lives openly with the person or persons they love.

Recent years have brought progress, and we have to fight to keep what we've gained while still looking for more progress. Problematic laws and policies remain, and, of course, LGBTQ+ people, the nonmonogamous and polyamorous, and consanguinamorous still endure the the threat of prosecution, persecution, or discrimination.

Shouldn’t someone who risked their life for this country be able to marry more than one person, or a biological relative? Or at least share a life with the person(s) they love without a fear that their own government will be against them? Is bravery and valor negated if a man loves more than one woman, or his long lost sister? Shouldn’t a woman who served be free to marry both of the women she loves?

Let’s thank our veterans, some of whom were drafted into service, especially those who are still being treated as second class citizens.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Intersex Day of Solidarity

Today, November 8, and every day, we stand in solidarity with intersex people. 

It’s Intersex Day of Solidarity.

Our bodies, genders, orientations, and relationships are diverse. Every person should be free to be themselves and to share love, sex, and relationships if and as mutually agreed with others. This includes intersex people. 

Intersex people are not broken. We stand against discrimination against, and persecution of, our intersex friends, family, and neighbors.

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Monday, November 7, 2022

Last Minute Reminder for Americans: Vote

In case you needed it, here's your last-minute reminder to vote if you're an American voter.

Please vote, if possible, for candidates who support full marriage equality and general relationship rights for all.

Today, Tuesday, November 8, is IT.

Either go vote in person, if your location allows that, or drop off your completed ballot at your local elections office or designated collection sites.

Make your voice heard!
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Friday, November 4, 2022

Ethical Nonmonogamy is Not Cheating

Cheating is breaking an existing agreement or vow and keeping/intending to keep that breech of the agreement a secret from the person or people with whom it was made rather than informing the other(s) that the agreement is over (which is "leaving").

Ethical nonmonogamy is not cheating. (ENM may also be known as “consensual nonmonogamy” or “disclosed nonmonogamy.”)

For example, Mark and Jenny are swingers. Their agreement is that they will only be with others when they are both present. Anything more than a hug or kiss on the cheek with someone else, or revealing genitals to someone else in a social context, when they are not together, is a no. They attend parties together and have sex with others there; that's not cheating. But while Jenny is out of town on business, Mark picks up a woman at a bar and she gives him oral sex. Under the agreement he has with Jenny, this is cheating. Other swingers have different rules.

Some people have open relationships/marriages and a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, meaning the partners can be with others and won't ask or tell each other about who or what or when, often with certain conditions such as using protection and having STI tests. If you're not communicating with a potential partner's other partner(s), you can't be sure that being with you wouldn't involve your potential new partner cheating. Ultimately, though, at some point you just have to trust what someone tells you because establishing an absolute negative is extremely difficult. How can you be sure they don't have an agreement with some other person out there that would be breached with whatever you're doing? You can't. You can only be sure that you're not cheating on someone.*

Ethical nonmonogamy can take many forms, from lifelong spousal triads and quads (polyamory) to couples swapping to swinging to open marriages to couples engaging in the occasional casual threesome to someone living alone but having casual hookups. Informed consent is the core of all of this. While ENM is not cheating, people who profess or attempt to maintain ENM might cheat, just like monogamists might cheat. If there is a closed triad and someone in the triad has a secret lover on the side contrary to the agreement with the two others in the triad, that's cheating. "Fluid bonding" is a term used in polyamorous circles. Someone might only have unprotected sex with one person, and protected sex with others. Going without protection would be a form of cheating.

One should never assume that someone who is married or at least coupled isn't available, although one can certainly decide they don't want to be with someone who is married or coupled. That's each person's decision to make. Just because someone is married or has a partner doesn't automatically mean they aren't available for romance or sexual affection or some other social activities (meals together, going to the theatre).

While one may decide that kissing someone else is cheating and a deal breaker for their relationship, not all cheating has the same implications and risks.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Don't Like It? You Don't Have to Do It

I get all sorts of comments submitted to this blog, and send to me through other means. Some express prejudice and bigotry. From one of those...

I definitely believe it is disgusting and wrong for a father and daughter to have a sexual relationship. I thought it was illegal in most states no matter if it is consensual or not. I can’t imagine doing that.

Let's consider this statement closely.

I definitely believe it is disgusting and wrong for a father and daughter to have a sexual relationship.

What disgusts you can influence what you do. It should have no control over what anyone else does.

What would make it wrong for two (or more) individuals, who aren't cheating, who are capable of consenting, to consent to sex? Is sex itself wrong? Or do you believe that it is only right to have sex under certain conditions in addition to consent and being free to take on a new partner? What would those conditions be? Regardless, your claim that it is wrong shouldn't have power over the rights of anyone else.

I thought it was illegal in most states no matter if it is consensual or not.

Unconstitutional laws do still remain on the books that criminalize this in 48 states. That means in two states, there is no such law. What is your objection in those two states? Or the many countries with no ridiculous that effect?

I can’t imagine doing that.

Then don't. Nobody is saying you have to.

I can't imagine running a marathon. Does that mean nobody else should be free to do so?

The fact is, human sexuality and relationships are diverse. Not everyone is going to want the same things. And that's OK! There is no good reason to try to deny people the relationships to which they've mutually agreed.

There are women who have been consanguinamorous with their genetic fathers. Some have been together until their father's death, in a loving relationship with no regrets (other than not starting sooner). Why should they be denied their rights just because someone else doesn't like their love? There's no good reason.

We need to support relationship rights for all, and full marriage equality.
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