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Friday, January 23, 2015

They Served in the Military But Aren't Even Free to Marry

From Full Marriage Equality:
I was born and raised on the west coast, and I moved in between living with my mother and my grandparents many times as a child. In the end I wound up with my mother, stepfather and was not an unhappy time, but my mother and stepfather had a very turbulent relationship and were very hard on me. After I graduated high school I was happy to go into the military and get out of the stressful situation, and got married at 19. I discharged from the military and moved to the Midwest with my husband to be closer to his family, and worked as a CNA/MA until recently. I was in the middle of getting this divorce when I moved in with [my father], which was the best decision I’ve ever made.

[...] I’m 22 this year and I have planned to attend art school. As for my hobbies I like to read and play World of Warcraft, as well as browse the internet (if you can consider that a hobby). I have to say, I’ve never been happier in a relationship than I’ve been with [my dad]. He’s the best man for me.

[...] I’ve always identified as bisexual, and I’ve been in relationships in the past with both men and women.
[...] On my end I heard practically nothing from him or from his side of the family. I discovered later that a lot of letters and things like that were intercepted by my grandmother and destroyed, for unknown reasons. I’d heard a great deal of things about him from both my grandmother and my mother, none of which was very good. I had no idea that he was artistic or interested in music, and they never seemed to mention how much he doted on me or loved me. I see a very different picture now, painted not just by him but by his side of the family. They all loved me, and I never got to see it.
Anyway, I talked to him once on the phone in junior high and a few more times near the end of high school. That experience was somewhat embittering, since communication ceased for reasons unknown to me...its easy to internalize things like that when you don’t know what’s going on. Our relationship is excellent now, even if it feels surreal sometimes.
[...] I initiated contact with him through Facebook earlier this year, and it grew from email, to texting, to talking on the phone.[...] I’d seen pictures of him on his profile, and he was very good-looking to me; it brought feelings to my attention that disturbed me a little, and made me have to do some self-exploration on the subject. I knew nothing about GSA at this point, and so these feelings were totally alien to me and it was all very weird that I shoved it under the rug, I’d never spoken with him even and what if he was an idiot or something?
When we started talking on the phone, those feelings got stronger...he was smart, he was funny, good-looking, and I couldn’t help but revisit those emotions I had experienced before. I flirted with him, trying to get him to give up some information willingly so that maybe I could ask him about being in a relationship with me. He was very stubborn and wouldn’t give up anything until I asked him straight-up if he would consider being in a sexual relationship with me.
[...] After we established that we wanted a relationship together over the phone, we arranged a meeting together. We acknowledged that sex was a great possibility but not a requirement, a fact that is very important to us even now...we aren’t together because of sex. That notwithstanding, we did have sex the first night we spent together. And it was awesome.
[...] I see him as a mash-up of a few different people- my husband, boyfriend, lover, father, and my best friend. More than anything I see him as my life partner.
[...] This does not have the feel of a deviant relationship at all [...]. I don’t really feel like we need it to be happy. This relationship as a whole has redefined my wants and needs entirely. As you feels natural, though very intense.
[...] In supermarkets, the mall, certain places where no one knows us, we can act like a couple. Its very refreshing to be able to let loose without worrying if someone will see you and flip out. I imagine if any of my other family found out we’d be immediately ostracized.
We have introduced ourselves as a couple before to people who don’t know us.
[...] We have to be very, very discreet about how we act around family and friends. We live close enough to our family that they can be on our doorstep at any time so we have to present a certain appearance in our apartment (such condoms, toys, underwear, etc. just lying around). The fact that we can’t act as freely around each other as we want is definitely stressful. I’d say the only disadvantage this type of a relationship has are the legal ramifications.
[...] [W]e have a huge amount of trust in one another. I can trust him in ways that I can’t trust anyone else, as he has more to lose by leaving than some Joe Blow on the street.
[...] I’d like to say that simply because someone wouldn’t do what we’re doing does not make it wrong. Plenty of people disapprove of how much sugar is in soda, or how tight someone’s pants are...but you don’t see soda or skinny jeans being illegal. Everyone has opinions, and you’re allowed to have them. My opinion is that my relationship is awesome and amazing and you can’t stop me. Preying...if this is preying, every relationship is some person preying on the other. I’m a consenting adult, and if I can consent to having sex with any other 43 year old in the world why can’t I consent to this?
[...] [Would we get married if we could?] Absolutely! There’s no man on earth I’d love to spend my life with more than my dad.
[...] For friends or relatives of people who are experiencing GSA, keep an open mind. For their sake you need to put aside all of your prejudice and everything society has impressed upon you, and really think about what’s better: Tearing them apart for the sake of the law or differing opinion, or supporting the ones you love to try and make them happy?

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