Posts Tagged ‘family’

I love my parents

After many, many months of meaning to do it, I finally can out to my parents as poly.  Well, I didn’t use the word poly, but described, in a letter, my open marriage with C and my growing relationship with E.  I sent it by e-mail, and then promptly went to do volunteer work to keep me from worrying too much.

At the end of my volunteer shift, I got this e-mail from my mom.

I have no problem with this not am I shocked. I see it as a way to maybe have a grandchild.  C should not worry about what we would think.  If it is ok with her, ok with you ,you are practicing safe sex, (i.e. no STD’s) and it enhances your marriage and your happiness go for it.  You can discuss this with either one of us.  We would not have a problem. I’d just talk to dad.   He will be glad you are happy!!

Invite him over for Sunday dinner- we would like to meet someone who is important to you.

So I think the most amusing part of all of this, aside from my parents being awesome and non-judgemental and cool, is Mom immediately thinking of her potential future grand babies.  (Of course, she’s not as bad as C’s mom, who’s been asking about babies since we first moved in together when C was 19, so both too young for babies and LACKING IN SPERM.)

Dad was totally cool with it, too.  And when I told E that I’d told my folks and he’d been invited to dinner, he said he’d need to pick out his bow tie (I think because bow ties are cool).  Because he is also awesome.

So much worry is gone now.  No more giving half truths or outright lies to the parents about where I’m going, no more trying to find a place out of earshot to have phone conversations.  And C is not longer worrying about what will happen when my parents find out.

Happiness!

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I think I need to tell him

that I want to have his babies.  Not right now, cause I’m still in school and C is still unemployed and we’re still living with my folks….  But maybe in the next year or so.

This isn’t a whim, or a new thought.  It’s one I’ve had for over a year, and vaguely since before I actually met him (when I was still actively trying with frozen sperm and wondering where I could find fresh).  And it’s grown from him ticking the sperm donor checklist almost perfectly, to really thinking he’d be someone I’d want to have around to help raise the kid.  He’d be a great dad.

One of the things he seems to like most about his relationship with W is that she has kids.  He likes being a dad.  He’s managed not to produce any offspring of his own thus far, and doesn’t think he ever will, so being with someone with kids gets him an instant family.

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s manipulative of me.  But if it’s family he wants, I think I owe it to him to let him know that W isn’t his only option.  I am afraid that it might change our relationship in some unexpected way, but I think I’d want all that information when contemplating whether or not to stay with someone.

On heterosexual privilege and my Aunt Mary…

My Aunt Maryis a lovely woman. Caring and kind, she pretty much raised her brother’s kids after their mom developed MS when we were in grade school. She makes the world’s best caramel corn, and even though I have the recipe, it’s never the same. I know she loves me very much. She is also a born-again evangelical Xian, convinced I am going to Hell for being A Lesbian. This concerns her greatly.

I have been extremely fortunate. My family loves C, and her family loves me. Even Aunt Mary likes her as a person. It’s just our relationship she disapproves of. And really, we have faced very little in the way of prejudice. The only outright gay-bashing we’ve endured happened on our second date, when walking around town, a couple of guys yelled at us from their car. I don’t even remember what they said, probably called us “fucking dykes” or the like before driving off. We pretty much laughed it off, being surprised that they’d managed to figure out in the dark that C was a girl. We’ve intentionally lived in blue states, and in urban areas of those states, where even if you don’t approve, you’re expected to keep that fact to yourself, or at least not be outright hostile.

Because we generally feel safe, C and I have never really shied away from showing affection in public. We hold hands, hug, kiss, and basically act like people who love each other. I’m not a big flag-waving activist, but I see it as a daily political statement. I didn’t realize how affected I actually was by gay prejudice or the fear of homophobia (homophobiaphobia?) until I started going out with E. If we’re holding hands or sharing a kiss, I’m not worried that someone will decide we’re offending their sense of morality and yell at us, or worse. I don’t find myself tempering my actions based on where we might be or the demographics of who is nearby. Even people with no malicious intent look at you differently depending on the sex of your companion. For example, when E and I are out, people assume we are a couple. C and I are generally assumed to be friends or even sisters, which, while occasionally handy depending on the situation, is still annoying. And with E there are no questioning looks as people try to figure out “are they or aren’t they,” which always makes me feel like I have to respond, and my response (get closer or separate) is a silent decision to be brave and come out to a total stranger or be safe and accept the shame of denying myself and my love. It’s really of nice to just be a person for once, not a statement, and while I fully intend on enjoying the peace of that, I hope to never take that peace for granted.

There are a lot of people, and I’ll admit that I have been counted in those numbers at times, who think bi folks (women in particular) choose to settle down with opposite-sex partners so often because it is just easier to be (seen as) straight than gay. Really, the numbers don’t bear that out, since there are orders of magnitude more potential opposite-sex partners out there. There’s at least 19 straight men out there to every queer woman. What are the chances a bi girl will end up with a wife instead of a husband? But that being said, it is much easier to be straight. Your relationship is immediately validated, you can marry in any country in the world (including this one), you can have biological children, and none of your relatives will worry about your eternal soul simply because of the sex/gender of your chosen partner.

It leads me to wonder what Aunt Mary would think if she learned I had a boyfriend. She might be dismayed that I was adding insult to injury by not only flouting God’s Word™ with another woman, but ALSO fornicating with a man I was in no way married to, and never will be. Does it count as adultery if God doesn’t recognize your marriage (even though it was blessed by two different religious officials)? But I think more likely she would be relieved, and hope that it was a sign I was turning to the light. If I read the Xians right, being gay is far worse than breaking your vows. And although I have broken no vows and have the full support of my wife, there seems no room for ethical non-monogamy in the Xian dogma. Cheating, however, seems to be pretty much expected, and as long as you ask God for forgiveness, and promise never to do it again, it’s all good. And if you do it again, well just ask God to forgive you again. I can see her starting to send Christmas gifts to me and E and ignoring C even more than she does already, and telling me how nice it is that I found a good man, and will he be coming to my cousin’s wedding.

The meddling relation: that’s one heterosexual “privilege” I have no interest in gaining.

Unacknowledged Poly?

Is it possible to be in a poly relationship and not know it?  Because I think that’s what happened to me.

Back before C and I were married and for the year or so after, we had a good friend, T. We first met him when he was a overly-smart 16 y.o. kid attending college with another of our friends. Eventually he and C became good friends and were in several classes together, and even lived with us for a while (and was the best housemate we’ve had).

Well, C & T became somewhat more than friends.  Their relationship wasn’t sexual, exactly, or romantic in the sense of wooing or dating, but it was very erotically charged and very emotionally intense.  I remember feeling neglected as C shared more emotional and sexual energy with him than with me (all while I was trying to plan our wedding and find a job), but never really jealous.  I didn’t want to take away what they had, because it made the girl I loved happy.  I just wanted them to admit what was going on go I would have some framework to make my needs known!  I also wanted to be a part of it, as I was becoming more and more attracted and attached to T myself.  C finally talked to me about her feelings/desires for T because she felt guilty about it, and as much as I told her that a) I already knew and b) it was really OK, I think she still felt guilty.

We wound up spending quite a bit of time together as a group, with lots of late nights talking about nothing and cuddling under blankets, and it was really lovely, and something I still really miss.  We did finally all have sex one night (something C & I had fantasied about, and she’d mentioned to him), which was fun if a bit awkward, as neither C nor I really knew what to do with “boy bits” and T wasn’t all that much better with “girl bits” and it was all rather spur of the moment.  But shortly after that, they both graduated and we all moved to different parts of the country.

He’s still family to us, and we both still have a lot of love for him.  It’s pretty much impossible, but if he were ever to ask, he’d be warmly welcomed into our life and bed.  And I wish there was a way to tell him that without seeming creepy.

It’s nice, after doing some reading, to be able to look back at that relationship and have some words for what I felt, and to know that I’m not the only person who has had those feelings or those desires.  It’s also nice to have realized I have “proof of concept”, so to speak, in poly love, even if it was very confused at the time.