Atlanta's local LGBT news weekly The Georgia Voice examines polyamory vs monogamy in gay relationships. Georgia Voice staff writer Dyana Bagby interviewed my partner Joseph and I who are in a committed monogamous relationship. Here's an excerpt:
From The Georgia Voice:
Darian Aaron, 30, and his boyfriend, Joseph Gates, 22, have been together six months. When they decided to commit to each other, they discussed monogamy and decided they would be exclusive to each other.
“We met on Twitter,” said Aaron, who blogs at Living Out Loud with Darian. “First we flirted publicly, then we started doing it in private.”
Their first date was for ice cream at Rita’s in Midtown and the couple is set to move in together in the fall.
“We did discuss monogamy and we both decided early on that we wanted to be with each other exclusively. We both understand how open relationships work. I believe there has to be a level of trust between two parties before that can happen,” said Aaron.
Bringing in a third party too soon may sabotage their relationship, Aaron added.
“We are still building that foundation for something we want to last a lifetime,” he said.
Gates acknowledged he is the jealous type — something that has to be dealt with carefully in polyamorous relationships — and can’t imagine Aaron with someone else. He also wants to prove to the world that two black gay men can be in a loving relationship, something he says is not visible in society.
“I want to break the stereotype. Me and Darian are an example that you can find two black gay men in love and that it’s a wonderful thing,” Gates said.
Aaron, who wrote a series of “Coupled Up” stories for his blog, has now written a book about black gay men in loving relationships that is tentatively set to be released this spring.
Monogamy is definitely a challenge for any relationship, Aaron said, not only for gay men. But in Atlanta, where there are “so many beautiful men,” it can be difficult to remain faithful to one person.
“This is part of an ongoing discussion I have with my friends,” Aaron said. “I got lucky that I met someone who is on the same page.”
Atlanta also has a “notorious reputation” as a place to go for quick, meaningless sex, Aaron said.
“It’s hard to come across a couple in a committed, loving relationship. And a lot of people are jaded,” he said.
For Gates, who said he looks forward to learning more about Aaron every day, their love is strong enough to combat the outside forces that may say their monogamous relationship is not the norm, especially among gay men.
“He has shown me that it is OK to live out loud, to be gay and proud,” Gates said. “He reassures me he loves me no matter what.”
For Aaron, Gates is an example of unconditional love.
“I love so much about him. He accepts me as I am, flaws and all,” he said.