A Seat at the Table ... Plus One

When you think of the average relationship, you think of two people completely emerged into each other in a monogamous fashion. However, what if another person was added to the equation? Not in a “my girl got a girlfriend”/Teyana Taylor type of way, but a “she’s my girlfriend, too” polyamorous type of way? 

Well, allow me to introduce you to T.Que, Charisse, & Zhané- 3 electrifying women known as “#WifeGoals” from 3 totally different worlds that are immensely in love with each other – but don’t get it twisted, it didn’t just automatically happen that way. T.Que, a firefighter from Alabama, and Charisse, a hairstylist from Boston, have known each other since April 2012, and actually got married back in April 2015, but they didn’t officially meet Zhané, a model from Georgia, all in one setting until Spring 2017. A couple months later in July 2017, they slid into Zhané’s DMs on Facebook with a proposition to meet up just for drinks which resulted in them driving four hours from Boston to New York and Zhané jokingly claiming it a date as they walked through Central Park with their final destination being the Alice in Wonderland statue. After a couple more months of on and off again moments with increased instances of flirting in between and a plethora of “strong pull up games”, they decided to make it official in November 2017. 

From Left to Right: Zhané, T.Que, & Charisse.

To be polyamorous is to agree to be involved emotionally and physically with multiple people at the same time with the consent of all parties involved, and although T.Que, Charisse, & Zhané can officially claim themselves as polyamorous, this is each of their first attempt at a relationship of its kind and to be honest, they didn’t even see it coming. However, what they all agree on is how important communication is to their existence as a couple – or shall I say, throuple (yes, it’s a thing!). Realistically speaking, although they are in a relationship with each other as a whole, they are in relationships with each other individually, so communication has been their driving force through instances of imbalance whether it be with affection, attention, or both plus some. They go on separate dates, have separate quality time, and take the time to invest both individually and collectively while negating away from the societal mindset of not being able to share – a sentiment they’ve heard so much of as they have shared their story.

 

“Love is endless and love is boundless. Love is a selfless act and the “I can’t share” statement is based on a selfish concept. Ownership is for objects and, quite frankly, it all boils down to you as a person - are you selfless or selfish?” - #WifeGoals

 

Let’s be frank, the holiday season is always the nosiest time of the year when it comes to your love life - especially Thanksgiving. Your aunt(s) and grandmother(s) have been waiting a year to see who you show up with because, in their eyes, you’ve look so pitiful the past few years at the dinner table alone. So the minute you call up grandma to let her know you won’t be coming alone, it becomes the most exciting news that circulates amongst the entire family. They set up an additional seat at the table, making sure the china/charger plates are positioned perfectly & the glassware used are the ones that were collecting dust in the back of the cabinet that they were saving for a special occasion while making sure the silverware has been cleaned at least twice. Yet, what they didn’t know is that they are still one seat short. Luckily for T.Que, Charisse & Zhané, their families are all aware of their relationship and although it was still a readjustment pill for their families to swallow, they still respected their decisions as adults and loved them no less. All families met for the first time on November 13th as the Atlanta-based throuple celebrated T.Que’s graduation from firefighter academy and it ended in a weight being lifted off of everyone’s shoulders as it turned out to be a non-forced setting of love and acceptance.

“The hardest thing for me was not wanting to be viewed as the home-wrecker as I was the “new girl” in an already established marriage.” - Zhané

There are different dynamics to being polyamorous, and for #WifeGoals, they agree that it is up to the individual person for them to decide to what extent – i.e. one person dating multiple people or multiple people dating each other. However, what is inevitable is that it will undeniably challenge your idea of love as, similar to all monogamous relationships, it is grounded on the principles of respect and equal treatment of your significant other – no matter what challenges you face. They admit that jealousy only arises because they are still growing as individuals, but as a throuple that is truly growing into its most authentic form, they face their challenges together and rely on their joint reality that they chose each other, so the respect, honesty, loyalty, and communication effortlessly follows suit.

 

“When getting into a polyamorous relationship, you have to understand that everybody is different. You need to learn how to love the individuals how they deserve and desire to be loved and not how you see fit for them.” - Charisse

 

In society, the odds are already stacked against them by being both black AND homosexuals, but as a polyamorous couple, they have to fight a little bit harder - not only being combative against societal views but within our own LGBTQ+ community as being poly appears to make you a walking fashion statement. Yet, what cannot be denied is the masculine world we live in that thrives on their fantasies of women romantically being together yet is disgusted by that same thought when it includes men. Being in a polyamorous relationship does not give society an open access card to their bedroom as not only do those questions invade their privacy and show an onset of ignorance in a world that favors threesomes, but it takes away from the relationship they’ve worked to build. For #WifeGoals, their relationship was never established on sex or physical attraction, but the energy they felt after their worlds finally collided after 6 years of unknowingly crossing paths.

Love isn’t meant to be normal, but it is meant to be selfless, understanding, and stand the test of time despite all adversity as it is kind to others and welcoming to all. When asked about any advice that they may have regarding individuals who are battling with their polyamorous identities, #WifeGoals stated that although cliché, the most genuine advice is to be 100% comfortable with yourself as you’re the only one that matters. However, most importantly, before you make that move to be in a polyamorous relationship, you have to understand the truth of the world and that although the world will not always be for you and people will often fight against you, there will be people that will love you unconditionally and support you. Just simply, find your people. 

“Live your life, be you, and do what makes you happy.” – T.Que

If you ever have a chance to be around this beautiful throuple, you will know that they are exactly what they aspire everyone to be – authentically themselves and happy. In a world that may not agree with their dream of having kids and getting married, I, for one, appreciate them for being themselves unapologetically and continuing to be a genuine example of unwavering love and self-truth while extending my sincerest well wishes to them in hopes that they have nothing but endless blessings and love for the remainder of their lives together.

To keep up with #WifeGoals and follow them on their journey as they spread awareness and love, take a moment to follow them on Instagram (@_wifegoals) and subscribe to their YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwggOKqMRlBv6XU0n_gkzRg). I promise you won’t regret it, but in the meantime, scroll down to watch Part 1 & 2 of their introduction videos where they answer questions from their viewers about polyamory, their relationship, and how it came to form.

#WifeGoals Introduction Video Pt. 1

#WifeGoals Introduction Video Pt. 2

One Man's Garbage

Engagement is a more intricate level of growth within any relationship and while it’s full of love and candy-coated raindrops, it’s also filled with trying moments implicated by outsiders that disapprove the same-sex lifestyle.

Everyone around you that truly roots for your progression in life, regardless of the choices you make, will wait – although impatiently with wide eyes – for you to propose, but as soon as you do, they will bombard you with, “When’s the wedding?” questions within no time, and although they mean no harm, no one can truly understand the pressure – and disappointments – of wedding planning until you’re in the midst.

At the basic level, when planning a wedding you have to pick individuals that will bring your vision to life by sorting through those that are charging strictly based on their name or what they feel their work is, but in actuality, isn’t. Additionally, you have to pick the perfect venue where the relationship between the number of hours provided matches the amount of money required and whatever other details you want it to be apart of the deal - like outside caterers/alcohol. It goes without saying that communication must be at an all-time high between you and your significant other, but what comes without warning is how many doors will be slammed in your face just because. When you think about a wedding, you think of happiness and bliss; so when planning one, you expect everything of the sort surrounded by so many “yesses” to everything you desire that when the “nos” ring through, they leave this stinging reassurance that you are different and will continue to be viewed as less than.

In June 2015, the Supreme Court made all same-sex marriage legal in all states, but individual business still have a choice to approve/deny the business of such. There have been so many times along this journey that my fiancé and I have been ignored, turned around, and disrespected simply for choosing to love the same gender. Companies are on all on board until the pronoun “she” comes out of her mouth.

“We’d love to help make your wedding a dream come true. What will you be wearing? Your fiancé?

“She’s wear - …”

“Ohhhhh, I’m sorry. We don’t provide our services to same-sex couples.” [phone clicks]

In my honest opinion, it’s a bizarre move to turn down money when you’re in the business of making money. Moreover, it’s an indescribable feeling to be turned away just because of what makes you happy and truly fulfilled. We’ve heard everything from employees wishing they could but couldn’t because of their owner’s stipulations to not receiving responses at all. To the craziest extent, one individual actually told our wedding planner they were excited to work with us, but when they called my fiancé and found out we were two women, they were immediately no longer available.

Simply put, #LoveWins is more than just a hashtag. It’s a constant fight to let the world know that no matter how much you view my type of authentic and indestructible love as garbage, it will always be a treasure to us and those that value a genuine and unwavering type of love.

Plus, the wedding will still go on. ;)

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6-7

#GrantHer2Ingram

When I thought about how I wanted to relaunch FreedomTwoLove, I could only think of telling the world about the immense joy I have when I think about marrying my soulmate. Often, when I write blogs, I provide a perspective on an array of topics that deal with the LGBTQ+ community, but in bringing you this platform, I find it imperative that I share my own authentic experiences of being free to love genuinely with you.

I met my fiancé in a time where love seemed scarce and the ideologies that I once had of love were pretty much non-existent. The first time I laid eyes on her was in October 2014 during my undergrad’s (Fort Valley State University) homecoming, and although I don’t remember the exact date, I know it was a Monday and 2 days before I had the audacity to say anything to her. However, when I spoke to her it wasn’t in search of finding love, but an inability to avoid being drawn to the figurative light that shined around her as she first became an honest friend, a listening ear, and a genuine supporter like no other – an angel on Earth. It wasn’t until September 6, 2015, that I decided to take our journey to the next level, and fast forward, a few days shy of 3 years later, she is truly the love of my life as we will become one on August 31, 2019.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage a right that the LGBTQ+ community could enjoy nationwide, and when that announcement broke, I dropped to my knees and literally felt as if I had a chance at actually living the life I imagined…being a part of a union bonded by marriage living in a beautiful house that my kids can enjoy growing up in and the beginning part is, for certain, no longer a wish, a dream, nor an idea - it’s my reality. In a year, I will actually be able to say “I do” to the woman of my dreams without being governed on how to do it by negative societal mindsets who probably haven’t experienced love in its purest forms similar to what I am lucky to blessed with. This will be a step closer to making the life I imagined come to light, but it’s a step that many were never able to accomplish so it will simultaneously be a blessing that I will forever cherish.

To my future wife:

“Baby, you are the blessing I never prayed for but the one that I needed. So I guess when they tell you that God will put the right person in your life when you least expect it, they are right. He handpicked one of his angels just for me and I’m beyond grateful that he found me fit enough to walk this life with you. In hindsight, I can honestly say that you saved me from myself. You made me believe in real, non-conditional love again...the type of love that God speaks about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. I love you for everything you have been, everything you are, and everything you will be. Oh, and by the way, when you asked what I was doing, this was it. Happy Early Anniversary baby!”