Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sleeping with the enemy: a same-sex couple living together in New York

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Will and Mari who met through a mutual friend last year are very different. Mari, 34, is a Trump supporter and organic vegan from the heart of the Bronx. Will, 27, is from a tight-knit Irish Christian family from Ovens, Queens. Will and Mari recently celebrated their first anniversary. Above, the couple. Below, they take a nap. All photographs by David B Green

Will’s parents are Polish immigrants and his grandmother is planning to move to Poland and join Will’s mother and father in the Netherlands. Will’s uncle has been living in the Netherlands for many years. He moved there to be with his fiancee, a woman he met at Harvard University. To cope with the loss of his mom and sister in a Honduran car accident while he was studying abroad, Will interned for Sen. Ted Cruz and volunteered for Marco Rubio’s campaign in Florida. To get over his broken relationship, Will looked for something new to bond with and Mari soon became his latest love interest. “I was tired of being single and pretty much was on the set of Waiting for Godot without any clothes on.” Will’s first thought about Mari was “I’m just going to hook up with her.” Will thought that he and Mari were complete opposites. “She has a very fiery, very funny personality, and I have a very quiet, very laid back personality.” However, even as the two lived separated by a few degrees of separation, the closeness between them grew. “I actually never really had a relationship in my life so I thought that it would be OK, you know.” Will’s parents met Mari for the first time during an election watch party. Will told his parents, and his dad couldn’t believe that Will and Mari got along at all. But Will’s parents said they would be there for him no matter what. “His family is, like, so protective of him. They think he’s pretty special, but when Mari came in, his mom literally fell in love with her.”

However, despite the strong bond that Mari and Will have created over the course of their first year of dating, their families’ political opinions still differ. “His parents think there’s a difference between voting for Trump and not supporting him.” Will’s mother made him do a 90-minute questionnaire of topics ranging from his favorite football team, to his favorite foods, before he started dating Mari. Will’s father asked Mari, who is Irish, what kind of Irish food she liked the most and Mari didn’t answer him. Mari’s family is conservative and they weren’t sure what Mari’s political beliefs were. However, as Will and Mari began dating, Mari’s family was supportive. The concern of Mari’s family with the Trump administration greatly altered the relationship between Mari and Will’s parents. Even though Mari came from a relatively conservative family, her perspective changed. Mari’s family is huge on bipartisanship. “If people don’t get along with each other it’s a sign of disrespect, so they wanted me to really embrace Mari with open arms.”

Will and Mari are not the first same-sex couple that moved in together in Brooklyn after same-sex marriage was legalized. In the summer of 2017, Carla and Emiliano, a Venezuelan couple who met as teenagers in a bar in Paris, moved into an apartment together. Just a few months later, a 20-year-old woman and the 26-year-old man she met online decided to spend the summer together in Brooklyn. The couple met while reading each other’s blogs.

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