Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Nonmonogamy Options

Here is a wonderful cartoon illustrating some different family structures.


Terramagne has a much more diverse family structure. While not all of these are equally recognized in the law as of yet, there is more legal support and more wiggle room to customize the standard offerings. Where that does not suffice, people have built alternative methods that accomplish most of the same practical goals of social ties. Let's take a look at some of the family variety I've already written about ...

Roger/Hefty&Fiddlesticks/Diamond + two daughters of Fiddlesticks/Diamond (in Antimatter &Stalwart Stan)
At a casual glance, you could mistake this for two couples, but they're not. They're a horseshoe or a loose foursquare, depending how you count. Roger/Hefty are a gay couple. Hefty&Fiddlesticks are work partners so tightly connected that they consider it a primary, queerplatonic relationship. Fiddlesticks/Diamond are a heterosexual couple with two kids. Roger and Diamond are friends, a secondary tie which nevertheless provides valuable support both for practical matters and especially on an emotional level because their sweeties work a dangerous job. The girls have, in effect, a spare set of parents in Roger/Hefty, both of whom are listed as Vested Interests. VI is a Terramagne option for formalizing the rights and responsibilities of someone who is not a legal parent but provides load-bearing support in a child's life. So for instance, contributing to support earns visitation rights, which protects the attachment bonds of both adults and children, and boosts the resources available for things like summer camp or college.

Danso's Family
Danso, Hadyn, Lakia, Nathaniel, & Rosita + Hannah,
+ Aidan, linked to Rosita's birth family, +Nathaniel's grandmother; also Danso/Noah
This started out with Danso collecting four younger children on the street, effectively serving as a teen father. When they turned to SPOON for help, Hannah fostered all five of them. Danso has been doing his best to shift from father to older brother, with some support from the adults closest to him, but it's still a rough transition. After getting called in to help with Nathaniel's issues, Aidan has become a pretty serious source of support. More tangential but genetically connected, Nathaniel's maternal grandmother eventually found them and has decided to grandmother all the kids as much as she can. Danso (who is gay) also has a boyfriend Noah (who is bisexual). You can see why Danso needed to reinvent the family tree a bit for his class assignment.

Yona/Highliner/Bryony + three daughters by Highliner/Bryony + two sons by Highliner/Yona + Yona is pregnant again
Highliner is bisexual with a husband, Yona (who is gay) and a wife, Bryony (who is heterosexual). Yona and Bryony are bisensual. All three adults sleep together in one giant round bed. Yona has the Male Pregnancy superpower. Highliner is the regular breadwinner, not needing to take time off for childcare. Yona is the primary homemaker, and sometimes works out of the home between infants. Bryony is the dominant spouse and intermittent breadwinner; she takes maternity leave, but not as long as Yona likes to do. They appear in the thread Danso's Family.

The Parquetry Family
Gina/Rhoda&Natalie/Brian + daughter Elise by Brian/Natalie, son Ian by sperm donor/Gina, adopted son Nestor, and adopted daughter Samirah + Gina's parents Franklin and Doris + Aubrey the Alabaster
Rhoda and Natalie formed the first tie as a queerplatonic couple. Then Natalie fell in love with Brian. Then Rhoda fell in love with Gina. Gina's parents got involved in taking care of the kids and somehow never went home. Aubrey the Alabaster runs the bookstore The Unicorn's Forest where some of the Parquetry family members work, so she's kind of serving as an aunt. The two adopted children came from soup-hostile countries via SPOON, Nestor from Cuba and Samirah from Palestine. The Parquetry family is introduced in "A River So Long."

Fortressa's Pit Group: Fortressa&Socket + six other women
After assorted unpleasant experiences, Fortressa swore off men in particular and love in general. This was awkward because Socket, who's a lesbian, had a crush on her. Socket respected Fortressa's choice and worked on shifting the romantic feelings to platonic ones, thus winding up in a queerplatonic relationship. The rest of the connections are various flavors of woman-identified relationship. It's a good example of how some supervillain organizations function similar to families -- as indeed gangs do in our world. You can see the Pit Group in action in "A Cultural Control Problem."

Cuoio and Chiara
Cuoio/Chiara + Ruggiero/Olympia&Liborio + assorted others
Cuoio is a fighter boss in the Mafia, and Chiara is his comare or mob girlfriend. Cuoio has recently lost his previous relationships, a heterosexual one with his regular girlfriend and a queerplatonic one with his bodyguard. Also in the not-too-distant past, he'd been supporting his elderly parents, who since passed away leaving him with a pile of debt. Then one day, Cuoio piled into a fight that wasn't his and came to the attention of the Marionettes, who adopted him. Now he is trying to figure out the customs of a very powerful, very large, very quirky Family. Having explained that he can't stand to lose any more people, he's been furnished with a mentor, Ruggiero and his comare Olympia and their bodyguard Liborio. Then Cuoio found Chiara. On a sexual level, they're monogamous; but it's a professional contract that encompasses a lot more than that, and there are more people to be added later as Cuoio builds up a proper fighting team.

Steel&Moderato (in Aquariana)
Steel is a sperm whale bull. Moderato is a humpback bull. They have a queerplatonic relationship. They are slowly accruing a larger "human pod" of whom Aquariana, Seth, and Captain Koul are the most regular members. No genetic or sexual ties, but over time they are coming to work more and more like a family.

Damask & Company
Damask (Maze, Ham, Clement, Keane, Clarity, Mira), Farce (Mallory), Heron, and Maisie's housemates; + Maisie's extended family, + Heron's extended family

Maisie was a college student living in a sharehouse with four other girls: Josephine, Danielle, Paige, and Walden. Maisie got kidnapped by Mindflare and chopped into six headmates, who are struggling to learn how to get along together; as a collective, they are the superhero Damask. Clement developed a crush on another student, Dace, who appears occasionally. Damask soon acquired a nemesis, Farce. Later on Farce, in her secret identity as Mallory, came looking for help and joined Maisie's household. Mallory also attracted the attention of Heron, a healer, who has become a regular. Because Maisie was close with her relatives, that's causing friction for Damask, but they are unwilling to let go of those connections. Heron also has a tight bond with his large family, and has been gradually introducing them to his new friends. As the main characters are college students, their relationships and personalities are still in flux; but for right now, this group is doing a lot of the things that families are for. The headmates are introduced in "Damask Speaks."
Tags: fantasy, gender studies, networking, poetry, reading, writing
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