Atlanta City Council member Liliana Bakhtiari is in a nonmonogamous relationship with two other individuals, the trio has divulged to NBC News.
“It should be destigmatized. It’s a very valid familial structure that people should embrace,” Bakhtiari, who is in the relationship with Kris Brown and Sarah Al-Khayyal, told the outlet. “If people don’t want to re-elect me because I’m in love with two wonderful people and in a happy and healthy relationship that is possibly the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, then I’m good,” Bakhtiari said.
The Atlanta City Council website says that Bakhtiari “is the first queer Muslim person to be elected in the state of Georgia, and the first nonbinary person elected in the city of Atlanta. She identifies as gender fluid and uses ‘she/her’ and ‘they/them’ pronouns.”
NBC News reported that the trio eventually plans to purchase land in pursuit of their dream of creating a “queer commune.”
“There are many more ways to be nonmonogamous than there are ways to be polyamorous, and we invite and enjoy the fluidity of the term nonmonogamy,” Brown said, according to the outlet.
Bakhtiari was first in relationship with Brown years before Al-Khayyal entered the picture. Bakhtiari indicated that she notified Brown when they began dating that she was nonmonogamous.
“‘I was like, ‘That’s cool with me,’” Brown said, according to the outlet. “It was the first time that I had been with anyone who didn’t want to be monogamous.”
Years later, Bakhtiari met Al-Khayyal via a virtual nonmonogamy support group — half a year after the trio started dating, Al-Khayyal moved in after the group had gone to couples therapy to plan and discuss boundaries, NBC News reported.
“For me, practicing nonmonogamy is a part of this greater unlearning and deprogramming of societal conditioning,” Al-Khayyal said. “Nonmonogamy for me doesn’t have to be having multiple partners. It’s also breaking down the platonic-romantic binary and being able to have these relationships that kind of exist in that gray area.”