Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our Story: Jason & Oscar

"Oscar and I have been unable to get him a visa to even travel to the U.S."

Eight years ago I met Oscar in Peru and from the moment we met there was magic in the air. We knew something very special was happening.

I had originally booked my visit for two weeks, but extended it for another two weeks. We spent those weeks getting to know each other in so many ways. We explored many places outside Lima, going hiking, playing volleyball the beach. One night, four days before I was scheduled to leave Peru, Oscar and I decided to explore a local winery in Lurin, a suburb of Lima. We bought a bottle of wine and nearby in a local park, some sort of celebration was taking place. We decided to check it out. We bought some food, and walked in the park, finding a nice secluded bench where we opened our wine and enjoyed our food. It had been a semi-overcast evening as the fog rolled in from the ocean, but as we sat on that bench together the clouds rolled away to reveal a gorgeous full moon, Oscar looked at me a said he never wanted to forget this moment. It was the first time he said, "I love you," and I told him I felt the same way.

Even now writing about this after so many years I still get goosebumps. It truly was the moment we knew this was the beginning of of a beautiful relationship.

Needless to say, when we had to say goodbye and I was heading back to the U.S., it was very, very emotional for us both. Every year after that I would make that journey, feeling sad and happy the moment I boarded my flight in Los Angeles. Happy because I knew the happiness waiting for me; sad because I also knew weeks later we will have to say goodbye again.

Oscar and I have been unable to get him a visa to even travel to the U.S. Oscar studied at Cordon Bleu in Lima and was at the top of his class. He was asked by a student exchange program and the Canyon Ranch in Tuscon to come to work there, and was made a great offer. All was set for him to get a visa, but when he went to the American Embassy in Lima, he was denied. They didn't even look at his documents after he told them that when he got to the U.S. he would be staying with me - "his boyfriend."

I continue to travel to Lima each year. We chat almost daily on the phone and Skype, sometimes for hours. In 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer and while going through treatments I could not travel. This was more difficult for Oscar, because he wanted so badly to be here with me, to take care of me. We both cried lot.

In November 2011 I was told my cancer was in remission and in 2012 I was able to finally travel again and be with the man I love.

These are the basics of our journey, there is so much more. I have great hopes that in 2013 our long awaited dream of being together, sharing our lives and living each each day as a couple will soon be realized. Finally we have a President who believes in equality for all, including the right to marry the person we love. We hope the Supreme Court will declare the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and that will allow me to sponsor Oscar to come to the U.S. as my intended spouse. In the interim, we wish that same-sex binational couples like us would be added to immigration reform.

Oscar and I already celebrated the union of our love in our hearts and minds a long time ago. Now we need the freedom to express that in front of our family and friends in a ceremony the legally unites us as one. We hope to do that soon in the United States.

Are you a same-sex binational couple? Do you have families / friends affected by this issue?
Please contact us at http://bit.ly/O4ICountMeIn if you are interested in sharing your story.

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