Claudia (Germany) and I (U.S.)

Posted on April 17, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites | Tags: , , , |

Claudia and I met over the Internet in 1996. I was in Los Angeles and Claudia was in Bergheim, a little city outside Cologne, Germany. I never thought I would fall in love over the Internet, but it happened. After chatting for hours online, Claudia called me on the phone and invited me to visit her in Germany to go to a Melissa Etheridge concert. I was nervous at first but I accepted her gracious invitation.

The flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt felt like an eternity! From the instant we saw each other in the airport, it was love at first sight. After meeting in person for the first time it reconfirmed all the feelings we had for each other when we were just communicating over the phone or on the Internet. So begun our love story and as well all the challenges that you face being a binational same sex couple.

After six months of being apart, Claudia got a student visa and was able to move to Los Angeles. Her student visa lasted for three years and then ran out at the beginning of 2000. At this point we were faced with the most difficult decision, whether I should move to Germany or stay in L.A.. The choice was clear to me. There was no way I wanted to end the most important relationship in my life.

Doing extensive research on gay rights in Germany, we discovered that Germany was in the process of giving legal rights to same sex partners. So we packed up all our things (including our cat and dog) and moved to Bergheim. It has been very challenging moving to another country, learning a new language and essentially starting all over again.

In August 2001 Germany passed a law giving gay and lesbians the right to enter into a civil union (or legal partnership) and receive many of the same rights as heterosexual married couples have. We got legally partnered in November of that year. The fact that Germany has legal rights for gay and lesbian couples has made it possible for us to start a life and future together.

We currently have started a massage business together and one of our dreams is to open a gay and lesbian friendly day spa in Cologne.

Claudia and I know how difficult it is to be faced with the challenges of moving to another country, assimilating to a new culture, and figuring our all the laws and regulations that pertain to same sex binational couples. We feel honored to be involved with Love Exiles and we hope that the chapter here in Cologne Germany will bring other binational same sex couples throughout Germany together.

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