Tina (U.S) & Anke (Germany)

Posted on March 20, 2010. Filed under: Stories | Tags: , , , , |

Anke and I met online in 2007 through a women’s group that I had created in an attempt to make friends in the lesbian community. She was one of the total five women who joined and the only one interested in getting to know me better. I always tell Anke it was fate for us to meet!

We didn’t start exchanging emails until a few months after the group was created, but needless to say when the emails started, they never stopped. It was an instant connection neither one of us could deny nor stop. The only problem was that she lived in Germany and I in the states.

Later after many emails, phone calls and chat sessions, it was very clear to us that we had to meet. Anke flew to Seattle in September 2007 and stayed with me for a month. From that point on, we realized that we couldn’t be apart. Anke flew back to Seattle that year a few times staying each time for about a month. Saying goodbye was torture! On her last visit in March 2008, we decided it was time for me to fly and experience Germany.

In July 2008 I flew to Germany / love of my life, to decide if I could live in Germany in case we weren’t able to win the green card lottery. Unfortunately, we lost and had to make the choice, or rather sacrifice, of giving up my life and our dream of living together in Seattle.

At the end of July 2008 I flew back to Seattle and started preparing for my move to Germany. It would be five months before we would see each other again. After giving up practically everything I own and many goodbyes later, Anke flew to Seattle in December 2008 to pick me up so we could fly back to Germany together.

A few days after arriving in Germany I was enrolled in language classes (a requirement of the government to marry and live here) and in March 2009 we married legally (this was, of course after I popped the question in Paris during my July visit). I continued my language courses for 8 months (another requirement of the government) in order for me to get an extension on my visa. Only after three years, even though we are legally married, can I apply for permanent residency here, not citizenship, just the right to permanently reside here.

Even though we are legally married here in Germany, life is not always easy for us. I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant for 13 years caring for elderly people who have been afflicted with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and my wife works as a fund accountant. Although I am allowed to work here in Germany, my license does not translate here and my language skills are not enough to work in that particular field. We are forced to live off of one income at the moment, which thankfully is enough.

I know it’s only been a year since I have lived here in Germany, but I miss my life back home (the country my wife considers home), my career, friends, family and the American culture, however, being apart is not an option for us. We both have given up alot but refuse to give in! We will keep on fighting until we make our dream come true. We are thankful to be together knowing what the months apart felt like.

We hope the laws will change soon before anyone else has to give up their entire life and be separated from their loved ones. Our journey has been an emotional roller coaster but we have each other and that is the most important thing. We hope everyone will continue to fight and support each other even if things get tough. We all deserve freedom and no one should be allowed to dictate that fundamental right!

Written by Tina and co-written by her step mother Imelda

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LGBT Immigration Stories

Posted on November 1, 2009. Filed under: Purpose | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Area of Interest: 

Story telling as an educational tool is a wonderful thing. So what we are proposing is to putting out requests that give the identified population a chance to share their stories and putting them together to create a collective wisdom. Our reason for approaching the subject in this manner is to give a nurturing space for creating community and access to information that will support others during a time that could potentially by one of the most stressful and difficult transitions in their lives. If you or someone you know has an interest and are willing to share your/their story please post it here or email us. Also, feel free to share this information with other organizations or individuals that may be interested.

 Would you like to share your story?

Do you have a story to tell about your experience as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT) immigrant? Are you interested in sharing it with people learning about LGBT immigration? If so, this is your chance to participate in a collective wisdom study. I am a graduate student of Antioch University Seattle and am in the process of compiling stories of LGBT immigrants. I am seeking to provide a unique opportunity for LGBT immigrants a chance to share their stories and experiences that statistics do not provide. For instance, stories that describe the adjustments / challenges experienced as you leave or integrate into another culture. What changes did you expereince/make? How did you balance the needs of your family and culture of origin with the needs of the new culture? As you made the adjustments, what worked well for you and what would you do differently? Other story possibilities may include the relationship you have with you family/spouse/siblings/children/parents? It’s your story, tell it your way. This is an opportunity for you to share your experience with others, some of whom may be in their own journey.

 

Guidelines for Submission:

(Please note that these stories are not intended to provide an opportunity for individuals or groups to insult or offend others. We ask that authors respect the privacy of individuals who may be mentioned in the stories they submit by using fictional (fake) names. We also ask that authors be respectful of others in their expression of opinions. Submitted stories will be screened based on these and other criteria. Stories submitted that seem rude, offensive, or generally distasteful
will not be accepted.) The following is a suggestion but you may omit as much information as you like.

* The author or group of authors will have immigrated from one country to another or from one region to another. 

* References to other resources should be included at the end of the story in a bibliography

* Person or persons submitting story must be the author

* More than one short story can be submitted

* It is preferred that stories be submitted in American English and am willing to accept submissions in any language

* Please verify that your contact information is accurate in your submission

* If desired I am willing to conduct or accept an audio or video interview instead of a written story.  

 

Contact Information:

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Feel free to email us at: lgbtculture [at] yahoo [dot] com

Also, You can follow us remotely or on your phone with twitter: http://twitter.com/lgbtculture
As new stories and postings are added to our blog twitter will let you know.

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    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Immigration Stories – A Collective Wisdom

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