It’s been some time since I blogged and I have needed and enjoyed the down time. It was years fighting for our immigration rights as same-sex binational families and it wore me out physically, emotionally, mentally and fiscally. But it also made me feel good and that I had contributed, so it wasn’t all bad.
Now it’s 2014 and Karin and I have returned from a birthday trip for me (66) and I am finding my way back onto mainland time (after two weeks in Hawaii), back to normal (whatever that is for me as a retired person) and into the new world of a safely, legally, federally-recognized spouse of a green card-carrying, non-citizen, federally-recognized spouse of the same gender.
Like many, we are appreciating being married and having our marriage recognized. Like many, we are mourning the fact that so many others still need immigration solutions. So that will be my next project – helping more with CIR, comprehensive immigration reform.
I live in the world where ethnicity and nationality and culture intersects with gender and gender expression. Queers meet the undocumented; the LGBT world meshes with the non-citizen world. It has not always been a good fit or a friendly association, but I see progress, so I continue to help where I can. You can too. Share your story. Share the resources you have found. Listen. Sometimes that’s all someone needs – an ear and a heart to hear their troubles.
I will continue the stories that update the status of the folks in my book, Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law, Findhorn Press, 2011. I will continue to post stories about groups that work for CIR. I will continue to post links and references that can help.
Right now I am counting the days and hours until Karin and I see Jose Antonio Vargas’ film, Documented, in Mountain View, CA on January 27 – https://www.facebook.com/events/615907591792062/?previousaction=join&source=1
I admire Jose so much and am so proud of the work he has done and is doing and will do. He has galvanized a community and used his media skills to craft important messages that tell the story that can’t be ignored – many, many folks need help to keep their families together. Undocumented folks need our help. It was a thrill to attend President Obama’s speech on immigration reform in Las Vegas in January 2013 – and who was sitting next to us in the VIP guest section but Jose! Wow!
You can start getting information and see ways to help with this link for his organization Define American - www.DefineAmerican.com, or http://www.defineamerican.org or you can look at the Facebook page -
https://www.facebook.com/DefineAmerican/info as a start.
One group I support and have written for is American Immigration Council. Find it at this link - http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/ I got to know Wendy Feliz when we spoke on a panel in 2013 at UNITY – the conference for minority media organizations. Then I was asked to write about same-sex binational families’ immigration special issues for AIC’s online newsletter. When I was named a Cesar Chavez Champion of Change for Immigration Reform for 2013, Wendy was one of my guests in the audience at the White House – what a day that was!
The work goes on – the need has not been resolved. So we keep marching toward the goal of immigration reform for the country’s most vulnerable. Glad to be in the mix!