Change, California, and Community

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. Photo:Arvind Balarman

Lordy Loo! My last post was November 26 of 2010. ‘Nuff said.

So let’s jump right to it, shall we?And V – thanks for the check – in email:) I feel like doing a list today, so that I can get through this post without tearing up.

1. I was offered and I accepted a job in San Francisco. I’m definitely a Capricorn in my need to keep my little secret compartments! lol In the interest of privacy and everyone’s best interests, I don’t want to talk publicly about the job itself on this blog. What I will say is that I’m ready for the challenge that this position throws down! I’m deeply moved by the openness of the organization to bring me onto their team. This job in many ways embodies the intersectionality of the passions and commitments that I have in my life to the areas around LGBTQ issues, race, class, immigration, and finding the funding to bring those conversations in the US more powerfully forward in a positive manner.

2. I’ll be leaving for New York on the 13th. Work will start that weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll then be heading out to San Francisco on January 18th.

R won’t be coming with me for either of these steps, as he cannot enter the US.

Writing that line is what makes me tear up over the keyboard right now.

R can actually apply again for his US residency in April of this year. April will be the 10-year mark of his deportation back to Mexico. As most of you know, he was ordered out of the US for 20 years.

10 years have passed. A decade. I came to Mexico when I was 31. I’m now 41. A decade of growth, as well as a decade of losses.

Depending on what happens after his appointment, R will either come to live with me in California, or he will continue to be barred from entering the US. If the 20-year-ban still sticks, we will move the Mexican side of our life closer to the border, in either Ensenada or Mexicali. Mexico’s wine country is in those areas, and R could hop right in there as a sommelier, as a wine expert. He’s completed his studies as a sommelier and knows that this what he wants to do with his life. So his career will either deepen and expand in California, or in Mexico’s wine country.

What I want to say is that this decision doesn’t come lightly or easily. R and I have given it a lot of thought. We’ve had a lot of conversations, run the gamut of emotions. We both truly feel that this is the right decision.

I’ve been to the States before for months at a time. But it’s been for touring or temporary work. There was always the knowledge that I’d be coming back after a set period of time. Back to R and our 4 cats, and our life here in this specific part of Mexico.

And while I do plan to come back to visit R, I know in my bones that it is different this time. That by January of next year, how R will physically be by my side is up in the air.

But that’s life for most of us in an immigration situation with our partners and the US. Our own personal versions of hope and resignation playing a non-stop game of tag with each other in the playgrounds of our minds.

And yet, what I want to say here is that I know it can be done. Why do I write this with such sureness in my heart? Because of the community that I found online last year. A community of people that are in complicated and painful dance steps with the US government, in one way or another. It all started when one person reached out to me in 2010 after watching a video of me speaking as a deported man’s wife. El Sr. Chupacabras opened the door, and I walked into the room:)

A room where people know on a visceral level what it means to sleep alone in a bed that once held two. A room where people on the outside may scream, “Illegal!”or “Criminal!” but we picture our loved one’s face. A room where “anchor babies” means our own children, extended family members, and/or close friends. A room where others think that they are helping us, but they sometimes just don’t fucking get it. A room where people have sat alone in the dark, wondering if this was all worth it, if love alone was enough to get through this. A room where at other moments, we wouldn’t change a thing.

When I get on that plane next week, I’ll be carrying all of you in my heart.

Lots more to talk about/share with you. But that’s all for today:)



12 thoughts on “Change, California, and Community

  1. I don't know why but I just couldn't respond when I first read the post. I was just filled with this intense feeling of sadness, like when I followed Corin's story. It will certainly be easier for me to visit you in SF than in Cuernavaca. Jose actually wants to make another trip to SF before we head south for the appointment, which we are postponing until fall. We'll have to meet up for dinner and drinks.Always my love, Krystal


  2. I can't believe I missed this earlier! Congratulations, Giselle. I can totally see you in SF. And I gotta find out what you'll be doing, etc. Safe travels. xoxox ed (you know — edgetsread;-)


  3. My heart breaks for you and sings for you at the same time, G. There is always bitter with the sweet, isn't there, not that it makes it any easier! You know I'm here for you and for R, wherever you go! Mucho, mucho amor.


  4. Wow G. This post is intense & I need time to process, but congratulations (in a weird way, huh?) and it's great that R is now a sommelier. Exciting!btw, I did not have you pegged as a Capricorn. Best guess was maybe a quirky Aquarian ๐Ÿ˜‰


  5. I am so happy for you! And sad for you! Thank you for helping me to meet so many people in this community, I honestly thought I was the only one. You are so brave for going and were so brave for staying. Hopefully all will work out and you and R will be "home" together. You both deserve happiness.


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