Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Why the U.S. Needs Immigration Reform: Our Story

Originally written for and published on The Huffington Post, Gay Voices. This is our story and why America needs Immigration Reform. I hope one day that we can move to America!

At a young age I realized that I am attracted to women and began longing for a feminine lesbian with long, blonde hair to sweep me off my feet. Along she did come, with her extra-long, blonde hair, her beautiful smile and, surprisingly, a Southern drawl. I never expected to find myself with a partner from another country. I'm British and have lived in the UK my whole life. In the beginning, having to deal with the distance between the UK and Hawaii was the toughest obstacle, but what happens when one partner can't expect to be sponsored for citizenship in the other's country?

2013-04-23-221194_760839197227_586656_o.jpg

I've been rather lucky to grow up in the UK, with its introduction of civil partnerships in 2004. Not only can same-sex couples have a legally binding commitment to demonstrate our love, but doing so also confers immigration rights. In discovering that I had no options for permanently joining the love of my life in Hawaii, we realized that the only option was for Whitney to move to the UK. When we first applied for Whitney's visa to the UK, to our horror, it was denied. Our dreams of living together in the UK were dashed, and we had to go our separate ways after my three-month visitor's visa to the U.S. ran out. We had to wait a whole year until we could apply for Whitney's second visa to the UK, all the while scared about what might happen if it were denied too. What would our other options be? We wouldn't be welcomed or legally recognized in the U.S. Where else could we go? Would we both have to leave our countries in the name of love? It greatly saddened us that the U.S. could not be an option, that I would never be able to fully enjoy the culture that she has grown up in.

2013-04-23-IMG_0295.jpg

I proposed to Whitney in Hawaii on May 17, 2011, and on Sept. 28, 2012, we had a beautiful, intimate ceremony in the UK. After we'd been maintaining a long-distance relationship for four years, Whitney's visa to the UK had been approved. We were finally able to say "good riddance" to the heartache and the times apart and begin our "happily ever after" together. However, in order to do so, Whitney had to leave the country she had grown up in her whole life. The U.S. essentially pushed out a stunning, charismatic and wonderful American citizen who would have surely gone on to have a fanastic career there. As former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) recently pointed out, not only do the current U.S. immigration policies toward same-sex couples tear families apart, but they also damage the economy.

Now that we are fully settled into our lives in the UK, we are as happy as can be that we never have to be apart. However, we want to be able to have the option of moving back to the U.S. one day, so that we can spend quality time with her mother and family. We want our future children to know where "Mom" came from. We love the fact that the UK has welcomed us and enabled us to conquer a long-distance relationship, but that shouldn't mean that Whitney can never call the U.S. her home again. We know many straight British-American couples who have moved to the U.S. with no difficulties for the British partner. Binational LGBT families in America are gravely frightened of being torn apart because same-sex couples are not offered the same immigration rights. We should be treated as equals, and not as "less than" in the eyes of the law. I hope that as the U.S. Congress moves forward with immigration reform, it takes into account the many LGBT families it currently exiles or tears apart. Whitney and I want to be able to return to the U.S. together and not to be asked whether we are sisters, cousins, friends... anything other than what we actually are, which is wife and wife. We crave this recognition from our peers as well as from the governments of the countries we call home.

Surviving a distance of over 7,000 miles is hard enough. It's time we were offered the same rights to say "I do" to marriage and immigration rights.

2013-04-23-IMG_05272.jpg

Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Wegan Off To AMERICA!!

Off To 'MEEERRICCAA!


Yes, that's right, Wegan's feet are leaving UK soil together and landing in the U-S-of-AAAA!!! Yay! It's been just over a year since Megan went back, and nearly a year for Whitney (her longest time away. Ever) we are heading back to the Good ol' South! (Sorry Hawaii- we miss you SOOOO much). We're looking forward to catching up with Whitney's friends and family... as well as Taco Bell / Sweet Tea/ Cracker Barrel/ Good Stabucks Coffee.. to name a few! We'll be getting a good tour of the South by visiting South Carolina, Kentucky & Tennessee! So if you see a blonde couple running around- come say hiiiiii y'all!!

Enjoying tasty American Starbucks!
Check out our previous blog posts about our previous trips to SC!

Wegan in SC 2011!
Also, check out Kaelyn & Lucy's wonderful video of their recent time together featuring our faces! You'll get to see Wegan Manor, Wegan & Luclyn drunk on champagne, Whitney informing you of how to say 'MEEERICA & professing the change that married life has brought.


We also filmed the Girlfriend Test (as tagged by Kaelyn & Lucy). We test each other 5 questions to see who knows the most about their other half... Who wins??


SEE YOU SOON 'MEEERICA!!



Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Thursday, 11 April 2013

♥ Our Civil Partnership ♥ 28th September 2012 ♥ Part 1!

This post is long over due and I'm sorry about that. We've shared some of our favourite Civil Partnership photo's on our social media, and on our new blog design. Now it is time to show you the rest of the pictures! These are all by my sister's friend who is a photographer (Matthew Payne). As we are having our big wedding in 2015, we originally didn't plan to have any 'official' photographs taken- but I'm glad that we did! When it comes to the big wegging though- there will be many, many more photos!

Before The Ceremony


We shared our last night in our home, Wegan Manor, before getting ready with Megan's sister's in the morning.














It's surreal thinking back to this day last year- time has absolutely flown by. I do wish that we had blogged about it at the time, though I do still vividly remember the absolute surreal feeling that came over me that morning. I couldn't believe that it was actually day for me to marry my beautiful fiancĂ© in front of our closet family and friends. 

Yes- we wore identical dresses and heels from Ted Baker. We didn't plan to wear the exact same outfit but as soon as we found it, we both fell in love and realised how adorable we looked wearing the same dress. For our big wedding we will wear different dresses and keep them a secret from each other! 

The whole time we were together side by side, from sleeping and waking up next to each other, to showering, getting ready and drinking champagne. 

The morning absolutely flew by and before we knew it, we were off to say 'I Do'!

In this series of Civil Partnership posts we will be bringing you-



Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Megan + Her Hand- An Update!

This is a subject that I thought I would never write about once, let alone twice. However, without meaning to, the blog post ‘introducing’ you to my hand aka disability has become one of our most popular blogs. It also pops up when you begin to search Google for ‘what wegan did next’. Therefore it seems to be a topic that many people are intrigued about; whether that’s just a result of general intrigue to know what all the fuss about it I do not know. What has arisen out of it was something that I was not expecting at all… and that’s messages from our followers who also have a disability. Not for one minute did I think that by sharing a part of me to the world that I’m not very confident about, that it would in fact give others confidence about their own disability; whatever it may be. So I want to thank all of you for confiding in me and for being so brave. It means more to me than you can possibly know. I don’t think I could ever fully express it, but please know that it truly touches my heart.

megan-evans-hand

It’s amazing how far I have come over the past few years. I can remember at the age of 18 crying when professionals had to look at my hand for assessment purposes. I remember at the age of 23 of wanting to go hide in a hole when I was having to pack my groceries away in Tesco and was conscious of being too slow for the ever growing line. Feeling frustrated on my 10 minute walk home from said grocery shop with too many heavy bags and struggling to make it up the hill. Now that I’m 25 going on 26, I notice more and more the frustrations I have as a result of my disability. There are still times when I’m more annoyed by it than ever before. When I can’t use the weights at the gym, or do the same activity as everyone else in the circuits fitness class we regularly attend. My right shoulder getting tired from driving with one hand, and not being able to drink my take away Starbucks along my journey for fear of crashing the car- or simply taking my hand off the wheel to scratch my head! I still get upset by it, oh yes. I know that there are many out there with far more disability, and they cope amazingly. I’m in awe of those people. However I’m still amazed at how far I have come. That I can write this post without crying. Or that I can write it at all. It feels good. I’m still scared to put this part of me out there. I’m still waiting for the coward anons with their hateful words (although Whitney will still best them up, with a team of you out there by the sounds of things). I can handle anyone saying negative comments about my sexual orientation. I cannot handle it about my hand. However, one lovely lady said to me recently when I confessed this- that it is worth a few hateful anons in order for the good to come out of it; to be an inspiration to others. It’s something I thought I never would be.

megan-whitney-hand

I’ve always strived to change the image of lesbians as being feminine, although it appears that I have inadvertently become an image for something else- a girl who is like everyone else and just so happens to have a disability. I’ve never embraced this part of me, and I still do not yet fully. I admire, and I’m slightly jealous, of people like Sarah Herron.

sarah-herron
source
Born with only one fully formed arm, she rejects being labelled as disabled (as do I, though I do say I have a disability as opposed to being disabled) and she absolutely flaunts her fabulous self- arm and all. As you can tell, I still hide my hand from my pictures and videos and this is the first time fully posting pictures with my disability. Perhaps one day I can get better with the visible side of things, but until then- this is a big change. A feeling of pride- of realising I have managed to make the most of what I’ve got and at least being able to write it.

Oh and by the way… I never fully introduced you to my hand properly….

Introducing you to…

Handy!



Turns out, a lot of people actually have a name for their disability and since I can ever remember, it has always gone by the name of Handy! It’s how my family and wife refers to it (though Whitney tries to claim it’s a ‘she’ not ‘it’ or ‘he’). I don’t feel comfortable labelling it as ‘it’, ‘he’, or ‘she’- just Handy!

Thanks for all your ever continued support. Stay strong!

Love
+ Handy


Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

When Wegan Met Luclyn!



A couple weeks back, we had the pleasure of meeting fellow long distance and British/ American couple Kaelyn and Lucy AKA Luclyn. Like us, they have been documenting their long distance relationship online and they've come to be an inspiration for many along the way. Kaelyn originally stumbled across our youtube and they were very happy to find a couple who had also been doing long distance- as well as successfully conquered it!


Kaelyn arrived in London on 9th March, and we were honoured to have the lovely ladies come visit and stay at Wegan Manor for their first full day of being reunited again. Having not met before, we all instantly got on fantastically and we sat chatting for a few hours (yay that we now have a sofa), before heading to show them Windsor (and of course grab a coffee). It just so happened to be an absolutely freezing day out, but they managed to get a glimpse of Windsor Castle and the Long Walk, where we hilariously tried to get a photo of the four of us.




We headed back to Wegan Manor for some champagne on rather empty stomachs... two champagne bottles later it was safe to say we were all a bit tipsy... Then this middy drunk video happened- The Newlywed Game!





Afterwards we headed out for much needed food at Thai Square (not Times Square!) Our time with them drew to a close all too soon with Whitney and I have to work the next day (boo!) They were an absolute pleasure to have stay, and the cutest guests ever even leaving us a costa gift card <3 
 


Our pleasure girls!!

It was great to finally meet these lovely ladies, and beyond sharing the commonality of doing long distance, it is great to find friends that we truly get along with. We wish them all the best on their journey to conquer long distance, and we'll be with them every step of the way!

To read about their version of their stay with us, visit their blog!
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover