From then, until now – and always.
Hi! Its Tim and this is the story of how Jamie and I first met, fell in love, spent years apart, and finally are getting to spend the rest of our lives together, traveling and going on all sorts of amazing adventures!
It all started in the winter of 2004 with an OG Xbox and a website called gaymer.org. The website was a safe space for LGBT video gamers to go to and post about anything from video games to favorite celebrity crushes. I made many friends on gaymer.org, almost all of whom I’m still friends with and in touch with. Although the website is long since gone, the friendships it created will remain with me throughout the rest of my life.
One evening in December 2004, a group of us from the website all were online playing Halo 2 which had recently released and changed the face of multiplayer gaming forever. We were between matches and sitting in the online lobby waiting for another match to begin. Many of us knew each other from the website but there were a few new faces (voices?) in the bunch. During the lull in gameplay, we heard a wee voice with a Scottish accent start belting out the Pussycat Dolls greatest contribution to mankind, the ever-catchy hit, Don’t Cha! Yes, it was a 16 year old Jamie who thought he had put his mic on mute! Whoops!
Well, we all laughed and when he realized, he got so embarrassed that he logged off without saying another word. Knowing he was embarrassed, I logged on to the website the next day just to let him know it wasn’t anything to be embarrassed over. That one message changed the course of my life, though I didn’t yet know it.
Over the course of the next months, our gaming group solidified with a bunch of regulars, including myself and Jamie. We continued chatting casually over time talking about music, movies, pop culture, books, and anything else one chats about with someone they’ve never met but have a lot in common with, Jamie was an angsty teen but he was also an old soul, a dichotomy that I can relate to given that I have never acted my age. Oh, did I forget to mention? Jamie is 20 years my junior.
Anyway, over the next 18 months or so, Jamie and I grew closer through texts, chats, gaming, etc. In September 2006, Jamie finally came out to visit me in Seattle and we met in person for the first time. We already liked each other but I honestly never expected anything to come of our May-September relationship. Oh, how I was wrong. By the end of his two week visit, I’d already decided that I needed to see him again. And he felt the same.
Over the next couple years, Jamie visited me and spent summers in Seattle, and even a Christmas with my parents. I visited Scotland for the first time and met his family. I am not going to lie and say that both families accepted the relationship from the get-go. We had awkward discussions, disapproving looks, and even a few comments. But we knew in our hearts that we were meant to be together. And for a couple years, we survived on airline miles and vacation time for visits to each other.
However, in the summer of 2009, disaster struck. Jamie flew to Seattle as he had for the prior two summers. This time, he got an immigration agent who disapproved of our relationship, and denied him entry. He was detained overnight in a detention center and sent back to Scotland the next morning. He was denied the right of a phone call and I had no idea what happened to him other than that he landed safely and then received no further word.
The worst moment (out of the worst day of my life) was when I had to call his mum in Scotland to tell her that her son never arrived in Seattle. I’ll spare you the details of all the frantic calls to and from family, calls to embassies and consulates, letters to Congresspersons and Ministers of Parliament. Suffice it to say that Jamie was effectively barred from entering the country for the next 10 years.
But love would prevail. In September 2011, Jamie moved to Canada on a year-long visa. Vancouver BC is only a 2.5 hour driver from Seattle. For an entire year, I would drive up on weekends with my two dogs to Vancouver to visit Jamie. With this regular routine, it was so easy to envision what life would be like if we were able to be together. But the year flew by, and eventually Jamie returned to Scotland. But not before we got married!
On June 9, 2012, Jamie and I had a destination wedding in Victoria, BC, a city that we both fell in love with for its old world charms. We stood in front of 35 of our closest friends (and my mom) who all travelled to Victoria for the weekend. To this day, it still remains one of the greatest weekends of my life. We knew that even though we would once again be separated, that our relationship was stronger than anything that could be thrown at it.
On June 26, 2013, The US Supreme Court overturned the bigoted and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and I became eligible to sponsor Jamie for his green card to the US. We immediately hired one of the best immigration attorneys in Seattle, and after months of paperwork, submitted Jamie’s application to become a Permanent Resident of the US.
After a very lengthy process, Jamie was approved and arrived in Seattle where he belonged on Jan 29, 2015. He was finally home and we were finally together. The past 4+ years since then have flown by. We’ve made a lot of new friends and neighbors, Jamie’s photography business has grown ever stronger, and we’ve had lots of laughs and adventures.
Which brings us to today. Nine months ago, I started dabbling in the credit card points and miles game. Starting June 2019, Jamie and I will be heading out on various adventures and travels and we thought we should have a place to document them, both for ourselves and anyone else interested.