4 August 2006

Advance Australia Fair

Well it's finally here, as of tomorrow Saturday August 4 2006 I will be able to officially lodge my application for Australian citizenship. It's been two years and one month since I won the right to live here as a permanent resident in Australia. James and I spent two more years before that going through the long drawn out process of convincing the Australia immigration department that we were an actual couple and that we kind of "liked each other". (If they only knew that we actually loved each other). Anyway, it's been a very long road but in some ways it seems like only yesterday and in others time has flown by and here we are.

I will lodge the application online and pay my $120.00 tomorrow but of course since it is a weekend no one will look at the paperwork until Monday but I will feel better once it's done. Then all I have to do is wait for a little interview in which they ask me if I understand the rights and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen, which I do and then once I pass that little hurdle I just have to wait for the swearing in ceremony or as a frind of our calls it my sterilisation ceremony. All up most people I've talked to say it should happen in about thirty days. I say what's a few more days compared to the past four. Oh, I almost forgot we also had to spend an additional two years together here in Australia even before we could start the whole process four years ago so all up it has taken us 6 years. We of course had the additional two years before all of that flying back and forth overseas to be with one another but apparently that didn't count as proof that we "liked each other". Eight years altogether...

Probably the most amazing and funny thing during the process was when James and I were asked to have a psychological assessment to make sure we were sane and also that we're not trying to pull a fast one. I am pleased to announce that according to the assessment not only are we sane but we apparently are soul mates and our relationship could be seen as a model for heterosexual couples. It really said that! Oh well what do we know about relationships were gay right. All of this work just because I'm HIV positive but in the end it has been so worth it to be with the person I love and see myself growing old with (which I'm doing well at right now as 50 is only a year away).

Anyway, I just thought I would share this with you. Everything I've been through in my life and I never thought I would end up here. Hell I never thought I would live this long. Life is good and the winter here in Tassie will soon be over. Spring is on it's way and the next chapter of our life is about to begin. I say Advance Australia Fair (it's their national anthem)...


David said...

Congratulations!! Where are you from originally then?
The funniest bit was you having to prove you werent trying to pull a fast one, like it's so much easier to marry a woman for a couple of grand isn't it!
Well done anyhow
David x

TJ said...

Thanks for that. I moved from Dallas to Sydney. Yes, the last bit was a feeble attempt on the department's end to finely stop us. Alas it didn't work.