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Documentary Looks at Gay Binational Couple Forced to Leave U.S.: VIDEO


With regard to my last post about immigration equality, there's a documentary underway about the plight of one gay couple and their battle against discrimination.

InvoluntarydepartureDirector Wes Culwell writes:

(In)Voluntary Departure is a documentary chronicling the lives of Sandro and Alon, a bi-national couple as they are forced to leave the U.S. and spend a year traveling the globe in search of a new place to call home.

This film follows the year-long journey as Sandro is forced to walk away from his flourishing L.A. based fashion line and Alon must resign from Microsoft, his 10+ year employer, to travel the globe looking for a new home that welcomes and recognizes its LGBT citizens as equal under the law.  This is a chance to be a part of not only telling the story of the outdated immigration policies of the United States, but a chance to join the ever growing voices that are demanding a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the recognition of our friends and legal spouses of bi-national couples.

Culwell is looking for a last bit of funding on indiegogo to finish making the film.

Watch Culwell speak with Sandro and Alon in an interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t david mixner)

(In)Voluntary Departure from BennettSt. Media on Vimeo.

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  1. So nice to know that gay US couples have to be split apart or leave, while all around us we have neighbors living next to us that aren't in the country legally, living and working here illegally, raising families, sending their kids to schools WE pay for, and siding against us at every opportunity.

    Posted by: GayCitizen | Sep 28, 2012 2:57:00 PM

  2. What the hell are you talking about, Gaycitizen? Just who are these people who are here illegally who are "siding against us at every opportunity"? Last time I checked, the ones "siding against us at every opportunity" were pretty much the same crowd trying to round up all the undocumented immigrants.

    Posted by: Patric | Sep 28, 2012 3:04:58 PM

  3. Well actually we are one of these couples. Last year, after spending more than 10 years in the US, buying a property there, I was ordered to leave the country, I had to because I still have family outside of the US and needed to be able to travel... otherwise I could have become an illegal...
    So now my USamerican partner and I live in Germany with full benefits for my foreign partner... and we can only hope there will be progress in the US for the people affected.
    Return to the USA? Probably not...

    Posted by: Martin in G | Sep 28, 2012 3:26:34 PM

  4. That's Wes from Boy Meets Boy! I thought I recognized that face from somewhere...

    Posted by: Perry | Sep 28, 2012 3:39:08 PM

  5. I have to laugh whenever someone asserts that the millions of "undocumented" living here, who are mostly very conservative Catholics, are somehow not homophobic bigots.

    I guess most people don't speak Spanish well enough to understand what they're saying to each other about us.

    It's a good thing they can't vote !

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Sep 28, 2012 3:40:29 PM

  6. We had to move as well. Happy to say, life is good in Brasil.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 28, 2012 3:58:11 PM

  7. These guys were on House Hunters International. They moved to Spain.

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 28, 2012 4:23:29 PM

  8. "Forced to spend a year traveling the globe [and to] walk away from his flourishing LA based fashion line..." Really? Of course theirs is an awful position for anyone to be in but, just as an observation, I'm guessing this pair wasn't selected by the filmmaker because of their "everyman," salt of the earth qualities.

    Posted by: JAC | Sep 28, 2012 5:38:20 PM

  9. And I would have to laugh (if the conseqences of bigotry were not so serious) when someone relies on their uninformed bigotry and not actual facts or evidence to make sweeping proclamations about how members of another group of people think.

    I actually do speak Spanish so that's not my problem.

    If you read English, here's some actual data for you, as reported earlier this year by openly gay Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart:

    "For all the opposition by leaders in the Catholic Church, their flock isn’t following. “Nearly six-in-ten white non- Hispanic Catholics (59%) favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry,” Pew reports, “as do 57% of Hispanic Catholics.” This shouldn’t come as too surprising. Catholics have been leading the way on same-sex marriage for some time now."

    I'd also point out that marriage equality is recognized in at least parts of several very Catholic countries of Latin America and other gay rights are recognized in certain others of those countries.

    Now I acknowledge that Latino evangelicals, a smaller group, are a problem, as all evangelicals are and as we've witnessed in the struggles for marriage equality in New York and New Jersey. To suggest as you have, however, that Catholic Latinos are generally homophobic and opposed to our rights speaks to your own ignorance and bigotry.

    The face of the enemy of the gay community in our struggle for equality is not undocumented immigrants. It is white and African-American evangelicals like Michelle Bachmann, Pat Robertson and Harry Jackson and right-wing Catholics like Rick Santorum and Bill Donohue.

    Posted by: Patric | Sep 28, 2012 6:05:02 PM

  10. ANDREW IN BRAZIL, What part of Brazil did you select? My partner and I are also looking to relocate to Brazil.

    Posted by: CHRIS | Sep 29, 2012 8:35:23 AM

  11. Wow, there really are a lot of us involuntary expats. My Austrian husband and I had to move to Germany. In the meantime we could move back to Austria, but I hate not even having the option to move "home" to the States...

    Posted by: Andy | Oct 1, 2012 4:08:06 PM

  12. Here in Toronto, I have many, many friends who are bi-national couples where one partner is American and the other a non-American. In fact, just this year another moved from San Francisco and they're selling their $1.9 mil house they lived in for years simply because the Filipino partner, an IT professional, cannot secure a green card. They bring their culture, skills, education, professions and money to Canada. And they are close enough to visit family and friends and vice versa. Plus, universal healthcare. Most important, equal rights. In most cities, no one bats even an eyelash when you reference a same-sex spouse.

    Posted by: Ah123 | Oct 1, 2012 5:51:47 PM

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