The story of Chris and Gus brings us back to the US, this time to the east coast, to Florida to be more precise. But this isn’t actually the beginning of their story together. Coming from the formerly isolated country of Cuba, the gay couple knows what it means when “traveling makes you free”. Similar to Karl’s home country, former East Germany, going to wherever you want to be a privilege, that not all citizens of the GDR nor Cuba could enjoy. But times have changed and Chris and Gus moved together away from the Caribbean island nation to Miami in the USA. The two gay guys are originally from Cuba, where they met each other in 2003. And although their lives aren’t connected to traveling professionally, in our eyes their story needs to be told, especially in the current, unprecedented times and the need of social distancing. Gus, one of the two guys, is a professional nurse for geriatrics, a job where he is highly exposed to sick people high at risk. With the responsibility to the weakest people of this crisis, Gus cannot just leave work at his working place, as their professional life is now impacting their relationship. Enjoy our story of Chris and Gus on Couple of Men and learn more about how the gay couple from Miami is facing the challenge of the Corona crisis together.
Traveling makes you FREE
Yes, there was a time before dating apps like Scruff, Planetromeo, and Grindr. Back in 2003, two Cuban guys met each other through an online messenger. Chris is 41 years old and happily together with his 17 years older partner Gus. For them, their journey together has just begun.
“We are a Chris and Gus, a Cuban couple who met through Yahoo Messenger back in 2003. We used to live in Havana before we left our home country for the adventure of our lifetime. Always keeping in mind that life is a one-way trip, we initiated our journey as a gay couple in 2005 when we decided to leave Cuba to discover the real world out there. Bolivia was our ‘stopover’ for almost two years before we happily arrived into – what we thought it was – our final destination: The United States of America.”
Miami in the US-State of Florida became home for Chris and Gus and fortunately opened the world for them, too. After they haven’t been able to travel around before leaving Cuba to the US for good – due to the travel restrictions lifted in 2013, also known as the infamous Carta Blanca (white letter) – the couple’s time has now come. And their age difference isn’t the only impressive and unifying difference between the two men who are speaking Spanish with each other.
“We are a true example for all those couples who think that age gap might be a barrier for a relationship. And our answer is: No! It definitely isn’t a barrier at all! And, by the way, the height difference isn’t an issue either (6′ 6″ vs. 5′ 2” = 1,83 m vs. 1,52 m). We can do and experience everything together, just like that. Not long after we arrived in the US, we discovered that the world was much bigger than ‘just’ North America. And here we are enjoying unique travel experiences like the Norwegian Fjords, watching the northern lights late in the evening while laying back at Mývatn Nature Baths in Iceland, and walking through the Cotswold in England like in a fairy tale. And we have much more to discover! Our next continent? Antarctica!”
What about the Couple’s travel plans for 2020/21?
Talking about traveling… Of course, the guys have had travel plans for this year. But we all know that this is a very uncertain and difficult time for travelers at the moment. But maybe there is hope for later this year and for 2021?
“Before we will depart for our big adventure to Antarctica next year, we had some interesting and new plans for 2020. We planned to go to the south of France the last week of May, but everything vanished and all we have on hand now is a voucher from the airline and cancellation confirmations from the hotels. Better than losing the money, of course, but we would have loved to explore the south of France for the first time.”
From France to Austria; Chris and Gus are still planning to come to Austria to attend the Pink Lake Festival in Carinthia. We are proud and happy about that since the guys found inspiration in our blog articles about the Pink Lake Festivals we posted over the past years. Fortunately, the event hasn’t been canceled yet, as it is planned to take place at the end of August. But no one knows for certain…
“Hopefully, we will be able to join the Pink Lake Festival at Pörtschach am Wörthersee in Austria the last week of August. We have a two-week vacation around those days, and we are planning to discover parts of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and some other cities in Austria as well. And we hope to finally meet Karl and Daan in Austria this year, as we are following their travel story along for quite a while now already!”
Our first USA trip brought us to Florida to Orlando’s theme parks. Additional to that, we explored the South Western part of the USA starting with California, Nevada with Las Vegas and its Extraterrestrial Highway, the Grand Canyon North Rim in Arizona and Zion National Park in Utah. And, of course, Illinois, Portland, and New York City!
And then, something unexpected hit the world…
Like for so many of us, members of the queer LGBT community or not, the current crisis is a difficult time. And although Chris and Gus haven’t been infected by the virus – at least not confirmed by testing – the unprecedented times are impacting the gay couple’s everyday lives.
“It has impacted my, (Chris) work and the company I work for has ordered most of their employees to work from home. This has been challenging for me since I appreciate it to have close contact with my coworkers in the office. Working from home makes me feel totally isolated. Gus, on the other hand, works at a medical center, and he still has to continue working from Monday through Friday as usual. Most of his patients are 65 years and older.”
Why Physical Distancing matters!
“And although he has never been exposed to any dangerous viruses or bacteria before, he is now part of the risk group and is now exposed to the virus. We are both really concerned about that, since we both could get sick because of Miss Rona. Many doctors, nurses, and some other healthcare personnel have died due to this virus over the past weeks. Of course, we are isolating ourselves at home to minimize the risk of Gus spreading the virus among the patients he is responsible for.”
Apart from some strange memories of their past lives, the guys decided to minimize any chance of transmitting the virus to each other. To achieve that, they took some drastic decisions. The guys are aware of their responsibility to the high-risk group at Gus’ workplace.
“When going to the supermarket, we feel we are dressing like if going to a costume party. Making long lines to buy our groceries reminds us of the daily life we used to have in Cuba years before. When returning home, we disinfect our shoes, keys, wallet, and whatever we have touched before washing our hands and our clothes go directly to the washing machine. It’s a new procedure in place that we still can’t believe is happening to us. Intimacy has been also affected, and we don’t kiss each other since March 18th to avoid fluid exchange (is this real?). Even worse, I have experienced 100% loss of smell and taste starting on March 19th and I have discovered that these might be symptoms of the infection on March 24th when I started recovering both senses (isn’t this scary?).
Stories that need to be told. We are sharing the love and success stories of lesbian, gay, trans, and queer couples shaping the perception of same-sex couples in our modern society. We owe it to their courage, heart, and braveness in how the world sees and accepts same-sex couples and all members of the queer LGBT community. Get inspired!
How to beat the challenging times? Together!
#1 Try to wear your best outfits when going for groceries
“When going to the supermarket, we feel like we are dressing up for a costume party. Wearing relaxing outfits at home, that’s our chance to shine!”
#2 Try to follow safety measurements for everyone’s sake
The measurements in place to flatten the curve are only working when everyone is following them. A short-term sacrifice to lower the number of deaths.
#3 Try to keep in touch with your loved ones
“This is the time to intensify our love and the simplest way to do it is saying: “I love you” or “I’m so lucky to have you with me” or, especially when you cannot, “I wish I could kiss you right now.” Stay in touch and let them know you care for them.
#4 Try to plan your travels in 2021
In those uncertain times, it is important to look into the future. And even if you can not travel right now, there will be a time when you can again. “Why not to plan the travels for 2021 or see those pictures that we took during our vacations years before? Don’t forget that ‘remember is to live again’.”
Don’t forget that “remember is to live again”
Final thoughts of the gay couple
“For us, this is also the time to intensify our love for each other and the simplest way to do it is just saying it: I love you, I’m so lucky to have you with me, I wish I could kiss you right now… This is also a good time to watch those LGBTQ+ movies together and learn from them; it’s a perfect time to work on those projects together… those for which we never have enough time, like painting the home or fixing furniture. Why not plan the travels for 2021 or see those pictures that we took during our vacation years before?”
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