Harnik & Paul, Seattle, Washington
I met Paul at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser. We had both become content with our lives as single men, but deep down the fantasy of romance had never really faded. That night was a kind of reawakening. Our love is one of mutual education. It is always a process of compromise, understanding, caring, and communication. Our cultural balance is ideal, to say the least. I’m East Indian, born in New Delhi, and always aim to strike a balance with the best of both Indian and American culture. I’m a Sikh, but more spiritual than religious. Paul is also very spiritual; we can pray to God together and remember Him without there being any conflict in our beliefs. We’ve gone to church and to Gurdwara together. We value family, food, and friends, and share a deep respect for others (especially elders). While we are an interracial couple, we share in our histories of oppression and our cultural values. We are proudly gay, but it doesn’t consume who we are, and we don’t fit the media stereotype of “gay.” We value our masculine and feminine attributes, and don’t flaunt either, and love others who choose to flaunt it at the same time. There are things we will never have in common. Paul is a software engineer, the coolest and hottest geek I’ve ever met, with a love of cars, video games, and Star Trek. I’m a project manager working in international public health, the social butterfly of the relationship, interested in travel, fashion, and shopping. Paul is practically a chef, and I am in charge of cocktails and dishwashing at dinner parties—it’s a perfect balance. We have everything we could want, especially in each other. We have ideal contrasts and perfect complements, unconditional love with a commitment to communicate with each other along this crazy path we call life. We recognize our blessings because we have both been without them. But in the end we know everything in life happens for a reason.