Dear New Orleans veggie community,
My name is Ryan Judd. I am a New Orleans native and a proud member of NOLA's vegetarian and LGBTQ community. I am currently on a government sponsered Fulbright scholarship in China conducting research on gender issues in different ethnic minority communities in the rural South. I am writing to you for help. I met my current boyfriend of six months soon after I arrived in China to begin my research grant. He is a native Chinese living in Yunnan province where I'm carrying out my field work. As the end of my grant term approaches (early July), my boyfriend and I are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of ensuring our future together. In a word, it is not easy for a Chinese citizen to come to America in any capacity--in fact, it is very difficult unless one has a serious amount of financial resources available or the possibilty of marriage to an American
citizen. Being gay in America (and China), however, as you very well know, does not allow for the second option. The simplest solution to this problem, perhaps, is often to enroll in post-secondary education programs; however, for financial and practical reasons this option is just not feasible in our case. As you can see, we are not left with many possibilities. I am sure that you have seen some of the recent articles in the New York Times descirbing the very similar, difficult circumstances that other international gay couples like us are now facing--mainly: how can we stay together? how can we keep on loving each other?
Fortunately, securing gainful employment with an American company or organization is one route that remains still available to us, and in this respect, one of the few things working to our advantage is that my boyfriend has a degree from a Chinese university in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. More and more, there is a rapdily growing demand for Chinese language teachers in the United States as the PRC continues to become an ever more powerful player in the world of international commerce and affairs. We have already begun sending out his CV to those relevant contacts and educational organizations who may be looking for Chinese language instructors in the New Orleans area. However, we are concerned that many companies/schools may be hesitant to hire Chinese nationals, as this requires the organization to sponsor these individuals for a work visa,
when they can hire Mandarin speakers who are American citizens or are already living in the US with green cards, etc. Despite these concerns, we are still hopeful that we will be able to find a school willing to sponsor us.
Nevertheless, I wanted to take the time to write to you to ask if there is perhaps anything you can do to help us in this difficult situation. As far as securing employment for my boyfriend with a New Orleans company/organization/etc, he is not just qualified to teach Chinese. As you can see from his resume (which is attached) he has also had experience working with volunteer organizations (animal rescue) and HIV/AIDS/LGBTQ NGO's. He's a quick-learner with a broad range of interests and is willing to fill different positions or work different jobs wherever there could possibly be a need. He's a vegetarian and an animal lover---working for any kind of green, veg, or animal rescue organization would be ideal for him.
I would ask that any information, resources, contacts that may be of use, please do not hesitate to send them our way. We need all the support and positive energy that we can get. Lastly, please forward our information on to anyone who may be able to help in any way possible. We just want to have the opportunity to continue to be together like any other couple in the world. Thank you for your time and your support.
Ryan Judd and Sun Jun (孙骏)
Fulbright Scholar, Yunnan, China
Tulane University, English and Asian Studies, 2012