American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Through Thick and Thin: Thom and Jeff’s Love Story

AFER’s Love Stories series tells the stories of couples who are waiting to get married. If you are a gay and lesbian couple who is planning to get married, tell us your story and you could be featured.

When Jeff Tabaco and Thom Watson of Daly City, California, met nine years ago, it was a meeting of the minds before it was a meeting of the hearts. In the Washington, DC area, both men were avid readers of each others’ blog. Reading turned into commenting, commenting turned into dinner and a concert, which turned into a long-lasting love.

“What I love about the whole development is that the relationship grew organically,” says Jeff. “I felt like he got me – he understood me. It became apparent very early on that we have this really nice rhythm.” “We sometimes joke that we share a brain between us,” continues Thom. “Just like old married couples, we constantly finish each others’ sentences, and we make the same strange jokes and cultural references.”

Within the first few months of meeting each other, Thom’s father passed away. A first test of their relationship, Jeff was there for Thom through the whole ordeal. Two years later, Jeff’s father also passed away. This time Thom provided the support Jeff needed. Able to get through such hard times together, the couple knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together.

Meeting the Mothers

“I feel really lucky, both of our families have been really accepting of us as a couple,” says Thom. “Our mothers met for the first time at our commitment ceremony in 2009 and instantly became great friends. They both come from small towns where family and religion are really important to them. They bonded over that, and now speak regularly on the telephone from opposite coasts.”

Thom and Jeff attribute their happiness to true love and a supportive family. Thom and Jeff are both incredibly close to their families—though not geographically. Jeff even has extended family back in the Philippines. “We have made a few trips there and they embrace Thom as just another cousin. It’s wonderful!” says Jeff.

The Californian Dream

The couple says the only thing missing is their ability to get married. “I feel like I have to qualify what our relationship is. I want to say ‘my husband.’ There are a lot of people that don’t even know what the laws are,” says Thom.

As a volunteer with Marriage Equality USA, Thom helps build support for marriage equality as the nonprofit organization’s social media coordinator. “It’s painful to live in a country where you are continually confronted with a set of laws that suggest that you are less than someone else. That you are less American, that you are less human,” he says.

“I am proud to be a Californian but I’ll be a prouder Californian when we are able to get married here,” says Jeff.

“Getting married would fulfill a dream I didn’t think I could ever have. It would complete my life and our life together,” continues Thom.