In 2007, Craig Graham-Biggers left the Yukon to run a bar in Baja, Mexico for a year.
He expected sun and sand and to earn a living, but did not think he would find love. But he did.
In August, he and Fernando Biggers started chatting on a popular site for “bears” (“big, hairy men” in the gay community) when Craig was captivated by his profile picture.
“Fernando is Latino and very good looking,” says Craig. “Also he wrote in his profile that he liked Canadian bears and spoke English, which was good because I didn’t know any Spanish at first!”
Craig sent a message and was surprised when he received a response. After chatting until all hours by email and video, they met in person a month later.
“I flew across to the mainland and met him in person,” says Craig.
“I was so scared, I could have jumped out of the plane. I wondered, ‘Is he the same person? Is he an axe murderer?’ You just don’t know!”
Apparently Fernando was equally nervous and so brought his best friend with him to the airport, which momentarily threw Craig. So did their welcome wagon at Fernando’s home: all his family was there to greet them.
“It went really good, I think, considering I didn’t know the language,” laughs Craig.
“Then we kicked them out of the house and spent the whole weekend together. I told him I loved him before I left, which left him a little shocked.”
Fernando soon visited Craig on the coast and by December, Craig had moved in. The following spring they relocated to the Yukon.
“Fernando asked me to marry him June 21 during solstice in the park,” says Craig.
While they and a group of friends were walking along the river, Fernando called to Craig.
“When I turned around, he was down on one knee. I said yes, gave him big hug and a kiss and everyone cheered.”
On October 11, 2008 they had a beautiful ceremony and reception in the Yukon, but the honeymoon was short-lived.
A week later Fernando – who was still undergoing naturalization – had to return to Mexico as part of the immigration process.
“At least it gave us a chance to share the videotaped wedding with his family,” says Craig.
Handling Fernando’s immigration was stressful for the couple, but it worked out in the end, and now the two have each started their own Whitehorse-based businesses, The Hair Studio by Fernando and the Sternwheeler Saloon in the Ramada Hotel.
They have thrown themselves into these ventures with the same passion and commitment as their marriage, and live by their words of relationship success: “You have to love and support each other in every endeavour that you do.”