Meet the Garinns

SelfieHi there! We are the Garinns. Cliff is on the left, Jon is on the right.

We used to be known as Cliff Garner and Jon O’Guinn, but marriage (and some court proceedings) changed all that. By taking the first three letters of Garner and the last three letters of O’Guinn, we came up with a name that gives a nod to our family history and intertwines our identities. You can read about our name change here (go ahead and take a look…we’ll wait).

We met in June 2001, when a mutual friend invited us to dinner. We both suspected it might be love at first sight, but we were too timid to follow up on that impulse until a month later, on July 4, when we went to a Texas Rangers baseball game. The Rangers played the Seattle Mariners that night, beating them 6-3. Then, the fireworks commenced.

There we were under the vast Texas sky, surrounded by more than 45,000 people, yet we felt like the only two people in the stadium. From that moment on, we’ve been intensely devoted to each other as we’ve built a life together.

Like many same-sex couples, we didn’t know where or when we would finally achieve public recognition of our relationship. That opportunity came on Dec. 18, 2004, in Vancouver, British Columbia. We were married during a simple ceremony in a historic bed and breakfast. Upon re-entering the U.S., a customs official asked about the purpose of our visit to Canada. We both hesitated, searching for words.

“We visited friends.” “We went sightseeing.” We looked at each other, knowing the truth and feeling awkward about telling a lie. “Actually,” we said, dropping all pretense, “We were married.” Without skipping a beat, the customs official stamped our passports and said, “Welcome back to the United States.”

Since then, we’ve worked in our various fields: Cliff as a career development professional and Jon as a magazine editor. We’ve lovingly tended our historic home and our “canine copilots.” And we’ve developed a wanderlust that has taken us on the go in our home on wheels: a 25-foot Airstream Flying Cloud travel trailer.