The Lesbian Corner, Twenties

Stop Calling it a Gay Wedding

I’m getting married! How exciting, right?! I’ve found the love of my life and that person is perfect, they’re the Ying to my Yang, the other half of me that I have been searching for my entire life. Coincidentally, that person is also a woman. A lesbian wedding. A GAY wedding! Round up the unicorns, bag all of the glitter you can find and wave your rainbow flags! We are having ourselves a gay wedding.

http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/new-south-wales-news/10000-performers-half-a-tonne-of-glitter-helps-37th-sydney-mardi-gras-parade-pulsate-with-passion/133801
Mardi Gras 2015

The happy day will take place in March 2018 on a float pulled by the Dykes on Bikes during the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney. I’ll be wearing a rainbow princess dress and my soon to be wife shall wear a tuxedo with a top hat and tails. All lesbian stereotypes will be adhered too. Rainbow flags and glitter will be everywhere. My wife and I will conform completely to the roles assigned to us by our apparent butch and femme labels. It is a gay wedding after all, we wouldn’t want to upset anyone by not adhering to their preconceived notions regarding what a lesbian wedding looks like. I mean surely it can’t be the same as a straight wedding! Otherwise how would you know the difference?

Let’s get one thing straight, while we are not, that has nothing to do with how the biggest day of our lives will play out. Our wedding, just like any other wedding, is not a reflection on the couples sexual orientation rather their individual tastes, religious beliefs and budget.

I realize that my relationship with my fiancé might excite some curiosity from people. We might be the only lesbians you know, you might have never been to a wedding with two brides before and while we are both so happy to have you to share this special time with us the next time you feel the desire to ask me about my gay wedding, please think first.

I am so tired of being asked about my ‘gay wedding’. I am thrilled that people are interested in our day and will quite happily bore them to death discussing color schemes and floral arrangements but if one more person asks me what happens at a gay wedding I might cry. Being asked what happens at a gay wedding makes me feel alienated, like an outcast, as if my marriage is some kind of circus. Do you have any idea what that feels like?

These questions just reinforce that Australia still has a long way to go until the LGTBIQ community is truly equal with our heterosexual cisgender brothers and sisters and it’s heartbreaking. If we were truly equal then Same Sex Marriages would be so common that no one would think twice about it. At least that’s the dream.

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The beautiful Shannon and Seema. Photographer Steph Grant

Our wedding is not a gay wedding, it’s a wedding. A traditional service, conducted by an official celebrant, me in a white dress, her in a suit, bridesmaids, a page boy, cake and cocktails. That’s it. We’ll dance, we’ll drink, I’m sure someone will get drunk and make a fool of themselves (as is custom at these kinds of events). I’ll throw my bouquet and we’ll ride off into the sunset together beginning the first day of the rest of our lives as wife and wife.

But it’s not legal I hear the nay sayers shout! No it’s not but that’s not our fault. We thought and spoke a lot about waiting until it’s legal but I’m done waiting, and so is she. I am so sick of a group of men and women in an office deciding what I am and am not allowed to do with my life. My partner and I are allowed to have children, to adopt children, why can’t we get married? This is why we are having a licensed celebrant marry us, so that when it is legal we just need to sign the piece of paper. I’m sick of waiting and in these dark times of the plebiscite it’s nice to have something to look forward too.

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Jamie and Jessie’s wedding.               I look forward to seeing this look on my fiancè’s face.

For those of you who have no idea what it feels like to have someone tell you that your relationship doesn’t deserve validation, that it’s not normal, I envy you. I really do. I envy the security that you must feel to be comfortable holding hands in the street, to be able to introduce your partner to your family, friends and coworkers without fear of retribution. I envy your ability to get married without people asking with a sheepish smile if you’re both going to wear a dress (my partner is definitely not a dress person).

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Getting married is meant to be one of the happiest times of your life and I’m sure it will be but so far I have found my experience being tarnished by the ignorance of others. By people constantly reminding me that our marriage won’t be legal, that my partner and I do not fit into their ideas of what a couple should look like and the other extreme, that our wedding isn’t ‘gay’ enough (what does that even mean) my experience is being tainted.

I invite curiosity, it’s normal, its human and educating others about the LGBTIQ Community can only serve to better our cause. All I ask is that people think before they ask, that a little tact is used and that you don’t ask me a question that you wouldn’t ask a straight person. I like that, that’s a good rule. If you wouldn’t ask a heterosexual bride if her fiancé was wearing a dress then don’t ask a lesbian bride. You never know who you might upset.

P.S. For those who are interested, we are getting married in the hills of Mt Dandenong in a small ceremony overlooking the most stunning private vineyard.

P.P.S. For your viewing pleasure; the raw emotions of weddings from the LGBTIQ Community to challenge your perceptions of love.

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Me in Vietnam (hence no posts for the past few weeks).
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3 thoughts on “Stop Calling it a Gay Wedding

  1. This reminds me of the time I was helping a middle-aged woman pick out a dress for her gay nephew’s wedding. “Do you have anything FLAMBOYANT? It’s a GAY wedding.” I had to ask what the theme of the wedding was (normal) and explain to her why the grooms might be offended if she wore a “flamboyant” dress to their wedding just because they were gay.

  2. The ideal would be: we don’t even need a pride parade and there is no such thing as a “straight wedding” vs “gay wedding” because it doesn’t matter to anyone. But the reality is we still need to celebrate these things because the world isn’t fully accepting and open minded yet. One day. One day.

  3. I agree!

    My mom had to grieve when I came out because she though I wouldn’t have a wedding, kids, etc. I’d have a gay wedding, may not have kids (in her mind) and just a life of rainbows.

    No! I want a wedding. I will be a bride. My gf will be my bride. The events of the evening aren’t decided by our sapphic desires; they’re decided by our love for cats, our inability to dance, our food love, and our mutual dislike for big groups. It’ll be a wedding, you’ll probably be bored at some point. You might not like the food. We can’t dance. Don’t get too excited.

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