wedding directory top banner white

Marriage equality, are we shooting ourselves in the foot?

Culture / Lifestyle / August 31, 2014
– Lifestyle with Lara –

My question really is this; for a community that is so strongly geared towards individuality, why do we work so passionately towards an institution that by most accounts, is set hard on putting people firmly into a box?

I remember when I first found my feet within the LGBTIQ community. I actually felt like I had finally found my people. Finally found a place where I was understood. It’s not to say that the heterosexual world had nothing to offer me, but there’s just this unspoken something we all have that connects us not just as humans, but as LGBTIQ humans. It’s like a secret club where there’s no judgment, no eyes looking at you wondering if you’re in the right place or not.

Some of us embrace everything that our community has to offer. We seek it out and in doing so are embraced with open arms into what can feel more like a family than the one that raised us. We support each other fearlessly. We give ourselves labels, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Gender-queer, Pansexual, Asexual and many sub categories within those labels (perhaps that’s a whole other blog post). These labels allow us to identify, allow us to find each other, to gather as a community and rally together.

That said, some of us object to the lifestyle that is perceived along with these labels and, even if only subconsciously, largely hang within heterosexual circles. Sometimes these labels can be the catalyst for separation and in turn, discrimination.

Do those that have a strong and articulated self identity feel the need to shout it from the rooftops? To march down our streets with pride and in protest for LGBTIQ rights or even marriage equality? What is it that makes us seek such equality while at the same time making it so incredibly clear how different we really are?

This is something that I myself battle with in regards to the same-sex marriage debate. Here I am, an androgynous, bisexual identified person, one third of the F* Yeah Gay Weddings founders. I’m torn between wanting to create a safe space within the wedding industry for LGBTIQ couples to find inspiration and vendors that won’t discriminate against them. Meanwhile wondering if its very existence is showing the world that same-sex marriages aren’t like heterosexual marriages, that we must separate ourselves and in doing so further weakening the marriage equality argument.

Image by Lara Luz

This blog was born not because the wedding community as a whole is against same-sex marriage. We have a great number of wedding blogs alone that are happy to feature same-sex couples. The issue really is that even then, we all know from experience how hard it can be to both find gay friendly vendors (it’s difficult to even send out enquiries when you don’t know what kind of response you’ll receive) but also as vendors, finding same-sex couples to work with.

There’s no doubt that this blog fills a need within the community. We know this by the wonderful responses we’ve received since our launch. Emails from couples ecstatic to see a LGBTIQ exclusive blog that fits their individual personalities and style as well as those vendors contacting us in support wanting to connect with our readers.

My question really is this; for a community that is so strongly geared towards individuality, why do we work so passionately towards an institution that by most accounts, is set hard on putting people firmly into a box?

We are living in an age where marriage is no longer, at least in the western world, about property or strengthening bonds between families. It’s no longer even about procreation or to some, religion. We are living in an era where two people come together to show their commitment to one another, in front of their friends and family because they love each other.

So in saying that, here I am, someone who has worked in the wedding industry for a number of years now and has had the honour of seeing pretty wide and varied types of weddings. From heavily religious jewish weddings, to small elopements in the park. The heterosexual wedding industry has become one where individuality is encouraged and those that choose to not follow the traditional route of their parents are not punished by doing so. We’re also in a time where religion can be even more important to a couple, in how they identify and how they live their day to day lives, and, therefore have weddings that strongly reflect this.

This makes me wonder however, with same-sex marriage being relatively young, what is it that’s making us cling to these heterosexual traditions? Is it that some of us are deeply religious and therefore want to have a wedding that reflects this? Or perhaps in our search for equality, we unintentionally assume the roles of our heterosexual counterparts in an attempt to prove how similar we all really are?

We have one huge advantage over heterosexual couples. For us there are no real traditions. There are no set rules in which we should follow in regards to how we plan and execute our weddings. We have the ability to create our own traditions, ones that have a meaning to what’s important to us in the here and now, unlike traditions that stem from outdated views of what marriage once was.

So let’s embrace this as much as we can. Dare to write your own interpretations of what a wedding is to you and don’t be afraid to share it. There are no wrongs in love.

I’d love to hear your opinions below in the comments. Did you have or are you planning a traditional wedding? What has been the catalyst behind the decisions you’ve made? And how strongly do you feel the need for a space like F* Yeah Gay Weddings to exist in the first place?






Lara Luz
Lara Luz
Lara is a bit of dark horse. She is a wedding photographer, a video editor, a motorcycle riding, hot chocolate connoisseur who was once a ballerina. WOAH?! Yeah, you heard me. And @ F yeah, no one really knows what she does. Maybe she looks after all the social media, marketing and being that final swing vote on large F* Yeah decisions. Maybe she’s the king of the music playlists and maybe she’s the one that always manages to look busy even when she’s really actually doing nothing. Maybe.




Previous Post

Matthew + Pierre's Chic Picnic Wedding | USA

Next Post

Amanda + Ilana's Clam Bake wedding | USA





You might also like



12 Comments

avatar
on September 2, 2014

First of all want to mention that I am so proud that you used a photo of us that you took at our ceremony in Melbourne. Both, Luke and I are so happy and proud that you did our “Ozzie wedding” shoot. Which was a great day I must say.

After beeing together for 8 years we really wanted to express our love for each other by getting married. But also to have a ceremony to show to each other and our friends and family that we want to commit to what we have together.
Although these were the main reasons we also wanted to get married as a sort of statement.
We think samesex marriage should be legal to everyone who loves each other. And who are the so called hetero’s to think they are entitled to deny us that right? We were proud to show the world that we are “gay” and could get married. (Mainly see myself as human and not gay by the way LOL) Although overhere in Belgium it is not so much considdered a gay marriage but more just another marriage. And it felt really great to feel the acceptance of so many straight people supporting two men getting married. People at the town hall, vondors etc. were all so open and supporting to us.
As you know I proposed to Luke at a concert of our fav band VNV Nation and they were so supporting of that that I could do it on stage and that after Luke said yes they played our fav song “Beloved”
When the singer asked the crowd what Luke should answer it was so great to hear a 1000 people shout out that he should accept my proposal. And it made me a very proud man.
At our two ceremony’s in Melbourne and Brussels we both could show our love and pride for each other. But the most important thing for us was that both days were our days and we did it our way regardless what others would think of it. Because of the fact that so many “straight” people supported our wedding, it felt like we had save place for us to create a comitted life to each other. To create a life to improve and enrich each other.
We both strongly think and feel that everybody around the world should have that right to do so as well. I must say I don’t feel that we did put ourselves in a box by getting married, but yeah if marriage is not some ones cup of tea then just don’t get married :) LBGT people don’t need to get married just because they can.

Our weddings had nothing to do with beeing religious, traditional values what so ever but they were about committing to each other.

    Lara Luz
    on September 2, 2014

    Thanks for your comments Wout! I really enjoyed your wedding because of how unapologetic you guys were about what a wedding was to you both and how you wanted to express that. You both showed your personality in your wedding and vows. It was wonderful to be a part of.

avatar
on September 2, 2014

Hi! Great piece. I am a cis white gal, once married, once divorced. Been single for 6 years because relationships haven’t been so great for me. I am glad, as harrowing as my relationship was, that I married my best friend. He passed away 6 years ago, and even though it didn’t work out it was ours. I think weddings have gone beyond religion, property and family lines for cis couples. It is a celebration, with a legal element to it that is binding and important to the individuals. I guess having the choice is the most important part, and currently that choice isn’t allowed to be made in Aus. I am doing makeup for a cis couple in November in New Zealand. They live in Aus, but are refusing to get married in a country where it is illegal for lbgtiq couples to get married. So they are protesting, through their own privilege. I think marriage is totally crazy in many ways, it is expensive, makes people behave in ridiculous ways during preparation and often doesn’t work out for the best, but I have seen so many spectacular wondrous things too, and I think that should be available for everyone to experience, if they want to!

    Lara Luz
    on September 2, 2014

    Getting married in NZ is a great way to “protest” for marriage equality. I know many cis couples that although getting married/ have gotten married believe in marriage equality. Most of which include stating so in their wedding ceremonies which is great to here (from the perspective of someone in a relationship that doesn’t give me marriage as a legal option as yet).
    In regards to how the couples perceive weddings it’s great to see cis couples doing it their way. It’s just nice to see when LGBTIQ couples do the same.

      avatar
      on September 3, 2014

      Toats agree. I just found out that two of my very dear friends, who have been together for about 30or more years, tied the knot in NZ. They are the main organizers for the marriage equal rights rallies that happen regularly in Melbourne. They are still maintaining the fight to have their union recognized.they are old enough to have witnessed the stonewall riots, from a time when it was illegal to be gay in the west.

avatar
on September 1, 2014

I think a lot of it is geographical. As an aussie living in Canada, where gay marriage is just marriage, I find myself emailing vendors asking if they’re ok with gay marriage and getting a “Why wouldn’t we be?” response. When it came time to find the celebrant, the resort we’re using gave me a list of 8 people that service the area. I wrote back and said but which of these do “gay marriage” and her response…. all of them.

I didn’t believe her and I emailed the first person on the list (white woman, mid 50’s, looks like a bible thumper) and was met with warmth and what I perceive to be the same reaction that any straight couple would get (congrats, whats the date and time, here are my rates). I thought for sure I’d have to try five or six to get the right one.

We shopped a few different resorts for rates and was given the same sort of response.

In saying that, I’ve used a few sites- gay and straight for ideas. I think we’re just looking for inspiration beyond the puffy white wedding. So we’ve looked at a few different blogs. These blogs are great regardless of topic because some of us are just completely useless at planning this stuff- hence why I am having a resort do everything for me.

    Lara Luz
    on September 1, 2014

    Yeah it’s interesting. Countries like Canada where marriage equality has been implemented long ago really give us a great view of what’s to come in the future for those countries where it’s still new (or not existent yet). I’m glad to hear you’ve had a fantastic response from vendors you’ve enquired with.

    avatar
    on September 1, 2014

    Another reason why Canada is awesome!!

avatar
on September 1, 2014

My first marriage was to a man, back in 2001. Neither of us was religious so we got married in a pretty hotel in Auckland, NZ. It rained that day, so instead of having the ceremony in the garden as I has wanted, we had to retreat indoors, at the bottom of some stairs. Not exactly romantic or ideal… We had the reception there afterwards and paid for everything.

Fast foward a few years, 2 kids and a divorce later, I fell in love with my best friend, Emma. We knew very early on we wanted to get married but living 650kms apart didn’t make things easy. Still, we picked a date and started planning our dream day. A year after we got together she moved up with her 2 daughters to live with me and my 2 kids.

We got hitched in April 2013, under the goal posts at the local rugby stadium (had to pay for the goal posts to be put in early, just for us), with an aisle of helium balloons in red and black, the colours of our favourite rugby team (NOT the local team…). Emma wore a white dress, I wore a black dress. It rained a lot, but we didn’t care. It was our day, our wedding and having drinks and nibbles in the change rooms afterwards was just another perk for the rugby fans we are. We had a lovely dinner later that night with our friends and family.

3 days after our union, the NZ Parliament voted YES to same sex marriage. We “upgraded” in September 2013 at the Registry Office but that ceremony in the rain is the one we count as our wedding.

When we were in the planning stages Emma kept getting stressed about things and the way she wanted to do them vs the way she figured we were expected to do them by society at large. I just kept reminding her it was OUR day and we were going to do things OUR way.

And we did just that. Those drinks and nibbles I mentioned? We asked our friends to bring a plate. That lovely dinner we had after? We paid for us and our kids, everyone one else paid for their own dinner. And no one had a problem with any of it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, while I’m all for marriage equality, I also think people should stop worrying about what other people are going to say about their wedding and just do what they want to do for their special day.

    Lara Luz
    on September 1, 2014

    Yeah I think it’s super important to keep the right perspective when it comes to planning your wedding. You need to really sit down with your partner and work out what you both really want, be willing to compromise to make each other happy but also to remember that a wedding is about a celebration of the two of you and the actual marriage itself should always be the most important thing, not the wedding day.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us DragonflyLady.

      avatar
      on September 1, 2014

      ^_^

      When we “upgraded” (as we refer to it) at the Registry Office the lady who did the ceremony (took all of 5 minutes) said we were the first same sex couple in our city to get married (as opposed to getting a civil union). It’s a 40,000 people city. Same sex marriage became legal on 19 August 2013, we upgraded on 20 September…

        Lara Luz
        on September 1, 2014

        How interesting that those that had Civil Unions didn’t go and get married. Or that couples weren’t in a hurry to get married.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *