I’ve seen a lot of Indian weddings on Facebook – I’m yet to be invited to one (sob) so holla if you’re looking for a plus one this summer – and they always seem to be the most exciting.
For starters, there’s none of this ivory dress stuff. The ladies are always in beautiful, colourful sari’s and the guys in silk kurta pyjama’s or dhota sherwanis, the food looks insane and the fun seems to go on for days.
So I can see why, if I was a gay Hindu guy, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun. But traditional Indian culture is sadly still a bit backwards when it comes to laws surrounding homosexuality. “Being gay” is strictly illegal in India and it remains a taboo subject in many Indian families around the world. So when Rishi Agarwal, who grew up in a traditional Hindu family in Toronto, Canada, decided to come out to his parents he was seriously concerned about their reaction.
When he finally told them in 2004, they were initially “devastated” but instead of rejecting their son, spent the next 72 hours discovering as much as they could about the LGBT community, so that they could support Rishi. Rishi asked his dad if he wanted him to move out, but instead his parents explained that they were embarrassed by their ignorance of the situation:
“Absolutely not. Youre still our son and we love you… This is strictly our baggage, what we bring from India,”
When Rishi met the man of his dreams in 2011, his parents were at the forefront of the wedding planning, making sure Rishi and his partner Dan got the big Hindu wedding they’d always dreamed of throwing. After being turned down by seven Hindu priests, they finally found one who would perform the ceremony; which included matching henna tattoos, flower garlands and circling the sacred fire.
Rishi and Dan are now making their wedding public, in the hope of inspiring other parents to be as accepting and understanding as his were. He said:
“In order to run a lot of those ceremonies, you really need everyone, the communitys involvement, otherwise it doesnt really work. Unfortunately, others have not had that support in their lives…I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could have the wedding that I wanted with the person I loved and with all my family and my friends”
You can watch the couple’s wedding video here:
H/T and Image Source: Metro