A gay couple in India has shared their beautiful – but sadly unofficial – wedding ceremony on social media in a push for LGBTIQ equality in their region.
In 2018, India finally struck down a colonial-era law criminalising gay sex. However same-sex marriages aren’t yet legally recognised in the country.
Last Saturday (December 18), Supriyo Chekraborty and Abhay Dange exchanged rings and vows in what they called a “promising ceremony” in the southern state of Telangana.
The couple, 31 and 34 respectively, have been together for eight years. The men were joined by dozens of family and friends at the ceremony, which they believe is the first public one of its kind.
“It all still feels really dreamy. To be able to call Abhay my spouse feels so beautiful,” Supriyo explained on Instagram.
“To have your loved ones accept, love and bless you is a blessing and we’re grateful for this, for this day and each day of our lives.”
In the ceremony, the couple combined traditions from both their Punjabi and Bengali backgrounds. Each guest was given a small bell to ring after the men exchanged their vows, and a pouch of rainbow coloured rice to shower them with.
They say they hope their wedding can inspire other Indians to come out and live authentically.
Supriyo recalled coming out as gay to his family, a month after meeting Abhay eight years ago.
“I asked my mother to come to Hyderabad for a few days, and that’s when I told her,” he recalled.
“She took 2-3 days to process it and then accepted me wholeheartedly.
“Our journey to being accepted as gay men has not been too difficult. Once you come out to people and they accept you, your self-confidence rises and each new coming out becomes easier.”
There ‘wasn’t a dry eye’ at Indian gay couple’s wedding
Wedding celebrant Sophia David said after the couple said “I do,” each guest said it too in a show of support for LGBTIQ equality.
“I felt emotional because they cared about representation as much as I did,” she told the Deccan Chronicle.
“And I was committed to doing it from the get-go, since we knew this will open an important door for more queer folks to live their lives authentically and more importantly together.”
Sophia said during the ceremony “there wasn’t a dry eye in that venue.”
“All of us were so moved by the entire experience. I never saw so much allyship and love in one place ever,” she said.
“After the couple said ‘I do,’ I got the guests to say ‘I do’ too to make allyship visible.
“The world became a kinder place for the queer community on that day. It’s a memory of a lifetime for me.”
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