Gay Canadian man Rishi always wanted a traditional Hindu wedding.
His parents relocated to Canada in the 1970s and he had a traditional Hindu upbringing, but he feared that as a gay man he would never be able to have the lavish wedding he’d dreamed of.
Rishi struggled to come to terms with his identity, coming out to his parents in 2011. Instead of rejecting him, as he had seen happen to some peers, his parents decided to learn as much as they could about the LGBTI community.
They started attending regular meetings of the Toronto chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and they threw their son and his boyfriend Daniel Langdon the extravagant wedding that Rishi had always wanted.
“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,” Rishi said.
“In order to run a lot of those ceremonies, you really need everyone, the community’s involvement, otherwise it doesn’t really work. Unfortunately, others have not had that support in their lives.”
Now Rishi’s parents, who are retired, have launched a new local chapter of PFLAG, targeted at other South Asian parents of LGBTI children. All are welcome to join, they say, and so far they’ve had more than a hundred people sign up.
Watch some of the highlights of Rishi’s wedding below (or click here to watch it on YouTube):