The battle for marriage equality sought to give same-sex couples the privileges and protection of lawful marriage. But while marriage itself has no distinct aesthetic, two men in tuxedos or two women in wedding dresses have become the symbol of our fight for marriage equality. In an Instagram and Pinterest world, it’s hard to escape this black-and-white vision of your big day. So, does that mean queer couples should venture into wedding conformity?
I find it interesting how many LGBTQ couples have altered a few rules and procedures to otherwise fit inside a mold of traditional straight weddings. These traditions are dripping in religious oppression and misogyny, yet still hold a firm grip on people who not that long ago were excluded from the club. As a society, we have been so intensely brainwashed to imagine our wedding day in this one specific way that we mostly just accept the format as is, save for a few tweaks and edits here and there.
On its face, without any pretext or social pressure, a typical wedding is actually super weird, downright painful, and largely unnecessary.
Registering for things you don’t need, accepting things you didn’t know you wanted, inviting people you haven’t talked to in years, and spending oodles of money for everyone (except for the married couple) to have a great time. The worn-out tradition isn’t exactly my idea of a wedding that same-sex couples should strive for, yet we yearn for these moments because we have been taught to want them without question.
If people outside the hetero category know anything, it’s how to flip the format and make things fun and exciting. After all, it was only a few years ago that we were first invited to the party. It’s high time we do more than just make the music better and invite our fabulous friends. It’s time to truly make our weddings our own.
If you are lucky enough to be engaged to a loved one (or two), there is only one rule that you need to follow when planning your big day: Remember to make yourself and your fiancé(s) happy before you attempt to please anyone else. Beyond that, your wedding is truly your own to do whatever you want with. Your choices may range from the most extreme to the most subdued, but the last thing you should be doing is comparing your wedding to an ideal we’ve been fed since millennia.
Just as gayness does not orbit around straightness, same-sex weddings do not need to have anything to do with what was once reserved for one man and one woman. Equality is not synonymous with uniformity. If it were, we would mess it up anyway. The best part about being queer is that we do what we want to do, not what other people think we should do.
Contributing editor TYLER CURRY-MCGRATH is also editor at large at Plus magazine, the author of A Peacock Among Pigeons, and a gay man living with HIV. Follow him on Twitter @IamTylerCurry) Tyler photo: Cody Scott Kinsfather