It was three days before the wedding when I got the call.
“Josh, I’m so sorry,” my best friend Kristen said, her voice breaking. “I don’t know why this is happening.”
She was clearly crying. Immediately, my mind started to panic. Was she hurt? Did something happen? Was the wedding off for some reason?
“What is it?” I asked, trying to keep my voice level.
There was a long pause.
“His parents are saying they won’t come to the wedding if you are in it,” she finally confessed. “You know his parents, they are just super conservative and don’t understand. But obviously you know we love you and…”
Pretty soon, her words started to drown out.
Ah, so there it was. I was officially being banned from standing in my best friend’s wedding because I was gay. In the year 2016. “What the fuck? ” was all I could think to say.
“You can still come to the wedding, and I want you there,” she clarified. “You just can’t, well, you know. I’m so sorry.”
Here I was, sitting on the phone with my best friend of five years. The same friend who helped me through countless breakups, who laughed with me through endless mishaps, and who fangirled with me over Vampire Eric every summer (RIP True Blood). All of our friends said we were basically the same person, with the same obnoxious laugh and positive outlook on life. It was certainly known (and said) that we would be in each other’s wedding one day. And yet, here I was, suddenly not allowed to take part in the most important, happiest day of her life.
“You know, it’s okay,” I lied, after gathering my thoughts and holding back tears. “Besides, this day is not about me – it’s about you, and I just want to see you happy.” Obviously, my best friend already felt terrible. I didn’t want to make her feel worse.
After hanging up, I immediately texted my boyfriend Kyle and informed him of the situation.
“That’s fucked up,” he said. “If my best friend called me to cancel me from their wedding because someone didn’t like that I was gay, I wouldn’t be their best friend. You do you though. I’m not going.”
And with that, I decided I would attend the wedding on my own. After all, it was important for me to show support to my best friend. It wasn’t her fault her future in-laws were complete bigots… bigots who, I later found out, didn’t pay a dime toward the wedding.
It wasn’t until the rehearsal dinner, after standing awkwardly on the sidelines and watching everyone run through the wedding (who doesn’t love some good ol’ self-sabotage?!) that I broke down. Having just watched the groom’s brother practice handing out the rings (the job meant for me) I realized I couldn’t hide my disappointment any longer.
I pulled my friend aside.
“I’m really sorry,” I told her. “This shouldn’t be about me… it’s just, it’s really hard to watch everyone practice and know I can’t be a part of it.”
“I know,” she replied, tears rolling down her cheeks. “My entire family is so upset over this too. If we could all speak our minds, we would.”
That night, I thought of all the things I would say to the groom’s parents the next day. I wanted them to know just how badly I was hurt, and how badly my friend was hurt, and how narrow-minded people like them represented everything that was wrong in America. Hell, maybe I wouldn’t even attend the wedding. Surely, that would make a statement!
It wasn’t until I had turned out the lights and was lying in bed, when I realized maybe that wasn’t the best approach. Maybe, instead of “getting revenge,” I thought, I should show them that, by attending, their bigotry would not win in the end, and it would not stop me from celebrating my best friend.
I decided I would show them that my “gayness” did not make me some sexual deviant. I would show that, in the end, love wins, and would ultimately prevail.
The day of the wedding, I did just that. That morning, I unpacked the “Love is Love” shirt I had previously rolled up in my backpack and wore it underneath my suit. It was my subtle and, admittedly, slightly passive aggressive way of saying “F-U.”And I was able to laugh, celebrate and ultimately ugly-cry as I watched my best friend tie the knot with the guy she loved.
I even managed to muster a polite smile at the groom’s parents when I noticed them staring down their noses at my shirt from across the reception hall.
In the end, yes, it sucked being banned from taking part in my best friend’s wedding. And maybe I took the “easy” way out by not putting up more of a fight. But at the same time, it showed me that, sometimes, simply showing up and exuding love can be louder and more powerful than any words.
After all, love is love. Or so says my shirt.
I don’t support inequality, I would never go to a bigoted wedding. I will never go into a church, I am “not an abomination and I do not need to be killed.” Your friend is NO FRIEND to you or our community.
I’m not sure I could marry someone whose parents were so bigoted and made such a demand.
You were put in a horrible situation. But I agree with others, your friend might be your friend, but agreeing to the demands of bigots is a bad first step. It also means the new husband is a jerk. The marriage won’t last.
Clearly, your friend should not have gotten married. She lacks maturity, and allowing herself and her now husband to be emotionally blackmailed by his parents is a very big red flag for the prospects of their future together. Personally, I would not have attended the wedding, and I would have difficulty continuing the friendship.
What is really f-uped here is that the groom didn’t have the balls to tell his parents to stay home.
Kudos for admitting the wedding is not about you. Perhaps the friendship has run its course and time to move on.
How she ended up marrying into such a family is curious though. They didn’t contribute at all, not even the dinner? And the groom apparently warned his folks his fiancé’s friend is gay. Can only guess he’s a wimp or a bigot himself.
you have poor choice of friends…move on and you will find people that will gladly hug you and accept you as their own.
I agree the marriage is off to a bad start. The groom should have stood up for his wife, not for his parents. This is their day, and they get to choose who is in the wedding party. I bet the parents would not have skipped the wedding over it, and if they did, then everyone would know their homophobia is greater than their love for their son. IOW, they are a POS.
I’m glad he went, if for no other reason than to prove to the parents that he isn’t some sex pervert or predator. If anything, he should have publicly went up to the parents ,shake their hand and give the mother a kiss. And tell the photographer to get a photo of it.
I give the marriage and the friendship less than a year. Cherish your boyfriend, Josh.
Wow that is so tough! Yes, groom should have stood up to his parents, and I hope groom doesn’t continue to put his parents’ bigotry before his wife’s (and what should have also been HIS) wishes … But who knows why groom refused to say, “This is our wedding, not yours, so come if you want to celebrate me and my soon to be wife, but stay home if you’re going to have an agenda.” Something isn’t adding up but at least author made a decision and ended up happy with it.
She was your best friend … but it sounds like you weren’t her’s.
You and your boyfriend should have both attended the wedding and spent the reception holding hands, dancing cheek to cheek, and demonstrating unself-conscious public displays of affection. That would have been a far better “teachable moment” than wearing a t-shirt and offering a polite smile.
First, traditionally, the wedding is hosted by the bride’s parents. They control the guest list, not the groom’s parents, who are simply invited guests. Modernly, the wedding is hosted by the bride and groom. Unless, for some unusual reason, the groom’s parents were the hosts, the standard answer to any guest at any event who attempts to control the guest list is, “I am so sorry you won’t be able to come.” One simply never gives in to the threat of “I won’t come if so-and-so does.” One doesn’t do so at a wedding even more so. This is setting a very bad precedent for the relationship between the couple and the husband’s parents. Yes, saying “no” to one’s parents is very hard, but starting off on the right foot really matters, particularly years later when the issue can involve children.
Second, the bride and groom each have control over their own wedding party. The groom had the responsibility to tell his parents that. Traditionally, the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner and they could simply not invite the author. Also, as he wasn’t a part of the wedding party, why was he at the rehearsal?
Lastly, the traditional time to make plain some complaint is during the toasts at the reception party. The author could have stood and made a toast to his “best” friends and included some text about how he was originally going to be in the wedding party, but the groom’s parents are bigots and forced him out. Here’s hoping such hatefulness isn’t passed on to their grandchildren. While the inclusion of such in a toast may have greatly upset his “best” friend, it would have publicly shamed the parents. Shame is a good social corrective. Of course, when confronted by his “best” friend, he could simply let her know it wouldn’t have been necessary if she’d shown the backbone of a slug.
Obviously this kid is too sweet to think the worst of his best friend but the reality is that she had a choice in the matter. No one has more power in the wedding than the bride, the ceremony is structured around her basically and it’s meant to be the happiest moment of her life- yes, it’s sappy and dumb but that’s the traditional perspective (which obviously her husband’s parents take). If she wasn’t such a Disney princess about it, crying in the face of conflict, she could’ve totally forced them to submit to her wishes. Instead, she’s petrified of offending or hurting anyone (eyeroll) so she chose to deeply hurt her best friend so her mother & father-in law wouldn’t face minor discomfort. She doesn’t know it yet but crying every time she’s confronted with this won’t make any of this any less true or make her any more virtuous. This will be among the first signs this friendship is headed towards a harsh end unless she makes it up to him both HUGELY and QUICKLY. Run, Lola, Run.
I would not attend the wedding. If both the Bride and Groom were really that upset about it, they would have stood up to their parents. As mentioned, this day is about the two of them, not about the parents or anyone else. If I were this young man, I would be upset that my friends, who claim to love and support me, weren’t willing to do just that in this situation. They allowed bigotry and ignorance to overrule their hearts.
I was told once, years ago, that I was invited alone to a wedding even though I was in a committed relationship at the time. My friends were all going with their girlfriends, but I wasn’t able to. I didn’t go. Sure, it soured the friendship, but in the end, it wasn’t a good friendship to begin with.
the boy has low self-esteem to go to a place where he is not wanted and did not give value to his boyfriend.
Good for you, son! You supported your friend, showed yourself the better man.
I feel sorry for the bride, if that’s the way the groom & family are now, what’s it going to be like after the wedding.
I’m curious, did the groom ban the bride from associating with you after the wedding?
In any case, you did good.
Love is Love…
Since none of us, including the writer, know the family dynamics behind this, we really can’t judge his friend. Ideally, yes, the groom should have stood up to his family, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Maybe they were paying for schooling or had paid for his schooling and he owes them money? Maybe they were going to have to live with them after the wedding for a time? Maybe the parents were footing the bill for everything and it was too late to make alternate arrangements? So many things there. The other thing I noticed is that the author of this piece acts like the wedding was all about him. It isn’t, weddings are about the couple and as noted above, he may not have all the pieces. Were I in his shoes, I would have worried more about how my friend was going to survive being in a relationship with someone who has such controlling parents. She is the one with the problem, not the author.
oh, and he wasn’t BANNED from the wedding, he was asked not be a part of the wedding party, bit difference.
so much for your “best” friend. If she was your best friend, I would quickly get a new one. Screw her, her husband and the families
not much of a difference if she was actually his best friend
Because I’m sixty, I have an easy answer: drop the friendship, because life’s too short to be saddled with someone else’s hate baggage.
You don’t say what your relationship with the groom-to-be is, but it’s clear that he lacked the cojones to fail to support his bride, or your “bestie” isn’t as close to you as you are to her. You must, of course, steer your own course, but I would likely steer away from your friend, because her problems with her husband and his parents are just beginning for her, and their differences on this issue will become an influence in her life going forward–how to raise children, how to practice religion, etc.
Because she and he were not willing to stand up for you…it’s probably time for you and your fabulous boyfriend to move on and away from her.
You win Josh! Your decision to go to the wedding was the right one as it educates the straights that we are human beings just like they are. My lifetime partner of 54 years, married 12 years, have been to many weddings and we have never experienced what you have. We live in Massachusetts and we have held many parties etc. including our 50th anniversary party that our friends, gay and straight, married and single attended. We need to continue to educate people that we live just like they do and those old fictitious stories told about us should be left in the dark ages where they belong.
The bride, Kristen, was the one most at fault. She betrayed not only her best friend but also her moral and ethical principles, to satisfy someone else that she knew was in the wrong. And if your ethics play second fiddle to pandering to bigots just because they are someone’s parents, heaven help whatever children you might end up producing! What lessons are you going to teach them, if you sacrifice your most valuable principles on what you consider such an important occasion?
I’m not gonna say that the friend was a bad best friend, but her husband is a bad husband, if she was crying then it’s because her husband made the choice not her. He could have said no but it’s because it’s his parents and he most likely loves his bigoted parents more than his wife’s gbf. When it comes to issues regarding gay people, straight men are the most likely to not make a stand against it. In my opinion he was probably one of those straight guys who say “I accept gay people” but they don’t fight for our rights or stay silent when we need their help. He might not be a homophone like his parents but he is definitely selfish and didn’t want to do anything because it didn’t affect him even though it clearly effected the wife. And to be fair they were about to get married, I think the last thing either of them wanted to have was an argument when they are going to have one of the happiest moments in their life. He probably is her best friend but she was just too weak or a push over to stand up against her husband.
Hey Josh, WAKE UP! After all is said and done, Kristen is truly not your ‘best friend’. Quickly drop Kristen like a hot potato, buddy.
The t-shirt UNDER the suit was not passive aggressive- just passive, but there is certainly a place for passive where activism is concerned. Still, I’m much more concerned about such a loving & accommodating person considering someone who completely failed to defend them–when it mattered MOST, a best friend. Make no mistake-she absolutely failed. (Btw, it was the first in a long list of things she’ll end up doing for that man despite herself and all her friends… while she has them anyway.)She married into bigotry, so there’s only one way that will ever go until she confronts it, but anything she does now in her “friend’s” defense will pale next to this cop-out. Not only did she marry a man who co-signed her having to choose, but she allowed those kinds of people to dictate her wedding day. Codependent, anti-feminist, anti-“best-friend” moves. Pathetic. It breaks my heart that the writer doesn’t recognize it being the beginning of the end of their friendship, no matter what he does. Unfortunately, women like her don’t recognize that subservient behavior until they realize it won’t keep him, will never be enough, and/or she’s alone again. All kinds of sad.
this reads like something from a trashy WB drama
Doomed marriage, I’d say, if the groom can’t stand up to his manipulative and controlling parents for the sake of his wife-to-be and their lifelong commitment. They’ll be pulling the same crap every time “that woman” is being a bad influence on “their son”. He is a bigoted as they are, and weak and ineffectual if he can’t say no to it and let’s them get away with that kind of inappropriate behavior. There is a great deal of intellectual twister going on to make this young man’s choices seem more rational and reasonable than they really were. I doubt that t-shirt had any appreciable braking effect on their bigotry. Finally, if Josh does not eventually man-up and start honoring the dignity of his “boyfriend” Kyle over the cowardice of his “best friend”, there is another relationship headed for doomsday.
I respect that you were placed in a difficult position, but your boyfriend was right. Once Kristen buckled to her fiance’s family’s pressure, she chose a side and that side did not include you. They blackmailed her, and she should have called their bluff. If they chose not to attend for bigoted reasons, so be it. What do you think will happen when, inevitably, the in-laws insist that you not be allowed to be around Kristen’s children? Will she be oh-so-sorry again? Count on it. Clearly, you value your best friend more than she values you. To argue that allowing yourself to be humiliated was some sort of generous gesture rings hollow. Listen to the comments here (at least the thoughtful ones). Your boyfriend’s instincts were right and you should have listened to him rather than kid yourself about how good a friend you have in Kristen.
Held back tears and lied? Man up and dump the friend for crying out loud.
Good For U! U took the high road, we the third party to this little drama didn’t live the facts as you did. Apparently u did what was best for u, your friend & family. Also, the “Love Is Love” Tshirt was not as passive aggressive as u might think. u wore it openly & proud, “ugly cried” at the right time & celebrated the event. What is bigotry but simply uninformed, and who knows, just maybe u put a chink in the bigoted armor of the grooms parents, they learned they actually do know a gay person, one that very well could have caused some big drama, but decided to be the normal loving person he is & make the day about the new couple. One chink at a time my friend, one chink at a time,,,,
I hope Josh’s friend appreciated that by attending her wedding he put her ahead of himself. This is especially true because Josh showed he had more maturity and backbone than his bride’s spineless coward of a groom. If the groom is old enough to get married then he should understand, even as a “Christian” (or maybe especially as a “Christian”, his primary responsibility is now to his wife and not his parents. The groom should have told his parent’s that his bride chose her best friend to be in the wedding and, if they cannot accept her decision, then they will certainly be missed at the wedding and the couple will be gladly explain to the other guests why they chose to forego such an important event. Hang around Josh, I think your friend is going to need now more than ever because her in-laws are going to make her life hell and her husband apparently doesn’t have the balls to stand up to them.
@aidanbh: She’s not entering her marriage as a partner. She’ll be taking orders from the in-laws (via her spineless husband) for as long as the marriage lasts. This is mental abuse and she failed to put a stop to it before she married this little boy. And, it’s just gonna get worse now that his parents see her for the pushover she is.
She may be his best friend, but she doesn’t have much of a spine. What [supposed] adult cowers to her future in-laws? They sound like awful people, in that they dictated demands for a wedding — a wedding they weren’t even paying for, but that’s beside the point (weddings are SUPPOSED to be about the happy couple. Frankly, it sounds like the new husband put pressure on his new wife to conform, so this writer is probably going to find that his “best friend” has increasingly less contact with him. Sad.
@DeneyRay: DeneyRay, I respectfully disagree. By attending after being bullied from the wedding party, Josh was signaling tacit approval to how he was treated. Yes, the parents now ‘know’ a gay person: a gay person who meekly accepted his ‘place’.
I think she isn’t really his best friend, because this shit would have not gone down. This happened to a buddy of mine. He was told not to bring a date, because the bride’s family didn’t like gay people. He went, I wouldn’t have. Fuck people like that.
If you have to hide any part of yourself from someone, they are not your friend
Sorry but the Bride made the decision. The “in-laws” made a demand, the bride didn’t have to give in. She’ll be giving in for the rest of her marriage-she’ll be the loser in the long run. Had I been the guy, I wouldn’t have gone. I would have had a party away from them with my true friends.
Having had this happen to me, a few times actually – I wouldn’t go. I’d make a stand…Fair enough we thought, they don’t know our partners…(me and a friend both didn’t have our partners invited, long term friends of the groom).
The real pisstaker was having bought the line about ‘not enough space at the reception dinner’, we were seated off in the distance with a couple. One was a casual work friend of the bride, and her partner who admitted he didn’t know either the bride or the groom.
I got my revenge by invited the most outre flamboyant and shocking boyfriend (I had one or two secondary boyfriends at the time, one a longterm partner, I’m poly) to piss them off at the reception. It worked. Never piss off a queen.
I think one direct relative had to basically threaten to call the marriage off with his wife to get my partner there, sensing that as direct family I’d just veto the whole thing if he wasn’t invited. It’s quite depressingly common, even in this day and age. Us queers don’t exist, we don’t have partners, we don’t count as family with our unelected family…etc.
So I’d say, going along with it actually promotes the agenda that it’s OK to treat people like this. Just don’t play their games.
Sounds like you need a new friend
i wanna say more could have been done by the bride & groom to correct the bigoted parents.
Call off the wedding. Postpone the wedding. Elope elsewhere with your gay best friend.
Have the wedding anyway without the awful parents because THEY are the ones that need to change.
This kid deserves better.
I have to place most of the blame on the groom. If he didn’t support his parents’ beliefs, then he should have told them to stay home. Not to mention, it will set a bad precedent for his married life if he gives in to his parents right from the start.
He put his bride, and thus her best friend, into a terrible position. She should have asked him why he would go along with their wishes, if he thought they were wrong. Maybe he agreed with them, and that is why nothing was done. That is saddest of all, because this poor bride is now stuck with the in-laws from hell.
Good for this young man that he had the maturity to try and rise above it. I would have not attended. Nor would I continue my friendship with the bride. It will only lead to more conflict in the future, as she has now married into a family full of bigots.
It is at times like this that our friends show us who they really are. To kick a lifelong friend to the curb like that, all because of future in-laws, and not even ones who are rich and may effect her future prosperity. They were too cheap to even help pay for the wedding, yet wanted control. FU is all I would have to say to those cheap bastards.
It should be interesting to see how their friendship now changes over time. This could be something that would be very hard to get over.
If that is your best friend, you might want to rethink your standards for friendship?
It is not for me to criticize your decision. It is absolutely your’s to make. Personally, i would not have gone. Further, it speaks Volumes that the bride and her family did not stand up for what is right. Yet further, what does it say about the groom that he chose his parents’ bigoted position over his bride on ‘her day’? He should have stood up since they are his parents. I Would have said to them that you would choose to not attend for this reason than come to one of the most important days of my life? Then stay home…also stay home when the grandchildren are born, stay home for the pictures and the first birthday and the first day of school.
This portends far greater issues for the couple than whether you were there or not. It follows that because i could not countneance the groom, and she is duty bound to support her husband, the friendship is destined for the trash heap.
He must find another friend.She wants the cake and eat it too:Keep her bigot in-laws and her gay “best friend”.
@MacAdvisor: I extended you the courtesy of reading your three paragraphs but you obviously did not give the author that same courtesy if you can ask “Also, as he wasn’t a part of the wedding party, why was he at the rehearsal? ” after he wrote “Having just watched the groom’s brother practice handing out the rings (the job meant for me)…”
You sound like a very nice and selfless person. Unfortunately, I think in this case you were too selfless at the expense of your own dignity. You’re right that your friend’s wedding is her special day – but because it’s her day, it gives even more reason that she should have stood up for you if she clearly considers you her best friend. She made the choice to exclude you from standing in her wedding, and that is a choice she will have to live with. Your friend clearly considered her wedding day to be more important than her love for you. As for the groom – the apple doesn’t usually fall far from the tree. Since you don’t seem to be previously acquainted with his parents, then it’s obvious he informed them of your sexuality. I would say up until now he’s probably tolerated you, but now that they’re married, you’ll probably see less and less of your female friend. There will be plenty of excuses. Since your friend sounds very weak and submissive, she’ll probably do whatever her husband tells her to do. Before you realize it, you’ll not have seen each other for months and the friendship will be over. If I were in your shoes, I would have refused to go to the wedding and ended the friendship. Of course, you’ll be the first one she runs to when the marriage ultimately fails.
In college a classmate asked me to go to her wedding. After I asked when and where, she dropped the bombshell. “Please don’t bring a date” My reply was have a nice time. I don’t think I even spoke to her at graduation.
I know who these people are…. The groom’s parents are originally from Russia. Therefore it should come as no surprise they are complete close minded bigots.
Not to worry, I am certain you will “be there” for the inevitable divorce.
You really showed them—by giving in to their bigotry.
I don’t understand why what you did was good for you or for gay people. It was helpful to your friend, but the bigots won this round. Wearing a T-shirt was not passive-aggressive, it was just passive.
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to come down hard on you, but I don’t get this at all. I would have told her, “We are no longer friends.”
I’m glad he attended and wore that t-shirt. He didn’t sabotage her wedding or ruin her day but at the same time he did not do the thing the parents wanted most – ie. not attend. Not a perfect solution but i would have settled for it.
“best friend of five(!) years” lol. Most people have underwear older than that. “Helped him through ‘countless’ breakups” lol again. Millennials are a joke.
Just name the bigoted parents so they can be shamed. Also, what kind of wimp is the bride to not speak up about her wedding and demand inclusion. The bride’s father should also have talked to the other parents and said “listen up bitches I’m paying for this – my daughter gets whatever she wants or you can suck it”.
I have to say the marriage does not sound like it is off to a good start at all. And why did you go along with the obvious bigotry? I recognize it is easy for me to say this but am just wondering?
You were invited; and you went. Also, you respected your boyfriend enough not to pressure him into going.
Your social obligations of not “ruining” her day by not going (which the d-b in-laws threatened to do) are over.
Now, think of yourself and your boyfriend and decide what sorts of friends you want. If there’s room in your lives for the newlyweds, you’re better people than I am.
@stadacona: That got me too. And “countless breakups?” This dude is not a very good judge of character.
Yes, I also think the bride is partly to blame. As for the guy, the only thing that isn’t rainbow about him is his teeth.
Your “best friend” didn’t stand up for you? Some friend. You’re an idiot if you keep this friendship alive, sorry.
Yes, I would most likely have gone to the wedding. Better to stand up than to give the bigots the Gay-Free-Zone wedding they wanted. And, I’d have liked my boyfriend to do the same.
But, since we can now get married, let’s all step into the lady’s shoes. You’re getting hooked up with the love of your life. You want your best friend to stand up with you. But his parents don’t like her. Maybe they know she’s not in this country legally or something. Now, your groom’s family has always been tight. They will be a big part of your lives together. Do you start that life by spitting in his parents’s eyes or do you ask your dear, caring friend to step aside? Do you give up the life you plan with the man of your dreams or do you ask your friend to understand and do you this one favor?
He can come to mine, if i ever have one. Garunteed, and he can bring Kyle 🙂
I can’t imagine a bigger group of a**holes getting together to celebrate something. First, you’ve got the idiots complaining about Gay Friend. Then you’ve got Weak Bride and Groom who won’t stand up to the family, but will certainly leap at the opportunity to tell Gay Friend that he’s actually “so important to them yada yada yada” which is the new and improved way of saying: “You’re not as good of a friend as you might have thought.” But perhaps the biggest a**holes here are the bride’s family, who “are so upset.” But apparently not upset enough to actually STAND UP FOR THEIR DAUGHTER and to tell these people to go f*ck themselves.
The very first thing I would have done would be to pull the groom’s parents aside and to tell them to pack their shit and leave.
I am conservative and a Christian. I have a gay teen son. My wife and I have talked to him about if he ever gets married that not only would we attend but if his soon to be husband has no support from his family we would stand in for him and walk him down the aisle.
No person should ever be told that they cannot be part of a wedding for being gay.
You did the honorable thing. It was your best friend’s wedding. At least you showed up. In your friend’s case, she & the groom should have had a conversation with his parents and let them know that they chose who was going to be in the Wedding Party & that it was final. Like another person said, it is not the Groom’s parents that puts out the most $, it’s the bride’s parents! I hope you & your friend can get through this.
@Brian: Gay shaming? Really? I thought in this day and age we were to support our brothers and sisters and you write that he was too queer. FU.
Religious people are apt to say “oh I have nothing against gay people I just am against their lifestyle.” Even if you can overlook and accept this rather dubious cloak they hide under, it is apparent that even this is bullshit with many of these evangelicals. Here was a case in which your sexuality was no way involved in the ceremony and they still had a problem with even your presence there. Unfortunately, religion gives many of these people a justification for their hatred. Sometimes, it takes the more mild form of just being very cold and hurtful like these parents were. Other times, it takes the form of someone thinking they are doing right by shooting fifty people in a club.
It’s really unfortunate the bride didn’t have an inner Bridezilla to release.
So, I’m going to play devil’sadvocate here, and ignore all the self righteous “comments” that will surely follow.
A “best friend of 5 years” ….5 whole years. While friendships come and go, and at your young age it, 5 years might seem like forever- it’s but a blink.
“Countless breakups” — in just 5 years?! Ummm, how difficult or bad judge of character are you?
“Fangirled over Vampire Eric…” Ah yes, there’s the mark of a deep and meaningful relationship with a friend…so deep, so meaningful…(Actually, it sounds like jr. High)
So, yeah, let’s write a little posting about “me” while saying “it’s not about me”, when, clearly, in your mind, it was only about you, you, and nobody else but you.
Here’s a little tidbit about life – not everyone will like you, or agree with you, or tolerate you, or fawn over you, or adulate you, or berate you, or – well you get the idea. It’s up to you how you go through life’s journey. You can either let others have the power over you to control your feelings and emotions, or you can be in control. People will behave in a certain way – you can’t help that. What you can do is control your reaction to it. Now put on your big boy pants and carry on.
@stadacona: Amen…. “It’s all about me and my 5 minute attention span.”
@Bauhaus: Ummm numerous breakups in 5 whole years….doubtful that they’re even still together with this guy’s history.
@Christopher4: Christopher, since you asked…yes I would stand up to my in-laws if their disapproval of my good friend’s presence in my wedding party was based on bigotry. Remember that evil thrives if good people stand by and do nothing. By agreeing to the parents’ blackmail, Kristen has set up a very bad dynamic going forward. And by agreeing to this “one favor,” Josh meekly accepts his role as second class. Better that there be a “gay-free” wedding than one in which the gay “friend” participates in his own humiliation.
I understand why Josh took the course of action he did and I give him credit. But his soon-to-be-married friends should have stood up to their asshole patents and let Josh be in the wedding party. The patents should have stayed home.
“The groom should have stood up for his wife, not for his parents.”
Exactly correct. If he cannot do this, then he is a terrible choice for a spouse. I had one of these & I gave him back. They are “little boys” who never grow up. I feel sorry for that woman because she’ll likely lose the best years of her life waiting for this loser to step up for her (& their children) & it will NEVER happen.
Really, such an awful thing to happen, caving in to nasty bigots…
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
Your friend was put in an awful, impossible position — essentially blackmailed — presented with a fait accompli, and thoroughly guilt-wracked and heartbroken at her powerlessness to realistically do anything other than submit to her husband’s parents cruel demands on this the occasion of HER and her husband’s special day….and YOU eagerly grasp the opportunity to make it first and foremost all about YOU — YOUR feels– and orgasmically revel in your martyrdom complex by opportunistically cannibalising your friendship for victimhood credits. No fucking cake for you, buddy.
And finally, spare a thought for the innumerable generations of bridesmaids vetoed for being too fat and ugly and send THEM some wedding cake.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
… Send them fat bitches a whole fucking tier
Newsflash he is not your friend.
So her whole family was “upset” and they were paying but they couldn’t say anything? She isn’t a friend she easily took the side of bigots even though it is her wedding, and he ditched his boyfriend for expressing this? The woman is a codependent with the bigots, and he is with her.
This woman is not this man’s “friend” or “best friend”. But it’s just a wedding.
The bride threw him under the bus. The bride and her family need to grow a pair. He can take solace in the fact that her marriage will be over soon. That’s for sure.
The marriage won’t last with in laws like that, and she let them tell her what to do. I wouldn’t want them at the wedding. She is not your friend.
Knowing what the most appropriate thing to is in the moment when hit with something like this. Hindsight is 20/20. We should not have to deal with things kille this, but we are. It is admirable that this young man was thoughtful with regard to his friend, more so than the in laws, and did the best that he could at the time.
The groom’s parents put the bride and the groom in a bad situation. They made this all about THEM, instead of the couple. The groom also went along with his parents. All three allowed this to transpire. The incident will live on and be remembered for the rest of everyone’s lives. What jerks.
Although the bride was put in an awful situation, the couple allowed the groom’s parents to “win”. I hope that they are all proud of themselves.
Baba Booey Fafa Fooey
@PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Will you PLEASE go back to Lip Stick Alley?
You made the right decision. The groom’s parents sound like horrible people and the groom should have stood up to them, but it’s no reason to throw away what sounds like a great friendship and you did it in a classy way. You seem like you are a very mature person and the bride is very lucky to have someone like you in her life.
“My entire family is so upset over this too. If we could all speak our minds, we would.”
They could have, but they chose not to. By bowing down to the bigoted in-laws, they gave them the upper hand. This sets the course for how things are going to go into the future. A choice was made, and it was a very, very bad one. Kudos to the guy for attending anyway. In my younger days, I might have done the same thing. As a middle-aged gay man, I’d say, “To hell with it. Enjoy your new life with your bigoted in-laws who will be controlling your life from this point forward. Was nice knowing you.”
Early on in my relationship, as Mother’s Day was approaching, my husband and I planned to spend the day visiting and celebrating with my mother-in-law. When he called and told her about both of us planning to come visit, she said something to the effect of, “Now, I like him and all, but you know how your stepdad is.” My husband then proceeded to tell me he would go visit by himself and I would just stay home. I put my foot down and said, “No. This is totally unacceptable. What’s going to happen at Thanksgiving? Christmas? in family emergencies? We need to talk about this.” After some arguing and tears, he called her back and again told her we could both be there and that we would meet her at a local restaurant. And that’s exactly what we did. Stepdad didn’t show, and that was fine. I paid for everybody’s meal (you draw more flies with honey than vinegar). Down the road the stepdad ended up accepting me. So glad I stood my ground. Our relationship become stronger because of that.
Ok. So at first I thought your “love is love” shirt was not visible, but from the end of the article you imply that it was visible? If it was visible then you are pulling focus regardless of how correct your political statement was. I would have simply not attended. This rejecting of you for who you are, on your terms, is unacceptable behavior. You could have respectfully and lovingly said to the bride: “I love you but i cannot agree to this. It would be a violation to the values I hold dear and I am sure you can understand.” It is time for the people around us to take a stand, in the name of love. Sometimes it will be easy, other times not, but settling for 2nd or third best is not good enough.
Blood – give it time. Hopefully, you may rarely have to interact with the bigot parents. Check out with your friend in a months or so – see that the friendship is still strong. If so, let the bigot parents go – for good.
Over 25 years ago, I was my best friend’s ‘best man’ at his wedding, though I had recently come-out. His mother was always OK with my total queerness. Well, she was an intellectual and an artsy-fartsy supporter of high-brow arts. Wedding went great! So many years ago, he’s still married with three grown children today. Still tight, though I don’t see him as often. His sister and I are actually closer, today.
Love rules. Be queer!
Sounds like you need a better class of friends.
You can never really be friends with religious nuts. Many of those religions teach that they shouldn’t have friendships with non-believers.
How can you compete with an invisible guy in the sky?
This sounds Fishy….Best Friend for years with that form of homophobia so close to the fire….And he wasn’t banned from the wedding…Just another serial victim making it all about themselves?…
your “friend” and her husband are cowards. it should have been very simple: “Mom, Dad, if you hate gay people more than you love me, and your soon-to-be daughter-in-law, then YOU are not welcome at the wedding”
but they didn’t do that. and for that they are cowards.
I sympathize with the BFF and the bride. He looks young, so I mark the likely-young bride’s trauma to her immaturity, plus here’s a lot of pressure on the bride, and merging families is rarely easy. What’s harder to understand is giving in to invitation blackmail; the proper response to which is always “well, you’ll be missed”. The bride should practice that phrase.
However, for future reference, the correct statement from the bride to the in-laws is “the bridal party members have already been determined, invited and secured. It is unacceptable to ‘un-invite’ anyone ever, especially at this late date and to a formal event. I certainly would not revoke an invitation to you once given for any future family events. [snarky smirk] This is a time-honored and kind policy, and I hope you will understand why I embrace it.”
@Marco: not to mention that the bride and the groom are glossing over THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAIL! the groom’s parents don’t love their son as much as they detest gay people!
“we won’t come to your wedding if that gay person is involved in the ceremony” literally translates to “we care about not liking gays more than we love you, our own son”
You weren’t banned because you are gay. You weren’t banned because the groom’s parents are assholes and bigots. Those are sideshow issues. You were banned because the groom’s parents are control freaks and bullies and because the bride and groom don’t have the fortitude to tell his parents they aren’t in charge. The so-called friend won’t stay married long unless she chooses to become an abuse victim.
There isn’t much more that can be said that hasn’t already been said but I applaud you for taking the high road of sorts. I would have just taken that day to be extra gay with my bf somewhere else in our own way of protest.
JamJewel, thank you for reading my comment, but, forgive me, I am confused by your comment. The quote you selected seems to imply the author *was* at the rehearsal (he “just watched the groom’s brother *practice* handing out the rings”). My question is why was he at the rehearsal as he was now not a part of the wedding party. Typically, only the wedding party attends the rehearsal.
You’re a terrible friend. This was clearly not your friend’s choice and was difficult for her and instead of being a good friend you filled yourself with righteous indignation and wrote about it on a website to show your gay pride bonafides. She should have banned you from the wedding, not because you’re gay but because you’re a crappy friend famewhore.
Duh, then she wasn’t your best friend!
It was HER wedding. She blew her opportunity to NOT let her new in-laws dictate to her. She failed to honor her best friend. She betrayed you. You should have stood firm with your boyfriend and not gone to the wedding.
She could have put loyalty over bigotry.
Josh that women is NOT your best friend. She is a grown woman who married a man who either agrees with his bigoted family or who is not adult enough to put their foot down. It was their wedding not the inlaws and they made a choice to be homophobic. She actually like a homophobe and that is not a person I would want as a friend let alone a best friend. If she is willing to act like a homophobe and allow other people in her life to be homophobic it’s not going to stop her and it will happen again. She’s already messed her life by being in a marriage where she is letting other people control what she does in her life, you don’t need to let it affect you. Dumb her and don’t be her friend until she stops letting people be homophobic and hateful to her “best friend”.
She should have told her husband to be, “If my best friend isn’t going to be in the wedding, neither am I. Tell your parents to come and be happy for us or stay at home and be miserable. I’m good either way, but my best friend is going to be in our wedding.”
That’s what a real best friend would do.
She isn’t his friend, she ditched him the second she got a boyfriend and is curtseying to his hateful parents. Delete her number.
@rickhfx: I strongly disagree – I’ve never felt the need to destroy other people in order to further myself. I know who I am, my friends (nearly all straight males) understand who I am – I am loved for who I am – and there is never any issue – but in a couple of cases (the more difficult one a funeral) I’ve run into people like that. I NEVER EVER FOR A SECOND thought that it was or should be about me or that I should “show them” like you obviously do. I helped bury a gay boy (who suicided) while his disapproving parents looked on. I have been excluded from weddings, but never lost a friend because of it. Why? Because I know who I am, I believe in who I am – and I have no need, ever, to seek ego gratification at the cost of others’ ego deaths. Yes, the groom’s parents are scum – but given your comment, not only so are you – but of the same type.
Josh. I’m so sorry you had to endure that hate. You’re right. In this day and age it shouldn’t have happened. Especially if the in-laws weren’t footing the bill. Likely they will try to exert even more control now that she’s married. Stay true to yourself and love her through it all. One day she will really need you.
You took the high road and good on you. If I was there I’d give you a hug. Take care of yourself. And remember, you deserve ONLY the best and nothing less!
Hopefully this girl will make sure her children are not influenced by these hateful in-laws down the road.
This isn’t about knowing who he is. This is about his friend who is paying for everything taking the side of bigots and over her best friend. She chose a side. At her wedding, that her family is paying for, she allowed bigots to attack his being there.
I’m curious, would you feel the same way if he were Black or Asian and was kicked off the receiving line because the other family were rac-ists? Of course not, the problem is, ,it sounds like you have a little bit of the apologist for being gay left in you.
If I were the bride, I would tell the groom to reprimand his parents for this homophobic demand. If the groom refused to do this, I would not marry him.
The author was obviously being a better friend than his “best” friend, but I doubt that either the friendship will last. It would appear that his role in the wedding was akin to that of a “ring bearer”, which is usually a very young boy similar to that of the flower girl. It is not a key role for an adult. If he were in a position that an adult usually takes, such an equivalent “man of honor”, or a bridesman, it might be a bit awkward but would be more of a statement of their close friendship if she felt that strongly about him to make this part of the wedding plans. Also, she must have been dating this fellow for sometime and he makes no mention of his relationship with the groom so I’m guessing that he wasn’t involved much with her as someone who is involved and a part of a couple. No matter the gender or sexuality involved, true friendships adjust to this change but it does require maturity and work for all three people. True friendships require sharing and the type of sharing that he discusses is about his own relationships and he didn’t seem very involved in her own personal life. Was he really involved in her life like she was in his? Did he go to her family functions? Did the three of them go out in an attempt to develop the friendship as her being with someone else? The reasons why this is important is that if indeed they were best friends, her future husband would have some relationship with him which would have helped them both advocate for his direct involvement in a non-traditional role. I’m guessing that he is young and hasn’t had the closeness of many major mutual adult friendships. The reason why I doubt if the friendship will last is that it sounds more based on spending private time together which will obviously diminish after the marriage and will lead to further conflict with her husband. If the two actually did have a close friendship, then as she matures and discovers that what is important to her is being denied in the desire to keep the peace, she will become unhappy.
However, it sounds like he was not much her “best friend” as he was her “gay” friend who she could have fun and do “gayish” things in private as a couple. The fact that she waited until 3 days prior to the wedding to tell him this speaks to her own immaturity. It does appear that he was invited to the wedding and it would seem that the reasonable compromise would just bring his boyfriend. If this was done and a “no-go” due to familial interference, anything this would have been the clincher but there was no discussion whether this option and I his relationship with is boyfriend isn’t as close as might be thought since, I would guess that his boyfriend would come to his best friends wedding whether he was part of the wedding party or not.
Makes me wonder what would happen if the best friend and her new husband have a child who happens to be gay.
Dude, he is not your best friend.
I’m starting to think this is a fake story (1) why were you at the rehearsal if you weren’t in the wedding? (2) If this is your “best friend” how did this issue of you being Gay not come up before? It is hard to believe the groom didn’t drop any hints about his parents homophobia, although I guess it is possible. (3) how did the issue of your Gayness come up at all to the groom’s parents? Seems like you would have just showed up at the wedding with your boyfriend, and if the parents didn’t like it so what. Too late to change things now. And especially if they didn’t pay anything, I’m totally lost how they had any control over it at all. Not to mention if you’re the ring bearer, you wouldn’t be marching up the aisle WITH your boyfriend or sitting with him anymore than bridesmaids sit with their BF/husbands.
@AtticusBennett: your comment is probably true, but you assume people THINK about their attitudes and opinions. You can’t assume that.
In-laws should not have veto power over the other in-laws guest list.
This is the first sign of bullcrap to be endured in the marriage.
She should get out while she can or face a messy life leading to a messy divorce.
The guy she’s marrying sounds to me like a sniveling little waus.
Clearly you over-estimated the value of this friendship.
Those in-laws are disgusting, vile people. I really hope someone ends up shitting in those people’s mouths. They’re awful.
I hope your friend gets used to being pushed around by his family because once they know they can do something like this, the demands will never stop. I would ask her what she would have done if you were black and not gay and his parents had said the same thing about you? Would she have stood up then? What exactly is her moral line that she will and won’t cross? And then kick her to the curb and in a few years when she calls you crying about her husband cheating on her, hang up the phone.
Wow, tough crowd here. A lot of very opinionated backseat drivers and some nasty as well. Josh, from my perspective, you handled this very well and like a mature adult. I think you did exactly the right thing and you thought it out and did what you thought was best. You didn’t act impulsively and cause drama. No one commenting here knows your friend or her husband, so their advice means nothing. I think most of the comments are so catty and the commenters would prefer drama and divisiveness. I respect your boyfriend’s decision not to attend, but I also think he could have taken your lead and supported you by coming with you. Best to you always. You sound like a great friend!
So wait, they didn’t pay for the wedding, even in part but their demand that you be excluded was honored just so they would attend. But the bride and groom both love you, though. So sorry.
You’re a much better person than me to attend their wedding.
You are the better man in this case.
However, the friendship will not last. I’ve been in this situation as well. You may hang out two or three times (you and your best friend will have a blast; the husband is there the first time, is pleasant but boringly silent; the other times he will have a work thing…) Your best friend will gradually put her husband’s demands first. She will get pregnant. That’s the end of the friendship. Everything will be ultrasound pics, baby pics, the list goes on. She will have no more time for you; her life is babies and mommy friends. I know the type.
The breeder friendships that do last are the ones that accept you regardless. I’ve been in that situation as well. Regardless of family beliefs, I was in the wedding party. These are the friendships that last. Granted, after kids, hanging out is a rarity. But, they always make it a point to keep in touch (if only a quick text now and then).
I applaud your decision and offer my support to you for enduring such a terrible treatment. Hate is a blinding and cruel malaise that hurts so many people. In your case the groom’s parents have hurt the bride whom they should have fully embraced, even if they didn’t agree with your sexuality. Now they have a daughter-in-law that will never be able to forget how they hurt her, you and surely so many others. Truly sad, truly. I can’t imagine the groom and bride will ever reach closure on this, and that bodes ill for the future.
Further, I’m not sure there is a best way to handle these situations. My youngest daughter invited me to participate in her wedding if I’d do so presenting as a male (I was an MTF of 11 years at the time). Ultimately, I didn’t attend in any way and though we had been distant but connected before the wedding she now has no contact with me whatsoever (her choice). There’s no explaining these matters adequately . . . it’s tragic and sad for me, her and the entire family.
See what “conservatives” really are? Learn a lesson here. Conservatives are evil people who inflict hurt and pain (and worse) on people they don’t know, and do it with great glee and sense of accomplishment.
Boycott the Wedding. F**k ’em and your friend.
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