In 2016, being gay is still illegal in India, and, as far as traditional Indian families are concerned, homosexuality remains a highly taboo subject.
That’s why these widely circulated images of a sumptuous gay Hindu wedding are proving to be such an inspiration to Indian families everywhere.
The photographs feature Rishi Agarwal and Daniel Langdon getting hitched in a traditional ceremony.
Agarwal was raised in a Hindu household, and his parents always dreamed of throwing him a seriously epic wedding.
(The family left India in the ’70s in order to move to Canada.)
Agarwal was initially apprehensive to come out to his parents, particularly after the suicide of a gay Sikh student he knew, whose parents simply wouldn’t accept his homosexuality.
Nevertheless, he came out in 2011 and admits his mom and dad were at first “stunned” at the news. He feared his hopes of a dream wedding with friends and family was quashed for good.
Agarwal’s parents ultimately wound up accepting him. In fact, they spent three entire days learning everything they could about LGBTQ issues, even starting a chapter of PFLAG based in Peel.
“You’re still our son and we love you,” they said when he asked if they wanted him to leave their household.
“This is strictly our baggage, what we bring from India,” said his mom, blaming their own ignorance for any hesitation he may have sensed from them.
Rishi and Dan got married, going through all the elaborate traditions of a “big fat Hindu wedding.”
Talking to local media, Rishi confessed, “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.”
Now, the couple are sharing their story to demonstrate how important acceptance is, and to show how families need to stay together and celebrate same-sex relationships the way they would any other couple.
In Rishi’s words: “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.”
Check out images from the wedding ceremony below:
h/t: Pink News