Why I Livestreamed My Gay Wedding On Instagram
Six months ago, Glenn and I got married in a casual and intimate ceremony. Close friends of mine would know that I’m a private person who tend not to disclose too much of my life, which is ironic, considering the too-personal Instagram content that shows up on my feed from time to time.
It probably came as a surprise then that I would live-stream our wedding ceremony, an affair that most would only normally share with close friends and family. And no, there weren’t any monetary transactions involved.
A friend had suggested that we share this special day because it would be a positive story for the community, one that still faces religious and political challenges in many countries as well as exclusion from its own people because of toxic masculinity and bottom shaming.
While I might have flat out declined a suggestion like this a few years ago, I find myself ready to use this opportunity to raise awareness. Here are some reasons why I live-streamed our wedding ceremony.
The gay community is sadly one of the most close-minded groups when it comes to dating and hooking up. Aside from age and body shaming, sexual racism against Asians and people of colour is still prevalent where gay guys get rejected on the basis of their ethnicity and skin colour.
Glenn and I couldn’t be more different – he’s half Polish while I’m originally from Singapore of Chinese ancestry. But our lineages haven’t stopped us from getting together because we’re similar in the way we think, love and live. Live-streaming our wedding was an opportunity to reflect our differences and debunk tired ideas about race.
Gay love doesn’t change society
We often hear debates like gay people shouldn’t have the same rights as straight folks to marry or have children as this would have a negative impact on society. Or the projection of gay men – who apparently lead debaucherous lives (I think the small minded folks are confusing debauchery with interesting and fabulous) – would negatively influence the younger generation.
Of course, none of this is true. The gay community has never been affected by heterosexual representation in films, TV, print nor real life. The world hasn’t ended nor have children been more confused since Glenn and I, along with many other gay couples, got married. It should never matter who you fall in love with.
No need for big weddings
Many couples have this idea that weddings need to be lavish and show-stopping. After all, it’s that special day of your life where you get to experience only once. Some go all the way out with venues, catering and decorations just to show off to friends, family and social media.
The thought of eloping crossed my mind because of the expenses, but we decided that we could easily have a wedding that’s intimate yet fabulous and didn’t break the bank.
We invited 30 close friends and family to our event, kept everything simple except for our dramatic entrance with home crafted veils and had the best day of our lives.
The power to make a difference
While Glenn and I are fortunate enough to be able to get married, I’m fully aware that there are many members of the community who are still fighting for those rights or even just rights to survive and not be criminalised with archaic legislations such as Section 377A of the Penal Code in Singapore.
I’m not expecting to eradicate homophobia nor change orthodox mindsets but it’s important to remember that everyone has the power to make a difference. I wanted to normalize same-sex love and marriages and reflect that we, along with members of the gay community, are no different compared to our straight friends.
Two of my family members travelled from Singapore for the wedding and while I had wanted to keep the number of guests down, there were a few immediate members missing. The reason for this wasn’t due to conflicting schedules or the inability to fly but sadly, because of homophobia.
They don’t know that I got married – in fact, some of them don’t even know that I’m gay. In an ideal world, I would come out, educate them and eliminate any ignorance but like with many Asian families, “we don’t really come out the way people do in Western countries,” as eloquently put by artist, BoiHugo.
This is my way of sharing my life with them (if they ever choose to engage with it) and educating that no one chooses to be gay, just like no one chooses to be straight.
Getting married is something Glenn and I have never talked about. Not once. We started going out in early 2013 and have always known that we’re not the type who needed marriage to prove the strength of our relationship. Besides, same-sex marriage wasn’t recognised in Australia.
When it was finally legalised in December 2017, it daunted on us that marriage wasn’t something we thought about because we never had the option to do it. It was unfortunate that our mindset had been steered by what was unavailable to us.
The gay community deserves every choice that’s available to our straight friends because, at the end of the day, we’re no different.