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Posts tagged ‘Gay Marriage’

Roots entwined: Our story illustrated

Two weeks ago I married my soul mate, and the man I am now lucky enough to call my husband, and on yesterday’s Daily Norm you were bombarded with photos of our ceremony. However, our marriage was a culmination of 6 years together, almost to the exact day of our first date in fact, on 16th June 2009, and from that moment onwards, I lived life as a man complete.

In celebration of our journey together since that first June date, I prepared for our wedding by drawing a little illustration of our adventures as a twosome. Inspired by the magical words of Louis de Bernieres in his stunning novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which were read at our wedding, my illustration takes the form of a complex interlocked image of our adventures, each stemming from the routes which now bind us so firmly together.

Roots entwined (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Roots entwined (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. 
And when it subsides you have to make a decision. 
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined
together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. 
Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is notexcitement,
it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, which any fool can do. 
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an artand a fortunate accident.

Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and, when all the prettyblossoms have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The day I married my soul mate

I knew I wanted to marry my soul mate Dominik almost from the first moment we met. It was within a few dates that I knew we were two inseparables, so alike in our tastes and ambitions, thoughts and feelings, that it was like finding myself all over again, and gaining the best friend, companion and lover a man could wish for. We marked our commitment very early only – it was within 6 months that we placed eternity rings around one another’s hands on a snowy night in Montmartre in Paris – but it took us a further 5.5 years to seal the deal.

Getting ready for the big moment, and with mother of the groom and my nephews…

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I suppose for us, the big step was engagement, and the marriage was only ever the cherry on the cake, or at least that was how it felt when we decided to opt on a completely secret, tiny ceremony two weeks ago, inviting only our most intimate family and very few friends, in order to keep our wedding small, both numerically and economically. For us it felt more administrative as we filled in the forms and gave our official notice. And when, in the days leading up to our wedding, people asked if we were nervous, I couldn’t understand why we were supposed to feel nerves, when on paper it all seemed so simple.

The magical moment, and stepping out into a confetti of peonies 

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That was until the wedding. In that moment, when joining hands before a Chelsea registrar, we looked into each other’s eyes, and placed the final wedding band on our fingers, suddenly it all became very, wonderfully real. The extent of our commitment, the magic of the moment, the utmost celebration of the most perfect union: the moment I married my soul mate. Now, looking back on those magical few minutes, my memories are flooded with the great surge of emotion I felt in that moment, the pride and the love, and the utmost and complete joy.

Photos, celebrations and a top-notch lunch

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So for anyone doubting whether the US decision of last week, which legalised gay marriage across all states, was the right one, let my experience cast those doubts asides. Gay marriage in the UK has enabled me to commit myself not to a boyfriend, nor a civil partner, but to a husband, in the eyes of the law and before my family and friends. It has enabled me to bind myself to my one true soul mate, and in doing so share the same right afforded to everyone around me, whatever their sexuality. The world is finally moving forwards, common sense is prevailing, and equal love is truly victorious.

Rounded off with an incredible cake (courtesy of lady-aga.com)





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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved.

Valentine’s kiss for equal marriage

Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day draws ever closer. The empty shelves of post-Christmas and post-sales shopping have been filled with rosy red pleasantries, boxes of indulgent truffles, delicate red roses and cards making declarations of ever lasting love. But there’s something about the commercialisation of love at Valentine’s which has always slightly unnerved me. Yes, it’s a chance to remind your loved one that your cherish them, but isn’t there something contrived about telling them this only when a card shop tells you to?

For these two Norms however, there is no need for a card, a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers to demonstrate their true bond of love and affection – a simple, heartfelt kiss will do, here shared in front of one of the most iconic buildings of Paris’ 4th arrondissement, the Hotel de Ville. On holiday from London and staying in the Marais (which also hosts Paris’ gay district), these Norms also have something else to celebrate this year asides from their own love – the British Parliament has just voted by overwhelming majority to give same-sex couples the right to marry.

Doisneau Norms share a valentine's kiss in celebration of equal marriage (2013 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Doisneau Norms share a valentine’s kiss in celebration of equal marriage (2013 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

In doing so, Parliament have not made a statement about faith or religion, nor attempted to widen the extents of religious marriage beyond the bounds with which the church is comfortable. Rather, they have recognised, quite simply, that for both men and women who love those of their own sex, being gay is not a choice made or a lifestyle favoured, but who they are, and how they were born. Why then should gay men, women (and Norms)  not be afforded the equal opportunity to marry when they, like heterosexual couples, find themselves in a relationship so strong and so loving that they want to devote themselves to that person for the rest of their lives?

The Doisneau original

The Doisneau original

So this Valentine’s day, even if you do not have a loved one with whom to share a Valentine’s day kiss, take some time to consider the enhanced rights which have been afforded to gay men, women (and Norms) all over the UK. Finally, like their heterosexual counterparts, they have been given the opportunity to validate their love in marriage like everyone else.

And for those eagle-eyed art lovers amongst you, you may recognise the scene which these two Norms now recreate. It is, of course, based on the famous photograph, Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville, by celebrated French photographer Robert Doisneau. Last Valentine’s I recreated another of his famous kiss photographs from the 1950s on canvas, in Norm-style. Here is that painting, and the Doisneau’s originals.

Le bazier de l'opera (after Doisneau) (acrylic on canvas, 2012 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Le baiser de l’opera (after Doisneau) (acrylic on canvas, 2012 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

The Doisneau original

and the Doisneau original

Happy Valentine’s day to all and everyone, especially those celebrating the manifestation of an equal right to love and marry, at last.