An Indian family in Canada is showing the world the true meaning of unconditional love and acceptance by throwing their gay son and his partner a traditional Hindu wedding.
Rishi Agarwal is lucky.
Being openly gay is taboo for most Indians, but Rishi’s conservative parent’s overcame their initial shock and prejudices to completely embrace their son and his partner, telling him: “You’re still out son and we love you”.
After coming out to his parents 2011, Agarwal says they spent three days learning as much as they could about LGBT issues. His parents even started a chapter of PFLAG in Peel.
They blamed their own “ignorance”, his mom said: “This is strictly our baggage, what we bring from India.”
“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,” Rishi said to local media outlets.
Rishi and his partner Daniel Langdon’s wedding included all the traditional rituals of a Hindu wedding: Mehndi, Sangeet and even a Pheras ceremony officiated by a Pandit.
Even some of Rishi’s friends decided to come out to their families after seeing how warmly his parents accepted him and his partner.
The couple now hopes they can share their story to show that acceptance is paramount, and that families can continue celebrating the same traditions as with any other couple.
“In order to run a lot of those ceremonies, you really need everyone, the community’s involvement, otherwise it doesn’t really work,” said Rishi. “Unfortunately, others have not had that support in their lives.”
Check out highlights from the wedding below: