This December was the first in five years that I did not MCQP. It felt quite odd, like someone had yanked a month out of the calendar, leaving the year incomplete and unresolved.

While I moaned about the fact that I’d have to miss it to anyone who’d listen, part of me was relieved that my body would be spared the horror show of intense gymming, make-up and the week of dimly-lit, achy recovery.

And aside from that, I was damn excited about the wedding I had on the same day. (What kind of homo would arrange his wedding on the same day as MCQP, you may well ask. The kind that no longer lives in South Africa and is therefore exempt from factoring the gay zeitgeist into his party planning).

It was my first gay wedding. In fact, it was only the second wedding I’ve ever been to, after my brothers’ a few years ago.

I wasn’t sure what to expect – I’m not even familiar with the regular wedding traditions yet, so imagining them reinvented was like painting without paintbrushes. And actually, I didn’t want to speculate on what they would wear or how it would work. I was excited that my friends were getting married and that they chose to share their moment with us.

There is no denying that gay weddings break new ground. It reminded me of my matric dance – where I had been the first guy in my school to take a boy as my date. Being the first person to do something like that comes with conflicting and paradoxical feelings.

I wanted to make a point about the assumption that we all take girls; but I also wanted it to be no big deal because it is well within my rights (thank you beloved Constitution) to take whomever I want. I had refused to ask permission and had felt ever more defiant after I heard my principal was uncomfortable with it, and yet I also half wanted no one to take any notice – because being gay really shouldn’t still be an issue.

Are gay weddings similarly political? 

One of the grooms did, in fact, make some explicitly political points in his speech. He reminded us all that ten years ago their wedding would not have been possible anywhere in the world, that South Africa was one of the first to legalise it, and that the number of countries where it is legal is now increasing steadily. His father gave a speech about the struggles he has been through in accepting their union, and how grateful he is to them that they persevered and maintained their relationship with him.

It was the kind of speech you just wouldn’t hear at a straight wedding, because there is usually no battle to ‘accept’ your children if they follow the wife-and-two-kids path. His candour and final acceptance had everyone in floods of tears – all of us wishing, no doubt, that our fathers would say similarly loving things to us. 

But the overwhelming mood of the day was certainly not political. And nor was it anything like Sex and the City would like us to believe gay weddings should be. There was no Liza Minnelli. In fact, the gayness of the couple was almost incidental.

My overwhelming impression of the ceremony, the speeches, the dances and the laughter was simply how much the two grooms loved one another, and how happy they make one another. It was a truly joyful wedding, full of great friends, family, laughter and, of course, a deadpan drag-queen DJ playing Rihanna and Waka Waka. 

I’m so grateful to my friends for sharing their big day with me – and I have especially warm fuzzies considering I introduced the two of them. But, ironically, now I am left wondering what this breaking of gay ground means for my life.

Will gay life stages come to resemble those of everyone else? Will it be assumed, after this revolution has normalised, that gay couples must get married after dating for a few years? Will anxious mothers and disappointed grandmothers across the world start pressuring their sons to find the right guy and settle down? Have we liberated ourselves into a new set of social pressures and customs?

I guess there is no way of knowing just yet. For my two friends it was certainly the right thing to do. For the rest of us, there is always still MCQP.

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