In my activity as a lay-humanist celebrant (and I would like to highlight, once again, the adjective “humanist”, because regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, biological sex or gender role, we all belong to the human race), well, in carrying out my beautiful profession I had the opportunity to learn about many life stories and to celebrate love, even in LGBTQIA+ ceremonies, in all the forms in which this presented itself to me time after time.
And it was – and always is – an extraordinary experience.
Sometimes the love stories I hear from couples and which I then tell during their ceremony are stories that flow peacefully and without particular obstacles, if we may say so, it being understood that in every love story that truly involves the protagonists it is almost an oxymoron to combine the adjective “peaceful” with the noun “love”; love is never peaceful, or at least not always, where a sentimental relationship wants to overcome the challenge of time and everyday life, even more so if it breaks the standard mental schemes with an LGBTQIA+ union.
Having said this premise, I have encountered, and I encounter more and more, to my great joy, much more stormy stories, not so much because of the characters and temperaments of the parties involved, but because of the social and cultural context, still extremely homophobic, which impresses a brand of contempt and condemnation on the foreheads of all those who do not fit into the well-known and reassuring binary of “male” and “female” and who instead exist in the LGBTQIA+ sphere.
Analyzing the reasons and the history of this prejudice linked to such an intimate and personal sphere of feelings and to the inner life of each individual would be very long and demanding, however, we can clarify the meaning of the acronym LGBTQIA+ and share some reflections on how, in my activity as a lay celebrant, it is necessary to pay close attention and great sensitivity to the way of speaking and the language to be used in ceremonies that have individuals who identify with one of these “definitions” as protagonists.
I believe it is important to “translate” the acronym LGBTQIA+, not to give labels that are in any way demeaning or to stuff the discourse with ghettoizing terms, but to use and disseminate words that help us to know, recognize and understand the differences existing in such a varied and extraordinary panorama of the human being, giving full right to the reality and existential experiences of many people who, for too long (and still today) are invisible or even forced to hide, because they are persecuted and ghettoized by society.
With the acronym LGBTQIA+ we refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and + people in general, to all those who do not identify and do not feel fully represented by the definition “heterosexual woman” or “heterosexual man”; in addition to these individuals, we call LGBT+ families (or “rainbow”) those families in which at least one parental figure identifies with one of the categories listed above.
A “rainbow” wedding is, by definition, a moment of profound union in the name of peace, harmony and hope; a courageous challenge so that each and every one of us can freely express our nature as a human being and experience this uniqueness in a society that is ready (and happy!) to welcome and value this uniqueness. At the same time, a rainbow wedding is a battle of civilisation, necessary to bring out of the Limbo of invisibility and shame all those who still experience their intimacy and sensitivity as a cumbersome baggage to be kept hidden.
In my rainbow ceremonies, the feeling that pervades the entire celebration is that of joy, of smiling at life while admiring the splendid and different colors that Nature offers us. A rainbow ceremony is like being in a colorful garden and moving with amazement and gratitude in seeing a flower never observed before, a nuance never seen, but which fills our eyes and our hearts with beauty.
A rainbow ceremony is the beginning of a journey together, which involves not only the spouses, but also the entire community and society as a whole; an invitation to look at the sky, observe all the colors that fantastic colorful arch gives us and set out, all of us, towards a common aim and shared goal.
It matters little that at the foot of the rainbow there really is a magic pot full of gold coins: the path is the goal.
And, as the great writer Italo Calvino admirably said:
“Walking presupposes that at every step the world changes in some aspect and also that something changes in us”.
And we want to change this world, even with our Rainbow Ceremonies.
As a lay Celebrant, I strive every day to make the little piece of the world of which I belong and in which I live, a better place, more welcoming and respectful of differences (not just of gender).
Precisely for this reason, I have decided to celebrate next 19 October 2023, the “Spirit Day”, or the International Day to raise awareness against homotransphobic bullying, with a gift to LGBTQIA+ couples who want to celebrate their wedding on that date with me as their celebrant.
To find out more and take advantage of this offer, come and visit me on the Zankyou portal and visit my page: https://www.zankyou.it/f/la-tua-cerimonia-801043
Download the promotion and send me a message: I’m at your disposal for a no-obligation video call to organize your ceremony in the name of colours, hope and Love.
I’m looking forward to meeting you. Together we can make a difference!