Creative Director Behind ‘Black Gay Weddings’ Talks Turning Discrimination Into Success
Something is happening on blackgayweddings.com, and that something reaches beyond the dozens of Black LGBTQ+ couples prominently featured on their website or popular Instagram page during one of the most pivotal moments in their lives. In 2021, there are still very few spaces, digital or otherwise, where LGBTQ+ couples comprising two Black partners are celebrated in mainstream or LGBTQ+ media. But unless you’ve followed this disparity over time, you’d probably never know that there is a lack of representation in this area after scrolling through blackgayweddings.com. All at once, the website is celebratory, inclusive, and keenly aware of how intersectionality impacts Black LGBTQ+ people. And like many of the long-standing and revered Black publications that came before it, Black Gay Weddings was also birthed from discrimination.
Dewayne Queen, Atlanta-based Creative Director of Black Gay Weddings, tells The Reckoning how founders, Michael (COO) and Lawrence (CEO) Broughton’s nuptials set the wheels in motion for the platform to celebrate Black LGBTQ+ couples while working to ensure that what happened to them would never happen to another couple.
“Michael and Lawrence were married in 2018. They sent out notifications to publications regarding their wedding, and they were featured in one publication and got all this hate mail from the readers of the publication—e-mails, threats, you name it, they received it,” said Queen. “And then they submitted to other white publications to celebrate their union and they got letters stating that they didn't fit their demographic. They were not the kind of people that they wanted to celebrate. And so in 2018, Black Gay Weddings, the platform was birthed out of the hate that they received for their union,” he said.
The Reckoning reached out to the Broughtons for an interview, but they were unavailable before publishing.
Now, three years later, Queen says the mail they receive for “creating a space to normalize the celebration of [Black] LGBTQ weddings that didn’t exist” has been life changing for people in and outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
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