Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Big Fat Gay Wedding; as Gay Weddings Become Legal Later This Year, David Loosley, 30, from Brixton, Tells Why He Decided to 'Marry' His Partner, Lee Fiorentino, 36, and Opted for a Traditional Celebration

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Big Fat Gay Wedding; as Gay Weddings Become Legal Later This Year, David Loosley, 30, from Brixton, Tells Why He Decided to 'Marry' His Partner, Lee Fiorentino, 36, and Opted for a Traditional Celebration

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE BURT

OUR "wedding" party was as traditional as it could be. A John Lewis wedding list and 60 close friends and family gathered on the roof terrace of members' club Number Five Cavendish Square for the ceremony. Lee was practically grey with fear, and I was so nervous that I had a horrible sick feeling that I'm sure every bride gets.

We both sat in chairs covered in silk ribbons in front of the humanist celebrant and on either side of us sat Angus and Marcus, our two best men.

There was no walking up the aisle but all four of us wore matching morning suits and red-rose buttonholes. Our parents - apart from Lee's father, who couldn't make it - sat in the front row as we exchanged rings and said our vows. Our best men didn't do speeches, but friends contributed, one - Terri - sang Close to You, by the Carpenters, and my friend Corinne did a reading from Captain Corelli's Mandolin. It was a brilliant day.

Lee and I met five years ago this month.

We ended up in the same cab late one Friday night and as we chatted about our respective nights out, he reached across and held my hand. He held it all the way to Fulham and we've been together ever since.

Two months later I realised that I loved him and by January he had moved in.

Originally, I'd never been into the idea of marriage - it seemed really cheesy.

But the closer we got, the more I felt that I wanted to make that sort of commitment. There was also talk in the news that it might become legal, so one evening in a bar, in front of five of our friends, I got down on one knee and asked Lee if he'd marry me. I was about 80 per cent sure he'd say yes - but it was a relief to hear him say it.

In my excitement, I phoned my mum, but her immediate reaction wasn't quite what I'd hoped for. She thought I was being silly and attention-seeking - particularly as it wasn't even legally binding. She said: "God, you're not going to walk down the aisle in a dress, are you?" I suppose it was a fair question given my drag-queen history, but that sort of thing would have made the whole thing a big circus. We wanted people to understand that we were being serious.

I was brought up in Hertfordshire and I've known I was gay since I was around four or five. By 16, I'd told a couple of close female friends. My mum found out a few months later when I blurted it out during a row and she was not impressed.

When I met my first serious boyfriend, David, at 17, she was even less impressed. It was an extremely volatile relationship and I think my mum associated my sexuality with me being unhappy. When she met Lee, though, she loved him, and could see the positive change in me.

I never told my father about the wedding, I just sent him and mum their invitation-I've never even discussed my sexuality-with him, although my mother must have told him about our conversation when I was a teenager. …

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