When Nicole Y. Dennis married her longtime partner, Dr. Emma Benn, the festivities were memorable for the reasons you’d expect — friends, family, love and plenty of emotion. But there was something else: The ceremony was Jamaica’s first lesbian wedding.
Dennis (now Dennis-Benn) shared with Ebony.com a first-person narrative of coming out to her father, the ups and downs of planning the nuptials and the day she and her bride made history on the island. Read an excerpt here:
More promising to me as a Jamaican was the plethora of positive reactions on my blog and some on the Jamaica Gleaner’s comment section from strangers back home — people who felt trapped in silence because of their sexuality. Or strangers showing support in general. Their individual voices joined the chorus of support my wife and I have been getting, expressing their pride and joy. Other gays and lesbians have acknowledged us as an inspiration. Had it not been for this highly publicized wedding, I would never have felt the true pulse of the gay community in my country, and the nation as a whole. For the first time in their lives they were not invisible. The unbiased publication also allowed people to look pass gender and see the rawness and truth in love. That we’re not sexualized vultures or heathens, but two women in love. Most importantly, I observed men and women removing their cloaks of shame and guilt to step forward, beautifully naked in the eyes of freedom. Gay and lesbian Jamaicans are tired of hiding; tired of camouflaging who they are with decorations of societal norms. They’re tired of pretending to be okay with the bigotry they are exposed to at work, in school, or in the church. Tired of forcing those half smiles and weak nods of acquiescence. Tired of being invisible.
Read more at Ebony.com.