We were challenged last week about not being gay and putting on a show geared specifically for the LGBTQ community. Why would the gay community want to attend an event put on by straight people; people who clearly don’t understand their challenges, their life, their feelings?
The real question is, why would the LGBTQ community not want to attend an event created specifically for them by exceptional event planners who believe love is love, who think discrimination is unacceptable, who want everyone’s wedding day to be perfect?
This idea first came to me when I attended a conference in Las Vegas a few years back. I sat in on a session on gay weddings. I honestly thought the session was going to be about what was trending in gay weddings, but nope, it was about the fact that gay couples are faced with challenges planning their weddings that heterosexual couples are not. Being turned away by wedding professionals because they don’t believe in gay marriage? What! I was shocked! The session hadn’t even ended and I had already texted my team back home that we were putting on an LGBTQ wedding show. And we did!
In 2016 we put on Ottawa’s first and Ontario’s only LGBTQ wedding show. We don’t know everything there is to know about being gay but we are learning. We research, we listen, we ask questions. We even made sure our vendors were learning by sending out regular education pieces on how to make sure their company is inclusive.
I am not gay. But I believe in gay rights. I believe in gay marriage. I believe everyone should be able to love whoever they want. I have several family members who are gay and I love them no differently then any other family member. More importantly, I have two teenage daughters, and if they are gay I want them to have all the same opportunities that any heterosexual individual has. I don’t want them to be faced with the challenges I heard about at the conference and those I heard about from our attendees last year.
I have the most amazing team. We are not only exceptional event planners, we are also open-minded and inclusive. I am extremely proud of the work we are doing.