At a wedding this Saturday in Hammonds Plains, a jockstrap will be tossed instead of a bouquet and the cake decorations will incorporate two topless men in a Jacuzzi.
Despite the less traditional aspects of the upcoming union between Patrick Daigle, 30, and Shawn Wood, 27, it’s clear the Dartmouth couple has the most fundamental building block of marriage – love.
It hasn’t been easy for them to reach this happy celebration, from Wood’s struggle to tell his small-town P.E.I. family he’s gay, to Daigle’s emotional breakdown as he searched for an engagement ring dealer who didn’t assume he was buying for a woman.
Finally, after nearly five years of dating, they’re tying the knot at Hatfield Farm, an event they refer to as their “Brokeback wedding.”
All jokes aside, Wood admitted during an interview Sunday he still has “issues with homophobia within my family,” but added he also has “a very strong network of family that do love me for who I am.”
Before he came out at age 22, Daigle said, “I knew I was gay for a long time, but I never put that word to it, ever.”
“My only regret is I wish I had done it a little earlier,” he said inside the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Youth Project Society’s headquarters on Halifax’s Brunswick Street.
Now both aren’t afraid to share their personal stories of coming out, and coming together, with others. Wood presents at schools on behalf of the LGB Youth Project, while Daigle is past co-chair of Halifax Pride.
They also put up with hate mail when they made the finals for C100’s Get Hitched at Hatfield Farm contest. Nevertheless, they won the wedding and walked away stronger.
“Some people think we’re almost in like a post-gay era – that we can just sit down and not have to fight anymore,” Daigle said “(But) gay people still can’t give blood (and) we’re no longer allowed to donate our organs.”
And while they “can’t wait” for the big day, Daigle and Wood will likely be fighting for equality for a long time to come.
“Our relationship is important and we’re committed to each other,” Wood said.