Saturday, March 30th, 2024

BIG GAY WEDDING : Tom Allen hosts a (fab) wedding to celebrate 10 years of Same Sex Marriage in the UK


It may have slipped your mind that this week the UK is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the legalization of same sex marriage .  (Well not all of the ‘British Isles’  as it took the Parliament of ultra conservative Northern Ireland another 6 years to join the club).  Anyway the BBC is marking this historical ground-breaking moment with a charming documentary BIG GAY WEDDING that is screening globally on BBC1 player this weekend.

The chose the most perfect host the award winning queer comic (the always be-suited) Tom Allen who simply cannot contain his joy at being able to celebrate the Anniversary of this essential ‘equal right’ for our community.  “When I was growing up the idea that gay people could be accepted by society, never mind get married, was as mad as a sack of chihuahuas!

The documentary covered the political and cultural journey up to the passing the legislation and combined it with Allen helping to plan a wedding for Adam and Dan.  This Brighton based couple had been preparing for their nuptials by producing mood boards as to how they wanted their big day to play out.  They told Allen they wanted to look good BUT gay too ….. something we would probably have avoided  with a passion in more closeted days . 

There is a lovely clip when Allen takes them to Oti Mabuse to choreograph their ‘opening dance’ and Allen comments ‘they saw a series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and suddenly they think they are Nureyev!   Then there is a trip to John Waite winner of Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off star  for help with the cake, and they reveal they want 10 tiers!

Allen loves opening up his phone book to ask favors from his celeb friends.  Like the singer Sophie Bextor Ellis who he persuaded to come and entertain the wedding guests.

Director Mike Nicholls intersperses all this merriment with the history of how most of us thought that the country would never allow such legal equality.  It was tough to be openly gay in the UK in the 80s what with the AIDS pandemic and the rampantly homophobic Thatcher’s determination to destroy our community.  Thankfully she had long gone when a Labour government in 2004  passed a Civil Partnership Law for same-sex couples. Allen noted in the two years following that some 16000 same sex couples took advantage of that.

Allen discussed the historical journey  with activists such as Sandi Toksvig and Peter Tatchell ….. the latter had confronted the Archbishop of Canterbury …… the head of the Anglican Church in his pulpit during an Easter Sunday service.  They, and others, stressed was that the continued the fight because a Civil Partnership was for legal reasons  but marriage is about love.

The one thing that I had forgotten was when the Legislation was passed 20 years ago it was not by a Labour Government but by a Lib Dem/ Conservative Coalition Administration .  There has  been a monumental change of the  perception of the gay community by the general public since then. And I was pleasantly shocked to learn that nowadays some 100 same sex couple get married in the UK every week.

Allen was enjoying all the wedding planning as if it was his own , and the result on a glorious sunny day in the English countryside was filled with such love and happiness.  I dare anyone to watch this without having to reach for a tissue. Or two. 

As the final credits rolk we are reminded that now its time for us to rally for same rights for the non-binary and trans communities  ‘


Big Gay Wedding with Tom Allen,27-03-2024,13



you will need to use a VPN to view if you are NOT in the UK


ROGER WALKER-DACK Creator, Editor-in-Chief Miami Beach, FL / Provincetown, MA 
of G.A.L.E.C.A. (Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and 
NLGJA The Association of LGBT Journalists. and The Online Film Critics Society. Ex Contributung Editor 
The Gay Uk & Contributor Edge Media Former CEO and Menswear Designer of  Roger Dack Ltd in the UK


Posted by queerguru  at  14:12


Genres:  documentary

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