A display of coexistence, LGBTIQ+ rights, and, most importantly, love. That's exactly what the wedding of an interfaith and international lesbian couple brought forth to the table earlier this year.
Bianca Maieli, a Colombian-Indian Christian, tied the knot with Saima Ahmad, a Muslim Pakistani woman, at a beautiful ceremony in California back in April. Both women live in the state and it's actually where the two met. The ceremony has only recently begun making headlines as the Indian blog Wedding Sutra published an interview with the gorgeous couple.
In the photos, both women can be seen donning traditional attire, embracing their roots and sexuality in full force. Maieli wore an ivory-colored sari while Ahmad wore a sherwani, an outfit traditionally worn by grooms in South Asia.
"We were keen on incorporating facets of both cultures in a way that was respectful and personalized at the same time," Maieli told Wedding Sutra.
Maieli explained that the two met through mutual friends in 2014 at a spoken word event titled "Coming Out Muslim."
"We hit it off instantly and have literally been hanging out ever since!" Maieli said.
A few years into their relationship, which came to be despite the fact that both women weren't looking for something serious, the couple began discussing the possibility of marriage. During a trip to Colombia, Maieli proposed ... and, well, now the two are married.
Unsurprisingly, their wedding was not your typical one; in fact, it was done over four different events.
"The celebrations began with the dhoki, which was dominated by blue. The mayoun, which is essentially the haldi ceremony, of course, was all yellow. Our mehendi featured lots of pink. The wedding was dressed in white, gold, and lavender," Maieli explained.
On the other hand, Pakistan has neither legalized same-sex marriage nor gay sex. In fact, the country's laws allow for the death penalty in such cases, though it is quite uncommon. The country has, however, taken steps to improve the conditions of trans individuals.
According to Pakistan's 2017 census, there is an estimated 10,000 individuals who identify as transgender, the first time the transgender community was included in the country's national census.
The country's Prime Minister Imran Khan has pushed for the rights of the transgender community over the years. In 2017, the government issued its first passport with a transgender category. In early 2018, Pakistan's Senate passed a bill to protect transgender people, guaranteeing individuals the right to determine their own gender identity. That same year, Pakistan witnessed its first-ever transgender news anchor make an appearance on private television.