For Shannon and Seema, an interracial Indian-American lesbian couple who married in Los Angeles last month, it was love at first sight.
Well, for Shannon it was love at first sight, the couple explains in a new interview with BuzzFeed. Seema was teaching a fitness bootcamp that Shannon attended, and on first seeing the instructor, Shannon told a friend "I'm going to marry her." Six years later, she did just that.
Photos from the couple's stunning, neo-traditional Indian wedding went viral last month (including being posted here at SheWired), but were quickly pulled from various sites when the couple contacted administrators, informing us that they hadn't given the photographer permission to publish the photos widely.
Now, for the first time, Shannon and Seema are speaking out about the photos, the collective swooning those images inspired nationwide, and how the world reacted to the beautiful, tender ceremony between the two women.
A month ago, we had a small wedding and invited our very close friends and family," the couple writes at BuzzFeed. "Without our blessing our pictures went viral, and being a very private couple and part of a private culture, we were shocked and taken back that our small wedding had been seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Nonetheless, as our wedding pictures spread, we received hundreds of amazing, supportive comments of hope, strength and courage that not only brightened our day, but gave us the strength to continue through this journey and further tell our story."
The couple told BuzzFeed they received messages from right at home in California, and from distant locales like India, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, and other nations. The messages were unanimously supportive, the couple tells BuzzFeed, and complimented the couple for the clearly apparent love between them. Many letters thanked the women for giving young LGBT people the courage to come out, or even just believe that they could find their own happy ending fit for a fairy tale.
"We feel honored and blessed to have lived our lives as we normally would have, which translated to someone else across the nation into hope and courage," said the couple, according to BuzzFeed.
Discover more details about the wedding day — and see additional photos approved by the couple — here.