Gay man from Georgia weds in New York wearing a chokha
David Shubladze, a Georgian and LGBT activist moved to the United States a few years ago. He recently married his Italian partner, putting photos and videos of the wedding ceremony on his Facebook page.
The newlyweds wore chokhas, which are traditional Georgian attire, for the ceremony. Shubladze told the online edition of On.ge that it was both a civil and religious wedding. According to him, wearing Chokhas on this day should be equated to a political statement.
“Why wear chokhas? Why not?! We decided to use chokhas in our ceremony because of Georgians’ sacred attitude towards them. As a Georgian, and as a Georgian citizen, I don’t need to get permission from anyone to wear a Chokha. As an LGBT activist, for me it was also a political act; wearing the most pseudo-masculine Georgian attire at a same-sex wedding emphasized that any person has the right to do what they want – at least to wear clothing that they like. This is my gift to those hurrah-patriots and pseudo-religious people who, in the name of Christ, are ready to persecute and kill,” David Shubladze told On.ge.
In the same edition of On.ge he also touched upon the problems that forced him to leave Georgia:
“In Georgia, admitting that you are gay causes a lot of problems. During my last year in Georgia, I had to change apartments tree times. Each of my TV appearances as a gay activist turned into another search for housing. Each of my actions was accompanied by scolding and a wave of threats. In the neighborhood where I lived, among neighbors, at work – at every stage of my life I had to fight this stigma. Trouble arose with friends, as I repeatedly became the object of humiliation, ridicule and aggression, they beat me… Being an LGBT activist is very difficult, a special moral alertness is necessary,” Shubladze said.
According to him, moving to the US radically changed his life:
“I’m happy in this country. I’ve never had to hide who I am. I don’t have to think about how I choose my words in conversations about this topic … Here, nobody cares who I sleep with or who I live with. The main stipulation of life in the US is to be a decent person, and a good citizen.”