Gay Alvin Ailey dancers marry amid same-sex marriage debates
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will announce its decision about whether DOMA and Prop 8, which deny gays the marriage rights and benefits, are constitutional. As nation waits, two dancers from the groundbreaking Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Corps, are adding fuel to the fire of change with recent news of their same-sex marriage.
In a feature story for The Griot, Harlem dancers Antonio Douthit, 32, and Kirven Boyd, 28, share the story of their journey to tying the knot on June 7 in a New York City Clerk’s Office. As the couple explains, they met while they were both dating other people but they got closer after they both joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and began travelling the world together.
“We were just finding our feet and getting established. One of our first dates was at a Starbucks overseas,” Boyd explains. “I was so nervous that I spilled hot chocolate all over my jeans.
From that friendship grew a relationship that has lasted for eight years, and even though Douthit and Boyd both knew that they were meant to be forever, they didn’t decide to tie the knot until recently.
“We had been talking about marriage for a while, and we knew years ago that we would be together forever; six months ago we just decided to go ahead and get married,” says Boyd. “We don’t have a cute little engagement story, or anything. There was no bended-knee proposal, or doves released, or any of that. Next time someone asks me, I might make up a story though.”
Like the engagement, their wedding, which was held on the birthday of Douthit’s late mother, was also lowkey as they exchanged diamond rings in front of family and friends in a New York courthouse.
Despite the simplicity of their nuptials, Douthit and Boyd, who will soon change their last names to the hyphenated Douthit-Boyd, are proving that their love and marriage are anything but small and forgettable.
Indeed, if SCOTUS strikes down DOMA and Prop 8, many other gay couples who want to get married will be able to stand strongly – and legally – in their love and stand as inspirations.
Douthit and Boyd aren’t alone. Check out some other famous gay couples below. – nicholas robinson