The Hawaii Convention and Visitors Bureau has come out with a video for their #LetHawaiiHappen campaign which stars a gay male couple. Christian Alarid and Shane Alarid (née Barnes) get a surprise Hawaii wedding with family and friends being flown in from the mainland.
Honolulu Civil Beat notes that both men are in the military:
Christian serves in the Air Force and will enter the Air Force ROTC program next fall at the University of Hawaii, while Shayne recently completed his service in the Marines and is now a full-time student at Hawaii Pacific University. (source)
Their military connection is part of what makes this a why it gets better post. Before 2010 not only could these men not be married but also any acknowledgement of them being gay would have gotten them kicked out of the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Another aspect of the video that makes it a why it gets better post is its ordinariness. This video of Christian and Shane could be any number of reality TV wedding videos. The men go through a number of everyday wedding experiences: being surprised by family; getting dressed; writing vows, et al. These experiences, and the emotions that come with them, are ones that are universal to the wedding experience.
Finally, it’s great to see us represented in such a public way. It’s great that there isn’t fear in showing and promoting a gay couple. Back in the day, a company might be supportive of the gay community, but it was very hush, hush. They didn’t want to risk alienating the general public by letting it be know that they were promoting to the gay community. With campaigns like this that fear is evaporating quickly. Companies are loosing their own shame and stigma with in being partners with us.
Why It Gets Better is a series of postings showing, real-time, concrete, tangible ways that life is getting better for LGBT people.