This couple caused a huge controversy in Russia back in 2014.
Alison Brooks (on the left), married Alina Davis (right). How is this possible in a country where same-sex weddings are banned, violence against homosexuals is on the rise, and homosexuality was only declassified as a mental illness in 1999?
Simple. The 23-year-old Alina was born a man named Dmitry Kozhukhov. She labels herself as “androgyne,” which means she doesn’t fit neatly into one gender identity, goes around wearing women’s clothes every day, but because her birth certificate lists her as a man, the Russian authorities couldn’t refuse them their marriage certificate or their right to marry.
“We had no problems when we handed in the application to the registry office although we had expected a complaint or something but they didn’t say anything,” Davis told the Mirror. “But then the head of the registry office called several times, telling us that they didn’t want us to turn up both in wedding dresses. He said marriages in Russia were between a man and a woman and nobody else.”
That may be, but there are no rules against men wearing dresses — or looking nearly identical to their brides — so the ceremony still took place in the Kutuzovsky Prospekt registry office in Moscow. Both Brooks and Davis wore white wedding dresses. While the two were refused entry through the front door and had to enter through the rear entrance instead, they still got married.
Davis thinks this is a big moment for couples in Russia. “We are not alone in having such problems,” she says. “I have written to couples who are planning similar marriages and are afraid of failures with registration. Be aware – you cannot be refused.”