Twenty-something, black, gay and married; not words you often hear put together. But this is our daily life, we are Maury and Taylor Chasteau-Simien. We were married in New York City Hall (very Sex and the City) in November 2015.
Since getting married we’ve received the typical questions from friends and family: How does it feel? Does anything change? Is it different from dating? But the question no-one asks but all wonder, is what we’re going to address in this article.
How are you in your 20’s, black, gay and married?
It’s often assumed that young gay men in relationships have open relationships. Now, while we hold nothing against those who choose to be in one, we have chosen to be in a monogamous relationship. It is also commonly thought that young gay men are promiscuous, and while many are, there are just as many who want to be in a committed relationship.
The gay scene is full of temptations that for a single young gay male is fun and inviting, but aren’t for those in a monogamous marriage. Does that mean we quit the scene all together? No more parties, fun drinks and late nights? NO! We’re only in our 20’s. All it means is that we now hit the scene for a different reason and a different type of enjoyment.
We go out together, and it’s one of the best feelings being in a club and just enjoying the music and not having to worry about if everyone thinks you look cute (even though you still want to look cute) or who you’ll be going home with that night.
Doing this has opened us up to aspects of the scene we wouldn’t have noticed before. For example, Pride events; even though they are extremely fun, we began to look past that and see the importance of having these events for the community. This is one of the reasons Maury has joined UK Black Pride as their Head of Marketing & PR.
Getting more involved with the community has brought issues in the community to our forefront, like the issue of the black community and its homosexual discrimination.
We both come from religious families; Maury from a British-Christian family and Taylor from American-Muslim family. So we have heard criticisms and opinions from more than one group of people first-hand; the Christian opinions, Islamic opinions and general black community opinions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
With so many negative opinions for different reasons it can be hard to stay strong when it seems like those around you aren’t happy for your marriage. We’re also very young, and therefore don’t have the years of experience and life lessons to fall back on. This has meant that we have had to find strength and support in each other.
In conclusion, being married at such a young age, in a community where marriage is a new thing and not very common, and from an ethnic community where homosexuality is seen as negative, it has meant that we have come to learn that it is extremely important to choose who you enter this sacred unity with. We already knew, but have now come to get confirmation, that we made the right decision with each other.
Photo credit: Maury and Taylor Chasteau-Simien