12% Of Americans Identify as LGBTQ


A new poll found that 12% of the US population identifies as LGBTQ in some way.

The Harris poll, commissioned by GLAAD, found that younger people were far more likely to identify as LGBTQ than older people. 20% of millennials (ages 18-34) identified as LGBTQ, whereas only 5% of older people (over 72) identified as LGBTQ in some way.

Most of the difference came from categories outside of gay and lesbian. Millennials are about as likely to identify as gay and lesbian as Generation X (35-51) and Baby Boomers (52-71), but were much more likely than any other age cohort to identify as bisexual, asexual, gender fluid, transgender, and agender.

By Alex Bollinger – Full Story at LGBTQ Nation

Honoring the Creator of the Rainbow Flag

Gilbert Baker

The creator of the Pride flag, Gilbert Baker, has died aged 65. Baker, a civil rights activist, army veteran and tailor created the Rainbow Flag 39 years ago. Cleve Jones, also a civil rights activist, shared the news of Baker’s death on Twitter.

He wrote: “My dearest friend in the world is gone. Gilbert Baker gave the world the Rainbow Flag; he gave me forty years of love and friendship.” A rainbow flag was flown at half mast at the City Hall in San Francisco to mark the passing of Baker.

Baker’s cause of death is unknown. He created banners and flags for marches, as well as protests, and created the rainbow banner which was carried by Harvey Milk in San Francisco in the 1970s. This PBS documentary also features Baker talking about the flag design.

By Joseph Patrick McCormick – Full Story at Pink News

Amazing Alterations – Minenapolis

Amazing Alterations

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Amazing Alterations is a Minneapolis bridal and formal wear alterations company, specializing in making your dream wedding dress or suit fit you perfectly! We can even custom-make dresses, veils and accessories.

We offer wedding rings and jewelry, and lots of bling!

We can handle all wedding gown alterations, including bodice fitting, hemming, all styles of bustling of the train, and even custom embellishment with Swarovski crystals. We can also do dress reconstruction for vintage wedding gowns.

We can provide our services for the bridal party too – bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, and even the grooms! Let us custom-tailor your suits, and even your military attire, including military patch placement.

If you and your partner are planning your wedding day, let us help make the two of you look your best.

See the Amazing Alterations Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Minnesota

Huffington Post Review of Best Wedding Planning Book Available – How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding

Book cover 1DIY is all the rage, and the LGBT community is leading the pack in creativity. I’ve had brides who painted 200 little flower pots in neon colors for their centerpieces. Grooms who shopped for their own wedding linens and created a crazy tropical vibe in every aspect of their wedding décor. And there are lots of couples who want to do all their own planning as well.

The first few years that I was planning weddings, I pushed back against clients who wanted to DIY large pieces of their weddings. As the DIY-trend grew, I decided that instead of fighting it, I would help brides and grooms create their own weddings the right way, so that they could have just as much fun on their big day as my clients who hired a professional wedding planner. It breaks all of the industry-rules by giving away trade secrets, but I decided it was time to lift the veil and give DIY wedding couples the tools to plan their own weddings if they truly wanted to do all the work themselves.

Ariane Fisher, head of WeddingMix, a company that helps couples DIY their wedding videos, wrote a fantastic review of my new book “How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional” in The Huffington Post. She says the book is great for traditional hometown DIY weddings, as well as the destination wedding planning for which it was intended.

“I sure wish I had a wedding planning bible like How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding by Sandy Malone when I was doing all the crazy DIY projects for my wedding. It’s seriously like having a wedding planner in your back pocket for less than $20. Three reasons I love this book:

1.It made me laugh
2.It’s real

– Ariane Fisher, WeddingMix, The Huffington Post June 20, 2016

Check out the full book review HERE and order your copy today! If you must plan your own wedding, do it right way so you don’t end up with a disaster on your big day.

Good luck and happy wedding planning from Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!

Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional home and destination wedding planning company, and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms. Sandy is the star of TLC’s reality show “Wedding Island,” about her destination wedding planning company Weddings in Vieques. She is an internationally syndicated wedding blogger for The Huffington Post and BRIDES, as well as a reality-TV blogger for Monsters and Critics.

Sandy Headshot  (2)Sandy’s new book “How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional,” was published in March of 2016, and is available everywhere books are sold. Her podcast “Wedding Reality Check with Sandy Malone” is posted twice weekly on iHeartRadio.

Sandy and her team (including her husband Bill, a retired SWAT team commander) have planned and executed almost 500 weddings in the United States and the Caribbean. Sandy is a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, press conference, and corporate and political events. She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004. Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multi-million dollar waterfront villas. She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada. She is considered the “Queen of Gay Wediquette” and has been rated “Five Rainbows” by her happy gay clients!

James and Steven – A Wedding in Downtown San Diego, CA – Derek Chad Photography – Gay Wedding and Portrait Photographer

James and Steven – A Wedding in Downtown San Diego, CA – Derek Chad Photography – Gay Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Derek Chad Photography – www.derekchad.com

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Steven and James met in August 2012 while stationed together in Japan while in the Navy. How cool is that ?! My photos of them with the planes flying by during and after their ceremony are my favorite because of their personal connection with them in the Navy, planes, and flying. Wish such a small wedding, they wanted an intimate space and beautiful views that highlighted their incredible new hometown… San Diego! The ceremony took place on the roof above their home downtown San Diego with incredible views of the ocean, downtown, and airport. These two are absolutely perfect for each other and I am so honored to have been chosen to document their perfect and intimate wedding day.

Derek Chad Photography – www.derekchad.com

Kevin and Stefan, an Engagement Session in Del Mar, California – Gay Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Kevin & Stefan, an Engagement Session in Del Mar, California

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography (www.derekchad.com)

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Photographer: Derek Chad Photography (www.derekchad.com)

Stefan and Kevin are so much fun! I met Kevin first because I photographed a wedding last year and he was the best man… now he is the groom! I am so honored to be their wedding photographer, which is coming up in 2017! These two will be getting married in San Diego at Balboa Park. They decided to do their engagement session now so that they could get some photos to put up with their save the dates they are sending out soon. I had a blast hanging out with these two and I’m so happy with their engagement photos!

These photos are from their engagement session on the beach in Del Mar, California. I absolutely love this area so when someone says they would like beach photos, Del Mar is my “go-to.” The grass is always green, the beach is always clean, and the atmosphere is just perfect for a photography session. I feel so fortunate to live in the Southern California area because of amazing spots like this. The day we took these photos, it was really overcast out… I’m just glad it wasn’t pouring rain (not that we ever get any rain here, haha). I hope you like the photos and please contact me if you are looking for a wedding or portrait photographer! – Derek (derek@derekchad.com)

Scott & Mark

Mark and Scott

We’re kicking off our new wedding blog with our own wedding day. This is from a piece I wrote for the commemorative book Marriage Equality USA is putting out shortly.

wedding-18Mark and I realized in mid October that our window was quickly closing. Our dream of a big beautiful wedding with all of our family around us was about to be snatched away. If we were to have any chance at getting married legally in California, it had to be then.

In the end, with just three weeks to go before the election, we decided to let go of all of our “big wedding” dreams. If we were going to be married, it had to be now. I remember the day very clearly – sitting with Mark at lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant in Sacramento, talking about what to do next. Once again agonizing over not having the wedding we wanted, this time over gnocchi, chicken saltimbocca and French fries. And looking up at Mark and saying…

wedding-92“What if we invited our parents?” What if we made this wedding “real”? What if we didn’t do this alone? That night, we called them– my mom and dad, and Mark’s mom.

I still remember my mom saying “of course I’ll be there.” She had supported me from the day I came out, but there was always that… pause, when we talked about LGBT issues. And now, at last, the pause was gone. I’d never felt better in my life than I did at that moment…


When you truly love someone, you learn that they have to be all that really matters. And there was still a wedding to be planned. So the calls went out, and the mad rush to beat the election began. We dove in head-first, together, and within days, we had an officiant, a violinist, and a photographer for our wedding day.

wedding-49But we still didn’t know where we would be getting married. We wanted something outdoors, but in November it often rains in San Francisco, so we had to have a back-up. Then we found the perfect place – a restaurant in the Embarcadero Center, with a beautiful patio overlooking Justin Herman Plaza, the Ferry Building, and the Bay Bridge – a picture-perfect setting for the perfect day. And half the patio was covered, just in case.

As the day drew quickly closer, we watched the weather forecasts diligently. It had been such a dry year—surely, we thought, the odds against rain were high. But as each day passed into the next, the prospects for our sunny, “perfect” day dimmed.

wedding-65One day, the forecast said 20% rain in our wedding day. 20% in San Francisco in the winter means it might rain, a little, and be sunny, a little, and if you don’t like the weather where you’re at, just walk a block. On the next, it was 40%—we were worried, but not freaked out. Weather forecasters are wrong all the time, we thought.

Three days out, the odds were up to 60%. We were so glad that we had booked a covered space, but still, no one wants it to rain on their wedding day. Two days, and it topped 80%.

wedding-24At last, on the day before, as we prepared to drive down to San Francisco once again, rain was a virtual certainty at 100%. And the strongest part of the storm was going to blow through just as we said our vows.

I didn’t know whether to be angry, or sad; to cry or to laugh.

“It’s supposed to be lucky if it rains on your wedding day,” Mark said with a grin. So I laughed. And in the end, he was right.

The ceremony started under the tent, as the rain poured down just feet away outside. Mark’s mother walked him down the aisle, followed by my mother and I.

wedding-54I remember so many little, independent things about that afternoon: the violinist playing The Four Seasons. The officiant giving us a hurried run-through before, telling us not to forget to breathe, and then stumbling over her words as I leaned over to whisper “breathe” in her ear. My Father, reading the piece we chose for him, and telling us it said everything he’d wanted to say to us.

Our mothers together, handing us the candles to light together. Reading each other our vows, and hearing for the first time the words my wonderful partner had chosen to seal his love for me.

The warm, perfect feeling of this is right.

And the rain.

wedding-90The splattering of the raindrops closed the world in around us, shutting out the traffic, the noise, the rest of the city, until it was just us.

When it was all over, we stood together, alone in each others arms, and cried.

wedding-89When we are little, we see people get married on TV, in movies, in real life. Boy meets girl, boy romances girl, and they have the picture-perfect wedding. Growing up as gay kids, as lesbian kids, even as bi and transgender kids, we dream of that perfect wedding. But we all realized, at some point, that we were never going to have that perfect day, that smiling recognition of our relationships and the affirmation of friends, family, and even our government.

But things can change in an instant, and the impossible can become real.
It was the perfect day. Everyone who supposed to be there were there, and after seventeen years together, though the timing was not what we’d h, it hoped for, it was exactly how it was supposed to be.