They appear to be two young women who are tying the knot in a same-sex marriage – but when you delve deeper, the reality is considerably more complicated.
This is because the brides, who appear near identical in their wedding photos, are actually a heterosexual couple living in Russia, where gay and lesbian unions are forbidden and frowned upon in public.
On the right is Dmitry Kozhukhov, who prefers to be called Alina Davis. The 23-year-old, born male, labels herself as ‘androgyne’, which means she doesn’t fit neatly into one gender identity. That said, Alina feels more comfortable as a woman – and remains strongly attracted to other females.
She has tied the knot with Alison Brooks, 19 – and one of the main challenges they faced was being accepted into a registry office in Moscow if they both wore bridal dresses. Despite outrage from staff, the ceremony went ahead, because there are no rules on a couple wearing the same outfit.
Alina believes that their wedding sends a powerful message to Russian couples who may be in non-conventional relationships.
She added: ‘We are not alone in having such problems. I have written to couples who are planning similar marriages and are afraid of failures with registration. Be aware – you cannot be refused.’
‘After all, girls are the fairer sex. They are beautiful. So if a guy looks like a girl – it’s wonderful.’ source