A piece of New Zealand marriage equality history is up for auction – raising money to support the future generation.
The beautiful wedding dress worn at the country’s first ever same-sex wedding has been listed on Trademe, all proceeds of the auction are to be donated to Rainbow Youth.
Officially the first same-sex couple to wed in New Zealand, Tash Vitali and Melissa Ray decided that they wanted to give back to the community and say they felt it was important to support GLBTI youth in New Zealand.
“We decided on the day of our last fitting that we will auction the Sera Lilly gown Mel wore so we could raise some funds and bring attention to a very worthy cause,” says Vitali.
“We have had emmense support from the GLBTI community throughout this experience, and would like to give back. Many have struggled over the decades to get us to where we are today; being able to legally marry, and we will never take that for granted, nor forget.”
As well as offering youth a safe, inclusive and accepting drop in centre, Rainbow Youth also run an education programme which offer schools, students and organisations the opportunity to learn about diverse sexualities and gender identities in New Zealand.
Rainbow Youth General Manager, Duncan Matthews, says he is thrilled to hear that the couple have chosen to support the next generation.”A special thanks to Tash and Mel who, after making history to be the first same sex couple to marry in NZ, are supporting the next generation with their kind donation,” he says.
“Rainbow Youth will be putting the donation to good use, increasing the number of schools we can make our Education programme available to, and supporting queer and trans* young people around the country.”
The one of a kind handmade Sera Lily dress is worth around $2500 and is a size 12-14.
To bid on your slice of marriage equality history, check out the auction here.
Article | Sarah Murphy
Photo | Angie Ong