Breaking with Tradition: Japan Week Celebrates with a Lesbian Couple

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“I hope I don’t trip,” Brittany Boccio tells me with her elaborately wrapped hiyoku. “I have to be the clumsiest person ever,” she says shyly while taking a peak at her future bride, Theresa Hittel, who’s standing, arms out on a platform getting wrapped, prodded, poked, and tightened by expert kimono makers from Japan. In just under 30 minutes, the two girls will stand in the middle of Grand Central Terminal in New York City and get dressed in Watabe kimonos (we learn there are many, many layers to the traditional wedding dress) that are worth more than $10,000. The girls, won this experience as part of Japan Week along with two other couples. While their wedding date won’t actually take place until 2017, the girls get to have this other worldly experience thanks to the Japan National Tourism Organization. Additionally, one couple will win a honeymoon-style trip to Japan, be sure to vote for the girls here.

“I’m just so glad I found soul mate,” Boccio says in her Long Island accent and begins to tell us how the two girls found one another. Not surprisingly, Japan played a big role in bringing the two together. During Japan Day in Central Park, the two learned that they were both massive fans of the Japanese “metal” band Dir En Grey. “I basically stalked her and we hung out forever in our group of friends, and I eventually asked her out,” she says. “So, if we win the trip to Japan, we have to see bands play when we’re there, oh and see this island that’s filled with deer!” Boccio says. Hittel looks up from the goings on of her dressers and her eyes light up. “I have to go there,” Hittel confirms nodding her head rapidly, sending her finely placed decorative hair flowers into a tizzy.

I leave the girls who are getting anxious for the big debut. When they appear on the small stage, there is no mention of their gender. Little kids sit around the stage, older men and women munch on Japanese tofu hummus and pita chips, and the woman who dresses them makes no comment either. She discusses the importance of tradition and traditional dress. “Western dress is becoming more and more fashionable, but this traditional style is way more beautiful,” she says finishing up dressing Boccio by sticking a “sword” into her breast pocket and she steps back in awe of herself for dressing these two beautiful soul mates.

Click here to vote for the girls.  

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