Monday, June 27, 2011

The Groom Wore Satin and Lace


Surfing the Web, I found this story, an oldie, but a goodie, about a 1984 role reversal wedding in the United Kingdom.  

According to Syndication International,  "The wife wore the trousers yesterday at the weirdest wedding of the year. The 'blushing bride' in white satin and lace, was a MAN, and so were his pretty bridesmaids.

"The black-suited 'groom' was a WOMAN... and it was all legal. For transvestite Bruce Laker won his battle to wed live-in lover Vanda Young in Britain's first gender-bender marriage ceremony.

"Bruce wore tights with a garter and carried a posy of roses and orchids.

"The bizarre wedding took place at Newport on the Isle of Wight. Bruce, 30, and hairdresser Vanda, 34 wore just what they pleased, though the Registrar General frowned on the bad-taste marriage.

"Bruce's mother was philosophical about the whole thing. She said: 'Let's face it. I've not lost son - I've gained two daughters-in-law.'"

Six Years Later

In a follow-up story, six years later, the "marriage that would never last" was still going strong, according to the Weekly World News.

"'s Vanda who dons the trousers each morning as she trots off to work in a styling salon."

"And it's her gender-bending Bruce who ties a frilly apron over his housemaid's dress and spends the day tidying up their little love next on England's Isle of Wight."

Neither story disclosed what "battle" Bruce won in order to wear white at his wedding. The earlier article infers that it was a legal battle, but I don’t know for sure.

The photo is from the Weekly World News article. I take exception to the caption, "World's ugliest bridesmaids." In my opinion, the bridesmaid to Bruce’s immediate left is a knock-out.

Twelve Years Later

The couple turns up again 12 years later in the 1997 book Male Femaling by Richard Elkins.

"Phaedra Kelly is the alternate personality of Bruce Laker. She is a 42-year-old married writer and transgender activist who lives with her wife and step-daughter on the Isle of Wight in a home which doubles as The Museum of International Gender Identity. From the same address she directs the International Gender Transient Affinity, the first working world-wide transgender human rights organization."

You can read the entire excerpt from Male Femaling here. And Zagria has some additional information about Phaedra on her A Gender Variance Who's Who blog.

I could not find anything newer about this ground-breaking marriage. Are Phaedra and Vanda celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary this year? I hope so.


  1. Stana:

    I would appreciate it if you read my blog, The blog is a virtual compendium of articles from newspapers, newsweeklies, and magazines, both popular and scholarly. The articles have a viewpoint toward transgender / transsexual news. If you like it, please put
    "Emily's virtual rocket "under the title commonly called
    "Blogroll". Thank you so much!



  2. I would like to say as Bruce lakers son this is total rubbish and a typical bad offering of lack of research and slanderous comments

  3. If anyone is interested in the truth about my late father's amazing and groundbreaking wedding please dont hesitate to contact me

  4. Hi Jespah,I would love to hear the true account about it,its so fascinating. Thank you