“Are you kidding me?” This is everyone’s first reaction when they hear the news that 29-year-old Ricky Zhang and 24-year-old Zak Liu decide to get married after knowing each other just two months.
“It’s natural for them to have questions,” Ricky tells DNA. “Many people don’t believe in true love at the first sight but, luckily, we found it.”
The couple, who were married on January 12, believe they are the first Chinese gay couple to wed under Australia’s amended Marriage Act that was changed last year.
“Our wedding caused discussion among Melbourne’s Chinese gay people – there is no other Chinese gay couple who got married; just us.”
Two months before their wedding, Zak and Ricky met through a gay dating app. Zak says he was logging-on every morning, looking for Mr Right. “I broke up with my last boyfriend because of personal issues.”
Zak was in four-year relationship that he says was one-sided. He felt the love he put into the relationship wasn’t reciprocated.
Zak and Ricky met not long after that relationship ended.
“He noticed me and said hello,” Ricky explained of how the two met online. “There is a love story secretly happening between us. Next, we date and hang out, like most lovers do.”
“He told me his last awful relationship with another guy. I told myself, after listening to his sad story, that I should treat him very well to compensate for all his painful experiences in the last relationship. He deserves a better guy to love him.”
The couple planned to marry before the historic same-sex marriage announcement, and were together the day the law changed. “We nearly cry and cannot say any words when friends tell us it. We embraced and kissed each other without stop.”
Not all their friends accepted the news of their intention to wed after only knowing each other for such a short period of time. “Gradually, they understood our decision and gave us their sincere blessing.”
On the morning of the wedding the nervous couple accidentally went to the wrong venue and almost missed their own ceremony, but with the help of friends they found the correct venue in time to make their vows and say, “I do.”
“We had a few close friends who attended our wedding, including my Aussie mum, Chris. Both our families live in China so there were no family members at ceremony,” says Zak.
“The day was amazing, full of happiness and blessings for both Zak and me,” says Ricky.
Despite the whirlwind romance, they boys’ marriage isn’t the happily ever-after fairy tale you’d expect – just yet. While Zak is a permanent resident of Australia, Ricky isn’t. In order for the couple to live together, Rickey needs to go back to China and live for a year before he can come back to Australia and his new husband. On top of that, the pair have not told their parents that they are married.
“They did not know of our wedding… if they did they would not accept us. We plan to tell them when we’ve been married two or three years,” says Ricky.
Despise visa laws and the fact that gay marriage is forbidden in Chinese traditional culture, this hasn’t stopped the boys from sharing their love and their story. They hope they can help other Chinese gay couples find wedded happiness.
“We do not need to feel shameful and depressed, there are lots of LGBT friends and supporters to stand by us. Love makes this world moved, and we are proud to be part of the love,” says Ricky.