Marriage is emotional—but to be able to tie the knot with the love of your life after being denied the right to do so is a whole different kind of celebration. Daniel and Tyrone’s love story has all the ingredients of a fairy tale.
Words Samreen Khoja
Sometimes love can be breaking, dark, sweet and trying, but in the very end it is beautiful for it makes us feel. We love to live and live to love. Love only has the boundaries that your heart wishes to draw, irrespective of gender, social status and expectations from life. So, when I sat down with celebrity make-up artist Daniel Bauer and his partner Tyrone Braganza to get to know their dreamy love story, it was simply heart-warming, tear-jerking and soo positively bursting with love, that it hit me straight in the feels. People throw around the “match made in heaven” moniker too often, but in this case, it truly applies!
CAUGHT IN THE EYE
Daniel and Tyrone first met at a club in 2013. Daniel recalls, “As soon as he walked in my eyes were fixed on him. It doesn’t usually happen to me, sometimes I meet someone attractive, but this time I was totally transfixed.” Tyrone continues, “Even though we were with different sets of friends we constantly looked at each other, no one made the first move, it was mutual, we both liked each other.” While both their work involves a lot of travelling, Tyrone works on a cruise ship and Daniel is on set most of the time, the two kept bumping into each other. “We weren’t even dating just seeing each other whenever we had the chance and bumped into each other coincidently. We would meet each other at stores or at unexpected places without even planning it,” added Tyrone.
“When we initially started seeing each other, Tyrone suggested that we go on a trip to Goa and see how the relationship works, but I got cold feet and stopped replying to his messages. I did not want to get into a relationship with him as he was travelling and I had to worry about him constantly,” recalls Daniel. Tyrone said, “So, when he ghosted me out, I decided to go to Goa as I have my family there, and when I reached the airport, I saw Daniel. We found ourselves on the same flight and none of us had a clue that the other was going to be on it. When we were in the flight, I requested the flight attendant to ask Daniel if he would love to join me at the back as the flight was empty. He did come, we spent some time.” Daniel was quick to jump in, “I felt like a teenager, as we held hands and kissed a little bit. Tyrone took us to his sister’s restaurant and drove us around Goa. Instances like these convinced us that there was something more between us, but I wasn’t ready yet.”
HE LOVES ME… HE LOVES ME NOT
“I believe that one actually gets to know a person when you are together all the time, so we decided to take a holiday together in Thailand and get to know each other. It was really amazing, we had a beautiful new year on an island, went skinny dipping and danced a lot. But I still did not want to commit as I was unsure. After the holiday Tyrone asked me, what is it now? Are we in a relationship? And I said I don’t know. When I said this, I could see his face drop completely. I take a little longer to realise things, and when he went back on the ship after this trip, I realised I was missing him,” recalled Daniel. “I was disappointed, heartbroken and annoyed. I even considered to not pursue him anymore, but I did not show it at that time,” said Tyrone. “Oh yes you did. He wanted me to say those special words, and I can’t say these things unless I really mean it. And he insisted on me saying it, but I didn’t, and that’s when I knew he was really serious. So, after he left, that’s when I realised, oh god! What have I done,” quipped Daniel.
PUT A RING ON IT
“We realised we wanted the same things from life and had similar goals, and it is difficult to meet someone who wants the same things as you, we balance each other, and for me that was it,” says Daniel. “Spending time on vacations, and getting to know each other slowly helped our relationship to move from strength to strength. Our love for each other intensified and we wanted to spend as much time with each other,” adds Tyrone. The proposal was mutual, and since tradition’s are important to Daniel, he visited his now-husband’s mother and asked her for his hand in marriage. “I am very shy when it comes to parents. I was soo scared before visiting his mum. When I asked for her permission, she immediately agreed and it was a relief,” said Daniel.
“Daniel and his parents came to see me while my ship was sailing to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale. And while on the cruise, I also asked blessings from his parents and told them that we are ready to pop the question. His parents were happy, they were like take him,” gushed Tyrone.
BAND, BAJA AND GROOMS
The couple had two weddings, one in Germany and the other one in Goa. “Since same-sex marriages are not legal in India, we decided to have the wedding in my hometown. There was a lot of paper work to be prepared before the wedding and it was difficult to manage everything sitting here. But, we had a town hall wedding, followed by a Church wedding and a reception luncheon. It was an intimate affair. We took part in various traditions to celebrate our union,” said Daniel.
“I love traditions and always wanted to have a traditional Indian wedding since I have been here for 11 years and I am marrying an Indian. So, for our friends and family who couldn’t attend our wedding in Germany, we had a celebration in Goa,” he added.
Talking about traditions, Tyrone says that it doesn’t come naturally to him. “The catholic church still has reservations about gay marriages and we wanted to have a ceremony of some sort that is meaningful, so the wedding planner told us why don’t you have a Hindu priest to do the function, and when we spoke to the priest he agreed. He said in Hinduism you can marry a tree, so why not another human, there was no restriction. We were a bit sceptical; you know how people say things on the internet and especially the trolls.”
“We did not want to offend people or receive backlash for the wedding, so we were very cautious. We wanted it to be respectful and we thought it could be a message of hope to our community. All we wanted to say is that it is fine to get married to whom you love and love is love. I know a lot of people who live double lives because of the family pressures and there is soo much of it, that I feel even straight people will marry someone they don’t want, because their family wants them to, so a gay guy would be the same. So, we really wanted to push the message out there, that we can choose who we love. The world around is changing and people look at our wedding as an inspiration,” says Daniel.
I AM NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING
Talking about his favourite part of the wedding Tyrone said, “For me it was the pheras. It felt very special and we had the master of ceremonies to actually translate the vows in English. It was an amazing moment.”
“I don’t think I have a favourite moment because I loved all of it. During the church wedding in Germany, I had asked Tyrone to not meet me before the wedding, so we directly met at the ceremony. And when I saw him all dressed, it was a moment I’d never forget. I was really nervous when I was walking down the aisle, I had family members who had never seen me with a guy and here I was getting married to one. I even got teary during the ceremony as we exchanged rings to our favourite songs sung by a live choir. The Indian wedding was however completely opposite and fun. My favourite part was surely the pheras and the haldi. I thought they would put a little bit of yellow, but then we were drenched in haldi. And the dancing, I always wanted to dance on Indian songs, so that was the best,” said Daniel.
While both of them described their favourite part of the wedding, I couldn’t help but notice how they glanced at each other while recalling the wedding moments, as if they were reliving it in that particular moment. “You know, Daniel is more romantic, traditional and old school in this relationship and I am very realistic,” quipped Tyrone.
LOVE, HATE AND TOLERATE
No matter which stage of a relationship you are in, there are definitely certain things that you love, hate, simply have to tolerate about your partner. So, when I asked this question, Tyrone was quick to jump in. “I love how thoughtful, loving and kind he is. I hate how he is German about certain things like being punctual and being very proper. And the thing I tolerate about him… he is very persistent and I put up with that.”
Daniel says, “I love how thoughtful he is and I enjoy being pampered by him. He gets up in the morning, makes breakfast, and makes tea for me to take away. And you would never hear him gloat about things he does. I hate that he is always on his phone, when we are out for dinner he is on his phone and that drives me nuts. And what I tolerate about him is that he can be very slow and I am always energetic. He is very calm which I also love and tolerate about him.”
AN EMOTIONAL JOURNEY
“After we got married in Goa, we travelled a little and then the pandemic hit. We were confined to our homes. The lockdown was kind of a big testimony. We spent all our time together. It was like a honeymoon for us. We watched movies and cooked dinners, so yes, our relationship after marriage changed, but only for the better. It got deeper and more comfortable,” said Tyrone.
“It went by very fast and he never got on my nerves,” joked Daniel while giving Tyrone a side glance. Talking about what love means to them, Daniel says, “For me it is commitment. You have to be forgiving and understanding towards one another and not hold grudges.”
“For me it’s that you pick a person you want to love and share your rest of the life with, and then you work towards making that happen, and building and nurturing that, and that is what love means to me,” said Tyrone.
While same sex relationships have been decriminalised in India, Daniel thinks that we have still have a long way to go. “Even when same sex relationships weren’t legal in India, there were some pride events taking place and it was still tolerated. India being soo traditional in terms of thoughts, I think it will take time for the inclusivity to come in for people to not even think about anything. It should be like they are gay, its ok, there shouldn’t be anything more to it. In my earlier times I did face stigma, the coming out was always hard, but when I made up mind, I came clean, and I went to my parents and said that’s the way it is. I knew it was going to be hard at the beginning and that’s for everyone even here. It’s a hurdle you have to overcome. I hope people get inspiration from what we have achieved.”
As we came to the end of the conversation, I realised how real it was. The only expressions I had all this while was either an ‘awww’ or uncontrollable laughter as I watched their banter, but there is one thing I learned today, and it is to love fearlessly.