The Vows of @gaybeverlyhillsdR
Dr. David Alajajian Fox, known to his Instagram followers as @gaybeverlyhillsdr - is an Armenian-American Internal Medicine doctor who has brilliantly combined his love for Armenian culture and medicine to promote LGBTQ+ health education. On his Instagram platform, he speaks in both Armenian and English to share insight, tips, and encouragement to followers around the globe. Near a month ago, Dr. David married the love of his life - Dr. Timothy Fox.
In these vows, Dr. David honestly and eloquently shares details of his love story - including the beautiful and the challenging. He captures the journey of their love and does it all in drawing parallels to the Armenian culture and traditions he grew up with.
Genats to you and your love Dr. David Fox. We love you and wish you and your partner a life of fulfillment, excitement, and happiness!
Our love started off quiet, shy, hidden, apologetic and timid. We knew we were onto something good. True we did not seek out adventure or trouble, however, we had little idea what excitement and challenges lay ahead of us. Through the years I got to know a man: gentle, kind and sweet, the salt of the earth and the definition of the word “giving”, someone who will awake in the middle of the night to operate when he isn’t even on call, one who will bake me a pie on a Tuesday night just for the off chance of seeing a smile on my face, one who will barricade the front door with Amazon packages should a friend be visiting from out of town. Yes and also someone who will slither out from my embrace like a “whispy weed” like his dad used to call him and shies away from my kisses in public, yet knows exactly how to lock me in my seat with his long “antenna legs” when I’m curled up next to him on the couch. We grew with each other and it wasn’t long till we realized that this love is forever. But none of this explains how we got here? I mean, it’s only been a few years that we have even been legally allowed to get married. How would we translate this private romance into the world of customs and traditions that have been present for centuries?
Well, to set this all into context I will draw back on my Armenian cultural heritage as a point of reference. It’s Armenian custom that the parents decide on the appropriateness of the bride and groom together in a ceremony called “Khoskap” or tying of the word. No words were needed for our unspoken love. Weeks later the groom arrives accompanied by a group of musicians playing loudly for the purpose of warding off all other possible suitors and to announce that this bride is now taken ( can you imagine the noise complaints?). The groom whisks away the bride narrowly escaping the brother in law’s sword by providing a generous dowry of linens ( now as an aside I assure all of you that Tim has adequately paid this dowry as evidenced by the number of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons that he has collected over the years). Later the two will find themselves at an altar where the bride will be asked “ are you obedient to your new master” to which she’ll nod “yes”; and the groom will be asked “ will you be a good master to her?”. As charming as this sounds, I assure you all that this is my last reference here to ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’. While I don’t mind a cold beer at a leather bar on occasion, let’s be honest, “Master” hardly describes either of us.
But here we are where in a few moments Uncle Chuck may ask us something you may all have taken for granted as yet another old tradition that has lost it’s spirit and no longer applies to our times let alone to two gay men. “Do you, David, promise to be faithful and by forsaking all others give yourself to Tim?” What does it truly mean to forsake all others and to give myself to you, Tim? Well thinking back, man, we’ve forsaken a lot! We’ve sacrificed apartment leases, job opportunities, fellowships, holidays together, painfully we’ve lost friends and family, reluctantly we’ve broken social norms and customs and secretly who knows maybe we’ve even broken a few longing hearts. But that’s not the point! Forsaking all others we’ve started a whole new world together beyond all of that. Forsaking all others is not merely a resignation. It’s not deleting Grindr or “thank you, next,next” as in the song. Engaging with you has meant engaging with new experiences I never would have known. For me it’s meant getting to know Pisco Punches and Green Chartruse and Chicken n’ buscuits and soufflé, and chocolate chip cookie intermissions in the middle of a spaghetti and meatballs dinner… with Ariana Grande and Royksopp and wine country and Country and Wicked musicals. With a gentle soul that has to share every joy he experiences. A spirit that’s united Ohio and Chicago and New York and California and Carolina and all these folks that have come so far mentally and physically to join us here today. It is this world for which I forsake all other possible worlds. This love that was once shy and unspoken will never be that way again. It will broadcast itself loudly like the musical accompaniment of an Armenian groom but this time not to raise eyebrows or to raise a raucous, not that it has such a need to dissuade contenders but because LOVE ( should it ever dare call itself that ) must by its definition self-replicate. And by this I don’t mean simply by making babies. What I am saying is that if it’s love it must inspire love, it must share the love, it must spread the love. And if it’s truly authentically love, it must have been what compelled this audience to travel here and join us in love. Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum of privacy and secrecy and self doubt! Love is bold, love is courageous, it’s victorious and triumphant, it’s what overcomes the world! It’s this strength that we didn’t even know we had within ourselves but somehow we found it and cultivated and enriched it in one another. And that’s what brings us here today. A fight for love that’s worth my lifetime to me.
So Timothy Patrick Fox, I love you to death….
… And that’s an invitation to battle. I promise that I will fight and protect our love from all enemies foreign and domestic ( including but not limited to spiders, bees and wasps). You have challenged me and stretched me past any boundaries I had. I promise that I will continue to challenge you and spread your boundaries and even sometimes push your buttons. Yes I will FaceTime you even at work. I will hold your hand even in a public park. I will kiss your lips out at a restaurant. I will continue to brag about you well after my vows and take pictures of us together and post them online, caption them with hyperbole and mythology and passion and lust and no filter ….. And I do promise to stand bravely and bare the consequences of such action, come what may.
I promise to grow old with you. And I’ll get some but not too much botox and filler. And I’ll try to stay in shape but won’t be consumed with vanity. And when that time comes I’ll call us mature, I’ll call us wise, I’ll call us “daddies” but I promise I’ll never call us too “old” for anything.
In Armenian they say to the newly weds: “ May you sit at dinner surrounded with 7 children, may you grow old together on one pillow” Seven kids sounds totally impractical and I can’t promise you that. But I do promise to find some way to spread our love. We can have our friends for dinner 7 nights a week if you wish…. And as for the “one pillow” thing, I promise that every night I will come home to you, lay my head next to you on your pillow and fall asleep in your arms for as long as we both shall live.