South Sudanese-Australian model Aweng Chuoi tied the knot on Thursday (December 12, 2019) with recent Fashion Institute of Technology grad Lexy May in a City Hall ceremony in New York. Chuoi sported a very chic menswear-tailored, over-sized white suit while May wore a gown designed by Pyer Moss.
Reflecting on the momentous occasion, Chuoi wrote on Facebook, “I became Mrs. Ade-Chuol for a reason greater than a few phone calls, I became the wife of an amazing woman because Love is something that was hidden from me growing up, living honestly is a vow that I made to my wife. And no body on planet earth will change my mind when it comes to her. Make the phone calls, articles and what not. I am happy, and truly happy for the very first time in my life. And for those who want to bring culture into this, I hope culture holds your hands when it’s time to be laid down 6ft after life is done. Live for you, and live freely.”
According to her Facebook account, Chuoi proposed to May on September 22nd. In late November, she wrote on Twitter, “Popped my engagement to an angelic, intelligent and beyond perfect fiancé- to the entire village today.”
Chuoi was born in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana, Kenya, the first-born of South Sudanese parents who were forced to flee the country when war broke out. At age seven, she relocated to Australia where she was first scouted at age 16 while working at a McDonald’s. She didn’t enter the business until she was scouted a second time at age 18. Now 21, Chuoi is also a full-time student.
The marriage is no small deal because Chuoi still has family in South Sudan where same-sex activity is illegal and punishable by death. As such, in addition to comments celebrating the union, Chuoi has also been on the receiving end of criticism from her homeland.
Responding to the pushback on Facebook, Chuoi wrote, “To Y’all homophobic Sudanese parents that are ringing my mother on your outdated opinion on your one niece, I’mma need y’all to just relax.”
Check out images of the wedding as shot by Tatiana Katkova.