Gay Alberta cabinet minister Ricardo Miranda’s wedding to make history

Tijen Butler December 6, 2018
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Alberta cabinet member Ricardo Miranda and fiance Christopher Brown to be married in same-sex wedding

Ricardo Miranda and Christopher Brown to be married. (Fernando Vargas)

Ricardo Miranda will make history with his upcoming same-sex wedding. He will be Alberta’s first gay cabinet minister to be married.

Ricardo Miranda will marry his fiance, Christopher Brown, later this month.

The 42 year old will become the province’s first cabinet minister to be wed in a same-sex ceremony.

The couple will get married at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, just after Christmas.

Ricardo Miranda met his partner just months ago on July 4, 2018.

And their wedding will be officiated by Rachel Notley, the Premier of Alberta.

Ricardo Miranda before he met his soul mate

Ricardo Miranda is the province’s first elected openly gay man.

Jewish and Hispanic, Miranda is originally from Nicaragua in Central America.

A Nicaraguan refugee, Miranda fled from war with his family when he was a child. At the age of 12, they moved to Calgary, Alberta.

Warmly welcomed to the city, Miranda remained there ever since and is now the Calgary-Cross MLA as well as the minister of culture and tourism.

However, Miranda admitted that life was difficult when he was young.

“Love is really love, at the end of the day.”

— Ricardo Miranda

According to CBC, he said: “It was a very isolated sense of existence. You didn’t see role models.”

Miranda came out as gay when he was 18 years old. His mother was only unsettled about the notion that she wouldn’t have grandchildren.

But when he reassured her that children were still on the cards for him, she was fine with his sexuality, as were other family members.

Before he joined politics in 2015, the cabinet minister worked for Air Canada and Canadian Airlines.

A love story: How did Ricardo Miranda and Christopher Brown meet?

Earlier this year, Miranda went to a constituency event in Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, with his cabinet colleague, Danielle Larivee, the minister of children’s services.

There, Miranda and Brown were introduced by Larivee.

Ricardo Miranda and Christopher Brown hugging and smiling
“I have someone I can rely on and have the support from,” Ricardo Miranda said. “That’s very soothing.” (Supplied)

Miranda said: “She kind of played matchmaker.”

Larivee had a hunch that there would be a spark between Miranda and Brown, and she was right.

Brown and Miranda went out together after the event, and are still together now as a relationship quickly blossomed.

“I thought he was more interested to talk about politics,” said Miranda. “Then it turned out he was more interested in talking about personal stuff.”

The marriage proposal

Despite Miranda wanting to be the one to pop the question in October, he had a feeling the answer would be “no” so he avoided it.

But it turns out that Brown had wanted to be the one to propose, though he didn’t have a ring at that time.

Brown asked Miranda to marry him on October 27, after a New Democratic Party convention. And despite saying that the prospect of marriage is intimidating, Miranda said yes.

Brown proposed with a diamond-engraved gold ring.

“He wanted to give me something that meant something to him about me,” explained Miranda, referring to the four diamonds on the ring representing the day they met.

Ricardo Miranda engagement gold ring with four diamonds from gay partner Christopher Brown
The four diamonds on Ricardo Miranda’s ring signifies July 4, when the couple first met. (Nola Keeler/CBC)

After they got engaged, Miranda was nervous about going public as he expected negative reaction having been discriminated before, though he knew it was necessary.

He also felt it was his responsibility to speak about it as a political member of the LGBT+ community.

He said: “Visibility is very important to the community. We’ve seen, unfortunately, even here in the province, a rise in hate crimes. And it takes us back to a time I don’t want to go back to.

“You can’t forget where you’re from, and you have to make strides to advance the rights of everyone.”

On December 5, the cabinet member shared the news on social media. He wrote: “He asked. I said YES!!!  

Ricardo Miranda and Christopher Brown smiling outside announcing their engagement on Twitter
Ricardo Miranda’s engagement announcement. (twitter/@_RicardoYYC)

Miranda said: “We could have … easily done this without anybody finding out. But I’ve always been open and forthcoming and honest about my life, and this didn’t seem like the time to actually hide.”

Approximately 100 guests are expected to join the couple on their wedding day.

Miranda’s best man will be his 18-year-old nephew and the flower girl will be his 23-year-old niece.

Originally from Ontario, Brown’s family will travel to Alberta for the special day. But there will be another reception in Ontario in 2019 so more can join.

“We want to make it work and it’s going to be hard and we’re willing to do the work,” Miranda said.

“Love is really love, at the end of the day.”

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