Comedian gets serious about love, gay marriage and relationships

Rich and David attend an LGBT gala.

By Cristina DC Pastor

Nothing about Rich Kiamco’s September 30 wedding to David Gibson is traditional. There’s no wedding planner; the hundreds of gladioli to romanticize the ceremony are grown in the couple’s farmhouse; and the Filipino mother is not exactly proclaiming the happy event to the world.

“She doesn’t say anything,” Rich, a standup comic, broke out into a loud guffaw. “It’s not like she doesn’t know I’m gay.”

Rich, 41, is aware of the sensitivity of having a same-sex wedding in a conservative Catholic Filipino family such as the Kiamcos of Chicago and California. That is why he accepts the reticence with which his parents – father Robert a retired engineer and mother Benita a pediatrician – greeted the announcement that he and David, 60, were engaged.

“They’re Catholic, they’re old world, but they’re supportive and they love my partner,” he said. “Must be an awkward thing.”

Of the 150 guests invited to the wedding, Rich said about a dozen are members of his family. The rest are friends and associates of the couple from their intersecting lives as entertainer (Rich) and graphic designer (David). David is the founding partner of Two Twelve, a graphic design firm in Manhattan.

While he has a niece and a nephew ideal for flower girl-ring bearer roles, that ritual won’t be incorporated in the ceremony.

“How to explain to children two men getting married? They know us as Uncle Rich and Uncle Dave, but I’m not about to push the envelope,” Rich said.

When the English-Canadian David proposed, Rich excitedly called his parents. “My mom was silent. She said, OK. My dad said, ‘Richard, you have to do tell us what is our role in this marriage.’ I told them I’m not expecting you to pay for the wedding.” The rest of the clan, including Rich’s brother and cousins from California, was so loving and accepting.

Sharing a love for gardening at their Catskills area farmhouse.

Rich and David wasted no time preparing for their own wedding as soon as New York State’s same-sex marriage bill was signed into law on June 24. As they would have it, the day will begin with getting a license in New York’s City Hall. They will then hop on a ferry on Wall Street that would take them to Journal Square to join their guests gathered at the Landmark Loew’s Theater.

The ceremony will be formal, but not stiff; playful but not gaudy. No church organ playing dirge music, insisted Rich. Songs from the couple’s favorite musicals – among them “One hand, one heart” from West Side Story and “What I did for love” from A Chorus Line — would be interpreted by a jazz band.

Veronica Mosey, Rich’s comedic partner in The Laugh Tour, was given the task of emceeing the reception. It promises to be a lively evening as the couple, wearing Elton John-esque tuxes and tails, share the moment with friends and family who matter.

“I love David, that’s why we’re getting married. That’s on a personal level. On a spiritual level, it’s very powerful to have a ritual witnessed by people you love,” said Rich reprising the reason many same-sex couples feel the need to have their unions recognized by both Church and State. “It is a proud moment, a political statement. It shows to the world that we are valid like any other person.”

While same-sex marriage is realistically-speaking no different from most conventional marriages, Rich and David made it a point to seek couple’s therapy to work through their occasional differences. Rich recounted a time he and David would erupt into “stupid fights” while they were hosting dinner for friends, as in the time the seltzer water was served in the dry section of their home.

“We learned (in couple’s therapy) that it’s not really about the seltzer, and it’s all about learning to compromise, work things through until we reach a level of personal growth we are comfortable with,” he said of the nearly eight-year relationship that began online.

It wasn’t love at first sight. But after a year and half of “hanging out,” Rich and David realized their relationship had detoured into something deeply emotional, and that the “marvelous” journey toward marriage was just a matter of time.

Cristina DC Pastor is the founding editor of The FilAm.


  1. Camille wrote:

    Yours is one edgy magazine by Pinoy standards. I will recommend your site to my friends.

  2. Rivka R. wrote:

    Love love love Rich Kiamco. Nice to know he’s in a good place. Thank you.

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