As a Hindu pundit, or priest, who focuses on the L.G.B.T.Q. population, Sushma Dwivedi is a rarity in the wedding industry. “It’s close to impossible to find a woman pundit here in the States,” she said. “As far as I know there are less than 10, and none of them cater to the gay and transgender community.”
In 2016, Ms. Dwivedi founded the Purple Pundit Project in New York, which offers various “progressive, inclusive, L.G.B.T.Q.+-friendly” religious services like baby namings, house warmings and business blessings to people who are “straight, gay, having an interracial marriage or just want a female pundit.” So far she has officiated 33 weddings, nearly half of which have been for same-sex couples.
Ms. Dwivedi, 40, also works full time as the vice president for communications and brand marketing at Daily Harvest, a subscription-based organic food company. She grew up in Canada and now lives in Harlem with her husband, Vivek Jindal, 37, the chief investment officer of Kore, a wealth management platform in New York, and their two sons, Ashwin, 5, and Nayan, 3.
Why did you become interested in officiating?
In 2013, I was getting married and we were having a classic Indian wedding with 250 people and doing two different events: one at the Hotel Nelligan located in the middle of the Old Port, and the other at the Loft, both in Montreal. My husband’s sibling is trans, and it became glaringly obvious that if they wanted to get married, there wouldn’t be a pundit who would do it. It’s not culturally accepted yet.
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