ROCKIN’ UP WITH THE ROCCAS — More than the fight for legal rights, acceptance, and equality, marriage for David Rocca (34; videographer/content creator ) and Adam Rocca (26; real estate agent) is nothing but a celebration of union and love.
Hey Paolo: What were your individual “coming out” stories like?
David: I was a late bloomer. I didn’t come out until I was 23 years old. Before that, it was just one big secret. I had a big Italian and Catholic family. Back then, coming out is a scary thing to do.
Growing up, it wasn’t accepted at school. I saw a kid one day and he got extremely bullied when he came out. He had to leave school and I never saw him again. That set me back.
I was lucky though as everyone around me was very accepting of my sexuality. Even though in my head I thought they weren’t going to be…
Adam: Mine was pretty easy as I was very easy-going and I had a laidback family.
Hey Paolo: How did you both meet?
David: We’ve always known each other for the longest time, but the timing was never right. We were both in a relationship with our ex-partners at that point when we first met and it never really worked out. He was based in Port Lincoln while I was living in Prospect. But eventually, it all just happened.
Adam: We first met through mutual friends. We decided to have coffee one day — and the rest was history.
“We built a relationship based on coffee.” – David
Hey Paolo: How did you guys get engaged?
David: I proposed to Adam and I did it, as cheesy as it sounds, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris back in 2016. We were on a European holiday for about a month. We had a backpack then and I had the ring inside the backpack the whole time. He was carrying the backpack during the entire trip, but he didn’t even realise that there was a ring inside.
Adam: It was so funny to get engaged in Paris. You’ll think that you’re having this really unique, special moment, but when you look around, there are about 10 other people also doing their own engagements at the same time. It was nice sharing that moment with other engaged couples.
Hey Paolo: How did your families and friends react to your engagement?
David: My parents knew as I told them prior. When we first posted on social media about our engagement, some people got really shocked while the rest were really excited for us. Although same-sex marriage wasn’t legal yet here in Australia at that point, I still wanted to go ahead with our marriage anyway. I wouldn’t let anyone stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
Adam: We were really lucky as we have very supportive families and friends. I personally don’t know any other gay couples who have been engaged prior to ours. Five months before our wedding, same-sex officially became legal here in Australia and it got us really excited. We got married in April 2018.
Hey Paolo: What’s the importance of same-sex marriage?
David: For me, it’s about commitment, love, and building a family. I wouldn’t want to share my life with anybody else.
Adam: Marriage for me is about being able to go through life together and to have that recognition that you’re just one unit as a couple.
Hey Paolo: What is LGBT PRIDE for you?
David: Being me, being loved, and equality in all forms. Having that freedom not to ever worry about where I go, what I do, and what would other people say. It’s about acceptance.
Adam: It’s about feeling safe and being truthful to who you are.
Hey Paolo: What’s the future for LGBTs here in South Australia?
David: It needs to be more openly celebrated. It needs to be more than just a gay club or some gay festivals. We need to have more gay-friendly places. We have to move more freely within the community without worries. I feel in certain places like Queenstown, New Zealand, everyone’s welcome. When we were there, I can hold Adam’s hand down the street without any hesitations, but here in Adelaide, I couldn’t really do that here…
Adam: Adelaide is always quite conservative — it will always be. I would like to see more diversity and LGBT faces in our government who will help form legislation so that everyone’s spoken and accounted for.
“I feel everyone’s more open-minded during the Adelaide Fringe festival in March, and when that’s over, everything’s back to the way it was.” – Adam
Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…
Adam: FRED Eatery (220 Mount Barker).
Adam: Madame Hanoi (Adelaide Casino, North Terrace) and Mrs. Q (1/128 Gouger St)
David and Adam: Henessy Rooftop Bar (Mayfair Hotel) and any of the bars at Peel Street/Leigh Street.