Thursday, June 10, 2010

100+ Years of Gay Couples: Part One 1875-1955

While browsing around I stumbled across some old photos of gay couples and have been able to find a few that go back as far as the 1875(!). This two part post is dedicated to the pioneers of the GLBT community who have made the world a more accepting place today and remind us that homosexuality has been around forever.All pictures have been found at Flickr and and are the property of their owners.

An adorable couple in love. England, 1875

Unknown location, 1880's

During the  turn of the century there was a burst of gay activism sparked by the Women's Rights Movement

New York, 1900

Unknown early 1900's

 Somewhere in Europe, 1906

New York, 1907

Unknown, 1912

Rare picture of a WWI couple, no DADT back then. England, sometime between 1914-1918

California, 1923

Wonderfully photogenic couple. Unknown, 1925

First gay granted legal rights to adopt children, Hollow Falls, VA late 1920's

The following images were found at
Couple in Posen, Germany. Mid 1920's

Berlin, Germany 1930

London, England 1932

Long Island, NY, 1941

Somewhere in America 1943

Somewhere in America, mid 1940's

Somewhere in America, mid 1940's 

(Same couple as above?) Somewhere in America, 1945

VJ Day, London, England, 1945 (a great gay version of this pic)

Beautiful couple. New England (Massachusetts or New Hampshire?),1948

Somewhere in America, Late 1940's

Bronx, New York, 1951

Yes it is

Unknown (America or Europe), 1950's 
1950s lesbian couple
(Rare picture of lesbian couple from this era)

Hollywood California, 1950's

(Hollywood's least known couple during the time, Rock Hudson and Michael Butler)

Somewhere in America, 1954

Old Lyme, New York 1955

Caldwell, Idaho, 1955 (this ain't your typical Leave It to Beaver 1950's :)

Part II (1955- Present)

More coming up next time


WildRice said...

These pictures are wonderful. Thank you.

Last week, a friend of my son's gave him a hug as my son was leaving daycare for the day. His mother exclaimed, "Don't do that! That's just weird!" I felt sorry for the other boy because I expect that his natural instinct to be close and kind with other people will likely be turned into homophobia one day. (I'm making an inference based on the incident and the bumper stickers on the mom's car.)

I compare that to an old 1930's movie I saw recently where two boys, maybe 10 years old or so, walked home after fishing with their arms around each others' waists. I don't think the director was doing anything other than indicating that they were close, boyhood friends.

So I would have to guess that not *all* of your pictures are of gay couples. Our society (meaning the USA - please forgive me for generalizing) has made it unacceptable for unrelated males to touch each other, but that was not always true.

These pictures show caring and closeness and love. How wonderful!

couple_o_archies said...

I am curious, too, how all of these great photos of duos became identified as gay couples? Is it through the process of acquiring them that the story behind the pictures is known? Did you come across those of women as well?
I *love* the music accompanying the YouTube clip; could you identify the artist / album?

ourman said...

Falling by Jamiroquai

dancollier said...

What a wonderful evocation of the "love that dare not speak its name" -- thanks so very much. Studying the faces of these men, I tried to look into their souls, hoping to glean from their expressions some sense of how they might be feeling, posed at that moment with a loved one.

Though I suspect the romantic in me is coming out, I'd like to believe that I saw some inner sense that they were happy in who they were.

Again, much thanks!

katkyss said...

These are fantastic, but something is really gnawing at me... in the fourth picture, from the early the hands. On our right, the gentlemen seated has a very tiny hand and is darker in color than the other man's. On the left of the photo, their hands have been switched! Weird observation, I know; but I was just wondering the source and if it could have been altered.

Great work, by the way.

bygeorgeallwynn said...

I found this while looking for photo graphs of gay couples in love (for story inspiration) -- oh, man, I think I fell in love with some of the couples you have shown! Wonderful - it brought a tear to my eye and a flutter to my stomach - how anyone could say this love isn't right needs to have their head examined! Thank you for sharing this!

symphonied said...

These are so heartwarming. I love them all, thank you. ♥

William said...

I would be interested in how you know some of these "couples" were gay. I know me and my friends take photos like many of the time. Great post ether way.

Jojo P. said...

Sweet couples and love the moments captured! Definitely loving the mood here. killer smiles!


Nomad said...

Many people have asked how anybody could claim these couples to be gay. I think it is a fair question because when we look at things like this, we cannot trust what we see with our modern eyes. I would say that in most of the photos,the couples are simply expressing their affection in a way that same sex couples (who are not gay) can no longer do. And such a pity for that, because I think men lose a lot by not being able to express their love for another man- without it being misunderstood.

I think that's a bit depressing but having lived outside of the country and the culture, I can tell you that seeing such expressions of bonding and casual affection between men is, to an outsider, amusing and then misleading and confusing and then liberating.
In the Middle East, I once saw two grown men ( very macho looking sailors as a matter of fact) walking down the street NOT with their arms linked but with their little fingers hooked. Believe me, as sophisticated and worldly as I thought I was, I was still somewhat staggered by that scene.
Was it about sex or was it completely innocent. They certainly didn't seem stigmatized. Not because they were courageously displaying their love for each other but because it was natural to them. (Sex between men is a common thing, of course, but it is NOT openly displayed on the street.)

It is safe to say that sex was not on either one of their minds and perhaps even beyond their imaginations.

Tom Arild Gulbrandsen said...

true not many of these are real gay couples infact it was far cheaper to take one photoctogheter instead of two seperate ones.. but many of these are documented gay couples except the one that says first gay couple granted legal rights to adopt.. that one is from Australia and has nothing to do with a gay couple.. infact in Australia then if you where gay you could be arrested..

Jana said...

Your assumption that all these pictures are of homosexual couples is inaccurate.

Toan Hien said...

This is amazing

Andrew Thompson said...

The ww1 couple are absolutely gorgeous, I hope they had a happy life together after the war.

Andrew Thompson said...

The ww1 couple are absolutely gorgeous, I hope they had a happy life together after the war.

Rusty Alcorta said...

It has to do with the lighting and the curvature of the old lenses used for these portraits. I saw this in my great grandparents picture and asked my teacher about it. Hope it helped

Rusty Alcorta said...

It has to do with the lighting and the curvature of the old lenses used for these portraits. I saw this in my great grandparents picture and asked my teacher about it. Hope it helped