I’m gay and have never been ashamed of it. What I’m not, however, is the loud-and-proud type because, to me, being so puts individuals like myself exactly where the rest of the world sees us: in a fishbowl.
My partner and I don’t even celebrate pride month. But when I saw a recent post of an acquaintance and her partner with this caption:
“???? It’s June! Happy Pride! ?? One of the things I had to learn is that #visibilitymatters , if not to us (our days are as long, as busy as everyone else’s. Maybe they just end with better food and more alcohol. /jk) then maybe to someone out there. Especially in the Philippines where society really has a long way to go—please remember that Tolerance ? Acceptance and Respect. Who we are, the work we do, what we contribute to the community, all these things go well beyond the boxes we are forced in out of hate and ignorance. Don’t be scared. Fly your flag and keep your head up. #ItGetsBetter. It really, really does.”
I realized, it’s not about me or us. It’s about other people who may need the courage to embrace who they are; understand that they are not alone and that they are not different from the rest of us. Indeed, #visibilitymatters. So here, proof—through vintage photos of LGBT couples—that the community has long been part of humanity since time immemorial.
Didrikson pictured with golfer Betty Dodd
Contribution to society: Co-founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association, set world records in javelin throw and 80-meter hurdles in the Olympics.
Elbe with Claude, the man she wanted to marry. via thatisinteresting.com
How the world knows her: One of the first identifiable recipients of sex reassignment surgery (see The Danish Girl)
Roosevelt with Lorena Hickok
What: Political figure, diplomat, activist
In one of her letters to Lorena Hickok, she writes: “Oh! how I wanted to put my arms around you in reality instead of in spirit. I went and kissed your photograph instead and the tears were in my eyes. Please keep your heart in Washington as long as I’m here for most of mine is with you!”
Wilde with lover and poet Lord “Bosie” Alfred Douglas. via Wikipedia
What: Poet and playwright
Trivia: Bosie was Wilde’s inspiration for his work, like The Picture of Dorian Grey. Their families, however, disapproved of their relationship which later led to Wilde’s arrest. The pair reunited after prison but both their families forced them to separate.
Whitman pictured with Peter Doyle. via Irish in the American Civil War
What: Poet and essayist
Famous quote: “Re-examine all you have been told…dismiss that which insults your soul”
More adorable photos of unknown couples here:
Don’t be afraid, let them see. Let the world look at you hold your partner’s hand because it will get better. And because one day, it will stop feeling like you’re a fish in the world’s glass bowl.
Art Alexandra Lara