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Incredible Vintage Photos Of Gay Couples Make Up Part Of Our 'Homo History'

When we look back on how far we've come from the days when living in the closet was the only option, it's difficult to remember that there was still plenty of love shared between the brave gay men and women who came before us. 

Jeffrey Gent won't let those good moments be forgotten. 

The man behind HomoHistory.com, the new website featuring an archive of vintage photos of gay couples throughout modern history, is determined to let the stories of many LGBT citizens who lived a mostly-closeted life finally come out into the open and be shared with the world. 

"These photos represent just a small fragment of our Gay and Lesbian History. Unfortunately, so many of these photos were purposely destroyed by horrified family members," Jeffrey said. "Since most of the men and women in these photos are unknown, it's hard to know for sure if they were a gay couple or just 'good friends.' For every photo that I may have mistakenly identified as gay, thousands more were burned or torn into pieces to keep a family secret... I hope that by sharing these photos of vintage gay and lesbian couples, we can correct the social injustice that they endured by seeing them in a brand new light."

HomoHistory has already acquired an impressive (and at times, tear-jerking) gallery of gay and lesbian couples photographed between the late-1800s and mid-20th century which you definitely should check out, but here are a few of our favorites from Jeffrey's riveting collection to get you started:

 

 

Comments

TKS EV.

I think they might be gay couples but it also shows humans enjoying each other.

which is what we all should be doing.

I see pure JOY in there FACES AND EYES 

LOVE

ALF 

ALL LOVES FREE.

loveable!..i wanna have mine when i find the right one!..

 Love is TimeLess

i think the just made it this year

Ahhh. how cute..

I've seen some pics like those on web. Love them, of course. But they would be much more exciting with some information. Who are they? Where did you find the photos? Is there any other record of these couples?

well maybe they made it , cuz what i remembre i saw a group of guys making a vintage pics , they should said all that info that you are asking 

Great photos. Good thing they're all young, white and handsome. No wonder they're Instinct's favorite photos from the collection!

Pretty accurate, Joe. 

Married in 2008 happy together 5 years as of today! Always going to be hateful comments sadly but in the end were looking for equal rights, not acceptance. I honestly dont care if you haters ever accept me or us. gay marriage shall be the law of the land soon enough. Let the haters hate, love is love and I will die knowing I had the freedom have an equal marriage to the love of my life. 

i often wonder, when i see pictures as these...what happened to them..did they stay in love forever? i hope so...

stop using the term 'gay'. It gets confused with people who are happy. Invent a new word. 

We are Happy.  Sorry you're such a pill. 

Ever heard of polysemy?

It isn't gay love, it is simply love. And did you have to re-post it several times?

 .I THINK THESE ARE AMAZING . GAY LOVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE. WILL NEVER STOP LOVE : )  

 .I THINK THESE ARE AMAZING . GAY LOVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE. WILL NEVER STOP LOVE : )  

 .I THINK THESE ARE AMAZING . GAY LOVE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE. WILL NEVER STOP LOVE : )  

These photos make me wish *I* were in love.

u will be one day..

very cool

This is so beautiful. Maybe it is just me but some of the photos have a love and warmth that makes me smile when I see them. 

I love it!

These are adorable photos. But how do we know they are actually gay couples? Hugging and hand holding between people of the same sex wasn't always considered to be "gay," nor were people as phobic then as they are now about physical demonstrations of affection between same sex persons. The people in these photos might indeed be gay, but the notion that these are a few survivors of a fiery holocaust of photo-burning perpetrated by "horrified" family members is a little over dramatic. Do we actually know the stories of all these people? I think it is important to recognize that we are looking at these photos through 21st-century lens, and that our perceptions may not reflect historical reality.

As a genealogist, historian and a gay man I have to agree with Adele. I prefer to refer to photos like these as "affectionate friends" leaving out the sexual preference connotation. We have no way of knowing the proclivities of the people in these photos. The only photo in this group that I would say MIGHT be is the last one. The first two photos the men's features are so similar that they could be brothers. Until the mid to late 20th century people were not afraid to show affection in public to friends and relatives. That said, in the 19th and early 20th century photography was relatively expensive for the average person so naturally if friends or siblings are going to have a photo taken they are naturally going to express their feelings for each other. My grandfather's brother born in 1876 and my father's two eldest brothers born in 1893 and 1895 were all gay and the very carefully stayed away from poses such as these even with each other. The family knew of course and in letters they were referred to as "peculiar".  

Thank you- I was headed toward the bottom of the page to say exactly this! We cannot find an artifact and use the filter of our modernity to make assumptions. Many of these could be family members (especially the pics of servicemen in different uniforms)...we just don't know...but to publish these and make the proclamation that these are probably homosexual couples because we in miodern America view them as "gay" is disingenuous and sad.

Hi Adele -  Are you the only other human being on earth that has a fully functioning brain?  I completely agree with your assessment.  The assumptions that get foisted upon other people who lived in different eras, and who today live in non-Western homo-paniced environments, are incredible!!!  Of course the clearest example of this nonsense is the so-called history that has been uncovered of Abraham Lincoln's supposed homosexual relationship with Joshua Speed.  The fact that they slept in the same bed together for a long time means nothing in today's environment - it was God-damned cold in the 19th century without indoor heating of any kind and people needed other people's body heat to keep warm - is that so hard to understand?

In fact, inns of the day and for centuries before only sold spots in beds. Many times, you slept next to a stranger...as in the story "Moby Dick". Reading that novel now, in modern America, it seems incredibly gay...but it NEVER was homosexual.

And how exactly do you know that "it was never homosexual?" Where you there? What presumption, and what homophobia. Yes, it's quite possible that some of these ostensible couples were just "intimate friends." It's also possible they had romantic and sexual relationships. I really don't get the eagerness to deny that possibility among some of the posters here. Homosexuality wasn't invented with Stonewall, and there were indeed men who considered themselves "different" and associated with others like them. There were homosexual male milieus in pre-modern Europe that have been documented -- Foucault and his followers were wrong to declare that there were none until medical and other "discourses" concerning same-sex behavior during the 19th century fostered the development of homosexual identity and culture. 

Actually, Foucault's point wasn't that homosexuality (that is, people of the same sex having sex with each other or even associating with each other on that basis) did not exist until modern times, but that medical/psychological discourse of the late 19th and early 20th century forged a strict homosexual/heterosexual dichotomy in Western society, in which individuals could only be one or the other, that has reigned until the present age. You are correct that "homosexual" milieus existed with people who were "different" from others in society existed long before the modern period (i.e. always), but these areas and practices would not have been rigidly marked as rigidly "homosexual."

Poop.Wee.

Please read the description of the article besides just the photos.

Considering she quoted the article, she clearly read it.

Stunning simply stunning 

Awwwwe.... :-)

So....why is this beautiful showing of love so hard for people to accept these days???

So wonderful to see that they could express their love back then, even if just in a photo.

This is just amazing 

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