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Real Life Romance & Outlaw Marriages

My friends know I love romance, and when I can find a real life romance I'm even more happy. This post is devoted to those Gay and Lesbian couples who realized in real life what I love to read in novels. I collected those couples who were together for more than 20 years, but there are many that shared 10, 15 and more years together and only death separated them. I'm glad I found many (and if I forgot someone, please tell me), and I hope to be able to add many, many other in the future. Many of them didn't survive the loss of their soul mate and followed them soon behind. For all of them you can find a featuring post linking on the tage on the menu bar.

Mazo de la Roche & Caroline Clement: The first one is an outsider, since we actually don't know when they got together in a "love" point of view:  At the age of seven, Mazo de la Roche's parents adopted her orphaned younger cousin Caroline Clement, who joined in her fantasy world game and would become her lifelong companion. The two lived a fairly reclusive life; their relationship was not discussed widely in the press. In 1931 they adopted two children whose parents were friends of Clement and de la Roche and who had died. Together from 1886 to 1961: 75 years.

Glenway Wescott & Monroe Wheeler: Upon receiving a small printing press as a gift from his father, Monroe Wheeler began producing chap books of poetry under the imprint, Manikin Press. One of his first works was The Bitterns, a collection of poems by Glenway Wescott, whom he had met in Chicago in 1919 and who would become Wheeler's long-time companion. Monroe Wheeler died in Manhattan on August 14, 1988 at the age of 89, 18 months after the death of Glenway Wescott. They were together for 66 years. Together from 1919 to 1987: 68 years.

Jan Morris & Elizabeth Tuckniss:
In 1949, Jan Morris married Elizabeth Tuckniss; they had five children together, including the poet and musician Twm Morys. Male at birth, Morris began medical transition in 1964. In 1972, Morris traveled to Morocco to undergo sex reassignment surgery because doctors in Britain refused to allow the procedure unless Morris and Tuckniss divorced. They divorced later, but remained together and on 14 May 2008 were legally reunited into a civil partnership. (Picture: Jan Morris and her son, Twm Morys). Together from 1949 to 2012 (and counting): 63 years

Jack Fontan & Ray Unger: In 1992 Kathryn Turner and Bivens Hunt were at Laguna Beach City Hall to register as a couple under the city's new domestic-partners ordinance. When Ray Unger and Jack Adams Fontan moved to Laguna Beach in 1956, it was a little seaside village of about 8,000 people. "This is long overdue, we already have legal protection for each other, but we thought it was a good idea to set an example for the young folks. We don't like the idea of them growing up thinking there is something wrong with them." Together from 1950 to 2012 (and counting): 62 years.

Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon: Dorothy Louise Taliaferro "Del" Martin and Phyllis Ann Lyon were an American lesbian couple known as feminist and gay-rights activists. They were a couple until Del Martin's death on August 27, 2008. Together from 1952 to 2008: 56 years.

Alan Shayne & Norman Sunshine: Alan Shayne retired as President of Warner Brothers Television in 1986. Norman Sunshine was a successful magazine illustrator in New York who went on to be a painter and sculptor whose works are in museums and in important collections. Upon the two men meeting in New York in 1958, “We didn’t want to live together,” says Shayne. “We didn’t have any examples of what a good love relationship between two men could be. And there was always the problem of hiding so no one would know we were gay.” Together from 1958 to 2012 (and counting): 54 years.

Anna Freud & Dorothy Burlingham:
Dorothy Burlingham became Anna Freud's life partner and companion, although the sexual nature of their intimacy remains unclear. Burlingham moved to Vienna in 1925 to begin her work in psychoanalysis. She and Anna Freud became close friends and began their life-long collaboration on developing children's therapies and psychoanalysis. Burlingham preceded Freud in death by three years, and her absence from Freud's life was extremely difficult for the surviving partner. Together from 1925 to 1979: 54 years.

William Wynkoop & Roy Strickland: Roy Strickland and William Wynkoop marching proudly down Fifth Avenue during 1985 Gay Pride Parade. They both died in 2003, two months apart from each other, William 87 years old and Roy 85 years old, after living together for more than 53 years. Together from 1950 to 2003: 53 years.

Rudolf Brazda & Edouard Mayer: Rudolf Brazda was the last known concentration camp survivor deported by Nazi Germany on charges of homosexuality. Brazda spent nearly three years at the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the liberation Brazda settled in Alsace, in May 1945 and lived there for the rest of his life. In the early 1950s Brazda met Edouard "Edi" Mayer, who became his life companion. He tended to Edi for over 30 years after Edi was crippled by a severe work accident, until his death in 2003. Brazda died in 2011. Together from 1950 to 2003: 53 years.

Edward Field & Neil Derrick:
Edward Field and his partner Neil Derrick, long-time residents of Greenwich Village, have written a best-selling historical novel about the Village, The Villagers. Together from 1959 to 2012 (and counting): 53 years.

Eleanor Charlotte Butler & Honorable Sarah Ponsonby: Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler & Honorable Sarah Ponsonby. Rather than face the possibility of being forced into unwanted marriages, they ran away together in April 1778. Together from 1778 to 1829: 51 years.

Patrick White & Manoly Lascaris:
By the time World War II broke out, Patrick White joined the British Royal Air Force. While in the Middle East, he had an affair with a Greek army officer, Manoly Lascaris, who was to become his life partner. After the war White returned to Australia, buying an old house in Castle Hill. Here he settled down with Lascaris. White and Lascaris hosted many dinner parties at Highbury, their Centennial Park home, in a leafy part of the affluent Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Together from 1939 to 1990: 51 years.

Otis Bigelow & Thierry Mahe: Otis Bigelow was "the best-looking man in Manhattan in 1940, the one who had chosen a beautiful sailor over a suntanned millionaire", only to be betrayed by the beautiful sailor with the same suntanned millionaire, and the one who inspired Gordon Merrick to write the first "happily ever after" Gay Romance. Otis M. Bigelow died on October 6, 2007, as reported in the classified obituary section of The New York Times. He was survived by Thierry Mahe, his life partner of more than 50 years. Together from 1957 to 2007: 50 years.

Mary Renault & Julie Mullard: In 1933, Mary Renault began training as a nurse at Oxford's Radcliffe Infirmary. During her training, she met Julie Mullard, a fellow nurse with whom she established a life-long romantic relationship. Together from 1933 to 1983: 50 years.

J.C. Leyendecker & Charles Beach: J.C. Leyendecker lived for most of his adult life with Charles Beach, the Arrow Collar Man, on whom the stylish men in his artwork were modeled. Together from 1901 to 1951: 50 years.

Thom Gunn & Mike Kitay: In 1954, Thom Gunn emigrated to the United States to teach writing at Stanford University and to remain close to his partner, Mike Kitay, whom he had met while at college. Gunn taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1958 to 1966 and again from 1973 to 1990. In 2004, he died at his home in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, in the same bed he shared with Mike Kitay since 1960. Together from 1954 to 2004: 50 years.

Arthur Laurents & Tom Hatcher: Arthur Laurents died at the age of 93 in New York City on May 5, 2011 of pneumonia complications, as reported by The New York Times. He had lived with his lover Tom Hatcher for more than fifty years, until Hatcher's death in 2006. Together from 1956 to 2006: 50 years.

Charles Hazelwood Shannon & Charles Ricketts: Shannon attended the City and Guilds of London Art School (then known as South London School of Technical Art, formerly Lambeth School of Art), and was subsequently considerably influenced by his lifetime partner Charles Ricketts and by the example of the great Venetians. Charles Hazelwood Shannon and Charles de Sousy Ricketts by George Charles Beresford. Together from 1882 to 1931: 49 years.

Bob Mackie & Ray Aghayan:
Gorgen Ray Aghayan was a costume designer in the United States film industry. He won an Emmy Award in 1967 with his partner Bob Mackie for his work in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Aghayan was the lifetime partner of costume designer Bob Mackie for nearly 50 years. Aghayan was also nominated for an Academy Award for Costume Design three times for his work (Gaily, Gaily, Lady Sings the Blues, Funny Lady). Aghayan died on October 10, 2011 at his home in Los Angeles, California. Together from 1962 to 2011: 49 years

John Cage & Merce Cunningham: John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.On August 11, 1992, while preparing evening tea for himself and Cunningham, Cage suffered a stroke. He died the day after. Merce Cunningham lived another 17 years, dying of natural causes in July 2009. Together from 1944 to 1992: 48 years.

James McCourt & Vincent Virga: James McCourt's life partner since 1964 is novelist Vincent Virga; they met in graduate school at Yale. Vincent Virga and James McCourt, 1987, by Robert Giard. Together from 1964 to 2012 (and counting): 48 years.

Chris Connor & Lori Muscarelle:
Chris Connor (November 8, 1927 – August 29, 2009) was an American jazz singer. She was with her companion Lori Muscarelle for 47 years until her death. Jazz historian Marc Myers wrote, 'You never got the feeling with Chris that she was a helpless female, but you never got the feeling she was bossy either. And, as a result, almost everyone who heard her fell in love with her.' Together from 1962 to 2009: 47 years.

John J. McNeill & Charles Chiarelli:
John J. McNeill was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1959 and now is a psychotherapist and an academic theologian, with a particular reputation within the field of Queer Theology. John and Charles Chiarelli met in 1965 at the St. Charles gay bar in Toronto and married in Canada. Charles takes care of him "with faithful, love and patient." "He has been for forty-five years at my side," says McNeill. "I thank God every day for the blessing of Charles in my life." Together from 1965 to 2012 (and counting): 47 years.

Barbara Gittings & Kay Tobin Lahusen: Barbara Gittings met her partner, Kay Tobin Lahusen in 1961 at a picnic in Rhode Island, and described how they began: "We hit it off, we started courting. I flew to Boston [to see her] and got off the plane with a big bunch of flowers in my hand. I couldn't resist. I did not care what the world thought. I dropped the flowers, grabbed her and kissed her. That was not being done in 1961." Gittings and Lahusen were together for 46 years, until Gittings's death. Together from 1961 to 2007: 46 years.

Leo Lerman & Gray Foy: Lerman’s lifelong love and partner was artist Gray Foy (born 1922), together from 1948 until Lerman's death in 1994. He had just had his first show at the Durlacher Brothers gallery in 1948, and got by with a night job in the art department of Columbia University, when he went to a party Leo Lerman gave for the couturier Peirre Balmain in his basement apartment in 1948, and never left. When Lerman died without completing his life story, Gray discovered that Leo had actually kept diary notebooks. Together from 1948 to 1994: 46 years.

Mabel Hampton & Lillian Foster:
Mabel Hampton (May 2, 1902 - October 26, 1989) was an American lesbian activist, a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, and a philanthropist for both black and lesbian/gay organizations. Mabel Hampton enjoyed a romantic and sexual relationship with Lillian Foster, whom Hampton met in 1932. The two remained a couple until Foster's death in 1978. Hampton volunteered for the New York Defense Recreation Committee (1943); she collected cigarettes and refreshments for American World War II soldiers. Together from 1932 to 1978: 46 years.

Farley Granger & Robert Calhoun: Robert Calhoun met his lifelong partner, the actor Farley Granger, in 1963. Farley Granger, left, and companion Robert Calhoun and dogs Luke and Molly in Rome in 1972. Together from 1963 to 2008: 45 years.

Philip Johnson & David Whitney: David Whitney was the life partner of architect Philip Johnson for 45 years until their deaths six months apart. David Whitney and Philip Johnson (Photo: Mariana Cook). Together from 1960 to 2005: 45 years.

Forman Brown & Richard Brandon: Harry Burnett, Forman Brown, and Richard Brandon (lt. to rt.) Along with Yale Puppeteers Harry Burnett and Richard Brandon (Brown's life-long lover), Brown launched Turnabout Theatre in 1941 as "a vehicle for performing both puppet plays and revues for adults." Together from 1941 to 1985: 44 years.

James Ivory & Ismail Merchant: Ismail Merchant and James Ivory were widely recognized, during the final decades of the twentieth century, as setting the gold standard when it came to adapting iconic novels into high-quality motion pictures. Among their best-known works are A Room with a View and Howards End—both films won multiple Academy Awards. Merchant and Ivory were in an outlaw marriage from 1961 until 2005, when Merchant died. Together from 1961 to 2005: 44 years.

Jane Rule & Helen Sonthoff: Jane Rule taught at Concord Academy in Massachusetts where she met Helen Sonthoff and fell in love with her. Rule moved with Hulcoop to work at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1956, but Sonthoff visited her and they began to live together. Together from 1956 to 2000: 44 years.

George Gross & Harry Who:
Back in 1968, two blokes met at the South Australian Hotel in Adelaide. George Gross, 24, was a Hungarian refugee who had arrived in Australia at 14. He designed his first gold-sequinned sheath dress at six and started selling his designs at 15. Harry Watt, 30, was a travel agent who had developed a love of adventure during a stint in the navy. They became a couple and a few years later, in partnership with Gross's twin sister, Kathy, they started the fashion labels George Gross and Harry Who. Together from 1968 to 2012 (and counting): 44 years

Jane Addams & Mary Rozet Smith: Jane Addams revolutionized American social reform by founding Hull House, an institution she established in a poor neighborhood of Chicago to provide services for recent immigrants. Addams later became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mary Rozet Smith played several vital roles in Addams’s success, including raising funds that allowed Hull House to remain in operation. Addams and Smith were in an outlaw marriage from 1891 until 1934, when Smith died. Together from 1891 to 1934: 43 years.

Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky: Peter Orlovsky was in a lifelong openly gay relationship with Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg. Together from 1954 to 1997: 43 years.

Ned Warren & John Marshall. Together from 1884 to 1927. 43 years.

Katherine Harris Bradley & Edith Emma Cooper:
Michael Field was a pseudonym used for the poetry and verse drama of Katherine Harris Bradley (27 October 1846 – 26 September 1914) and her niece and ward Edith Emma Cooper (12 January 1862 – 13 December 1913). From the late 1870s, when Edith was at University College, Bristol, they agreed to live together and were, over the next 40 years, lesbian lovers, and co-authors. They had financial independence: Bradley's father Charles Bradley had been in the tobacco industry in Birmingham. Together from 1870 to 1913: 43 years.

John Kander & Fred Ebb: John Kander met lyricist Fred Ebb in 1962 and began a songwriting collaboration that would last for more than four decades. Together from 1962 to 2004: 42 years.

James Merrill & David Jackson: James Merrill's partner of more than four decades was David Jackson, also a writer. Merrill and Jackson met in New York City after a performance of Merrill's "The Bait" in 1953. Together, they moved to Stonington, Connecticut in 1955. For two decades, the couple spent part of each year in Athens, Greece. Together from 1953 to 1995: 42 years.

H.D. & Bryher:
Close to the end of the war, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) met the wealthy English novelist Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman). They lived together until 1946, and although both took numerous other partners, Bryher remained her lover for the rest of H.D.'s life. From 1920, her relationship with Bryher became closer and the pair travelled in Egypt, Greece and the United States before eventually settling in Switzerland. Bryher married H.D.'s new male lover, bisexual Kenneth Macpherson. Together from 1919 to 1961: 42 years.

Elsie de Wolfe & Bessie Marbury: Elsie de Wolfe is widely recognized as the founder of the field of interior designer. Bessie Marbury was a highly successful theatrical agent, as well as the woman who made a series of suggestions to de Wolfe that led to the interior designer becoming a pioneer in her field. De Wolfe and Marbury were in an outlaw marriage from 1892 until 1933, when Marbury died. Together from 1892 to 1933: 41 years.

Ron Palillo & Joseph Gramm: Ronald Gabriel "Ron" Palillo (April 2, 1949 – August 14, 2012) was an American television and film actor. Palillo was perhaps best known for his role as high school student Arnold Dingfelder Horshack on the ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, which aired from 1975 to 1979. He and his partner of 41 years, Joseph Gramm, lived in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida until Palillo death on August 14, 2012. Together from 1971 to 2012: 41 years.

Harry Hay & John Burnside: Harry Hay met inventor John Burnside through a ONE event, who became his life partner. Harry Hay and John Brunside, 1989, by Robert Giard. Together from 1962 to 2002: 40 years.

Lillian Faderman & Phyllis Irwin: Lillian Faderman lives with her partner of forty years (as of 2012), Phyllis Irwin. She has one son, Avrom, who earned a PhD from Stanford University. Together from 1972 to 2012 (and counting): 40 years.

Timothy Findley & William Whitehead: Though Timothy Findley had declared his homosexuality as a teenager, he married actress/photographer Janet Reid (born 1930) in 1959, but the union lasted only three months and was dissolved by divorce or annulment two years later. Eventually he became the domestic partner of writer William Whitehead, whom he met in 1962, either while working as an arts reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or while appearing in a theatre production (sources differ). Together from 1962 to 2002: 40 years.

Robert Peters & Paul Trachtenberg: Shortly after his divorce from his wife Jean, Peters met poet Paul Trachtenberg and established a relationship lasting more than 36 years. Robert Peters and Paul Trachtenberg, 1988, by Robert Giard. Together from 1973 to 2012 (and counting): 39 years.

Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas: Alice B. Toklas met Gertrude Stein in Paris on September 8, 1907, the day she arrived. Acting as Stein's confidante, lover, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, and general organizer, Toklas remained a background figure, chiefly living in the shadow of Stein, until Stein published her memoirs in 1933 under the teasing title The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. It became Stein's bestselling book. The two were a couple until Gertrude Stein's death in 1946. Together from 1907 to 1946: 39 years.

John Gray & Marc-André Raffalovich: John Gray's life partner was Marc-André Raffalovich, a wealthy poet and early defender of homosexuality. Raffalovich himself became a Catholic in 1896. When Gray went to Edinburgh he settled nearby. The two maintained a chaste relationship until Raffalovich's sudden death in 1934. A devastated Gray died exactly four months later at St. Raphael's nursing home in Edinburgh after a short illness. John Gray and Marc-Andre Raffalovich with a friend (Miss Gribbell) in the 1910. Together from 1896 to 1934: 38 years.

Peter Fisher & Marc Rubin: Peter Fisher joined Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) in 1970 and met his lover Marc Rubin - they were together until Marc's death in 2007. Together from 1970 to 2007: 37 years.

William Meredith & Richard Harteis: William Meredith died in New London, Connecticut, near his home in Montville, where he lived with his partner of 36 years, the poet Richard Harteis. A film about his life, Marathon, premiered on November 19, 2008 in Mystic, Connecticut. Together from 1970 to 2007: 37 years.

Edward Carpenter & George Merrill: On his return from India in 1891, Edward Carpenter met George Merrill, a working class man also from Sheffield, and the two men struck up a relationship, eventually moving in together in 1898. In January 1928, Merrill died suddenly, leaving Carpenter devastated. In May 1928, Carpenter suffered a paralytic stroke which rendered him almost helpless. He lived another 13 months before he died on Friday 28 June 1929. Together from 1891 to 1928: 37 years.

Truman Capote and Jack Dunphy: Jack Dunphy was an American novelist and playwright, well known today for his long-term relationship with American author Truman Capote. Jack Dunphy and Truman Capote by Jared French. Together from 1948 to 1984: 36 years.

Craig Zadan & Neil Meron: Craig Zadan is an American executive producer, director, and writer. Zadan is openly gay and is one half of the successful production team Storyline Entertainment with partner Neil Meron since their meeting many years ago in the New York theatrical community. Together from 1976 to 2012 (and counting): 36 years.

Sylvia Beach & Adrienne Monnier:
While conducting some research at the Bibliothèque Nationale Sylvia Beach found the name of Adrienne Monnier’s bookshop and decided to seek out the little store. There she was warmly welcomed by the owner who, to her surprise, was a plump fair-haired young woman in a peasant’s dress/nun’s habit, “with a long full skirt … and a sort of tight-fitting velvet waistcoat over a white silk blouse. They later became lovers and lived together for 36 years until Monnier’s suicide in 1955. Beach died 1962. Together from 1919 to 1955: 36 years.

Paul Cadmus & Jon Andersson: Jon Andersson, who became Paul Cadmus's longtime companion of 35 years, was a subject of many of his works. The two met on a pier on Nantucket in 1964, when Andersson was twenty-seven and Cadmus was fifty-nine. "I never wanted to be with anyone else", Cadmus remarked. Thirty-six years later, at sixty-three and ninety-five, when Paul died, there were still together. Together from 1964 to 1999: 35 years.

W.H. Auden & Chester Kallman:
In 1939 W.H. Auden met the poet Chester Kallman, who became his lover for the next two years (Auden described their relation as a "marriage" that began with a cross-country "honeymoon" journey). In 1941 Kallman ended their sexual relationship because he could not accept Auden's insistence on a mutual faithful relationship, but he and Auden remained companions, sharing houses and apartments from 1953 until Auden's death. Kallman died less than two years after Auden, seemingly of a broken heart. Together from 1939 to 1973: 34 years.

John Glines & Lawrence Lane:
John Glines is an American playwright and producer. Glines won a Tony Award in 1983 as producer of Torch Song Trilogy. In his acceptance speech, he was the first person ever to acknowledge his same-sex lover, Lawrence Lane, on a major awards show: "I want to thank my producing partner and lover, Lawrence Lane, who never said it can't be done". Lawrence Lane is a theatrical producer who is best known as one of the original producers of Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Trilogy". Together from 1978 to 2012 (and counting?): 34 years.

Lou Harrison & Bill Colvig: Lou Harrison lived for many years with Bill Colvig in Aptos, California. He and Colvig purchased land in Joshua Tree, California, where they designed and built the Harrison House Retreat, a straw bale house. Together from 1967 to 2000: 33 years.

Christopher Isherwood & Don Bachardy: Born in Los Angeles, California, Bachardy was the life partner of writer Christopher Isherwood, whom he met on Valentine's Day 1953, when he was 18 and Isherwood was 48. They remained together until Isherwood's death in 1986. A number of paperback editions of Isherwood's novels feature Bachardy's pencil portraits of the author. A film about their relationship, titled Chris & Don: A Love Story, was released in 2008. Together from 1953 to 1986: 33 years.

Lawrence D. Mass & Arnie Kantrowitz: Since 1979, Lawrence D. Mass has lived and worked as a physician in New York City, where he resides with his life partner, writer and activist Arnie Kantrowitz. Arnie Kantrowitz and Lawrence D. Mass, 1987, by Robert Giard. Together from 1979 to 2012 (and counting): 33 years.

William Corlett & Bryn Ellis:
William Corlett (8 October 1938 - 16 August 2005), was an English author, best known for his quartet of children's novels, The Magician's House, published between 1990 and 1992. Later in life he came out as gay, and it was from his partner, Bryn Ellis, that he gained some of his inspiration for The Magician's House. Bill bravely endured his last weeks and days, nursed by his beloved partner of 33 years, Bryn Ellis, who, along with his sister Anne, was at his bedside when he died. Together from 1973 to 2005: 33 years.

Malcolm Boyd & Mark Thompson: Malcolm Boyd came out of the closet becoming the most prominent Gay clergy person to come out. It was in the 1980's that Boyd would meet the gay activist and author Mark Thompson, who would become his long-time partner. Malcolm Boyd and Mark Thompson, 1989. Photograph by Crawford Barton. Together from 1980 to 2012 (and counting): 32 years.

Ivy Compton-Burnett & Margaret Jourdain:
Ivy Compton-Burnett spent much of her life as a companion to Margaret Jourdain, a leading authority and writer on the decorative arts and the history of furniture, who shared the author's Kensington flat from 1919. For the first ten years, Compton-Burnett seems to have remained unobtrusively in the background, always severely dressed in black. When Pastors and Masters appeared in 1925, Jourdain claimed to have been unaware that her friend was writing a novel. Together from 1919 to 1951: 32 years.

John Schlesinger & Michael Childers: John Schlesinger's life partner of over 30 years, until his death, was photographer Michael Childers. Together from 1973 to 2003: 30 years.

Tab Hunter & Allan Glaser: Tab Hunter had long-term relationships with actor Anthony Perkins and champion figure skater Ronnie Robertson, before settling down with his partner of 30 years, Allan Glaser. Tab Hunter with Allan Glaser. Together from 1982 to 2012 (and counting): 30 years.

Witter Bynner & Robert Hunt: Witter Bynner settled in Santa Fe, in a steady and acknowledged 30-year homosexual relationship with Robert Hunt. Together from 1938 to 1968: 30 years.

Nils Johan Ringdal & Georg Petersen:
Nils Johan Ringdal (6 March 1952 – 11 September 2008) was a Norwegian author and historian. His gay autobiographical essays in ”Lystens død?” caused tremendous attention in Norwegian media. His partner for 30 years, Georg Petersen, a physician, worked for the World Health Organization 1988-2007. Ringdal has lived in Germany, USA, Norway, Switzerland, The Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia. He died on 11 September 2008 in Bali, Indonesia after a long struggle with depression. Together from 1978 to 2008: 30 years.

Parker Tyler & Charles Boultenhouse: Charles Boultenhouse met Parker Tyler in 1945 when Boultenhouse moved to New York in order to attend Columbia University. Boultenhouse had, only a year earlier, read Tyler’s The Hollywood Hallucination and had been deeply impressed by Tyler’s creative and intelligent analysis of commercial film. Soon after their meeting the two men became lovers; they lived together for almost thirty years, until Tyler’s death in 1974. Together from 1945 to 1974: 29 years.

William Plomer & Charles Erdmann:
William Charles Franklyn Plomer CBE (December 10, 1903 – September 21, 1973) was a South African author, known as a novelist, poet and literary editor. For the last thirty years of his life, as a respected 'person of letters', Plomer had an unassuming and devoted companion in Charles Erdmann. Charles Erdmann (born 1909) met Plomer in 1944 while working as a cloakroom attendant in a Soho restaurant and lived with him for the next twenty-nine years, until Plomer's death. Together from 1944 to 1973: 29 years.

Sarah Orne Jewett & Annie Fields: The Drawing-Room at 148 Charles Street with Miss Jewett and Mrs. Fields. From a photograph lent by Mr. M. A. DeW. Howe. Together from 1881 to 1909: 28 years.

Marguerite "John" Radclyffe-Hall & Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge:
Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge met in 1915 as Troubridge was the cousin of singer Mabel Batten (aka Ladye) who was Hall's lover at the time. Mabel died in 1916, and Hall and Troubridge moved in together the following year. In the last nine years of Hall's life she had become obsessed with a White Russian nurse, Evgenia Souline. This made Troubridge very unhappy, but she tolerated their relationship. Despite all their troubles, Troubridge stayed with Hall and nursed her until she died in 1943. Together from 1915 to 1943: 28 years.

Edith Anna Somerville & Violet Florence Martin: 
In 1887 Edith Anna Somerville met her cousin Violet Martin, and thus began their literary partnership. Their first book, An Irish Cousin, appeared in 1889. In 1898 Edith Somerville went to paint at the Etaples art colony, accompanied by Violet and they profited from their stay by conceiving together the stories gathered in Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. in the following year. By the time Violet died in 1915 they had published fourteen books together. Edith died at age 91. Together from 1887 to 1915: 28 years.

Walt Whitman & Peter Doyle: Many literary scholars consider Walt Whitman this country’s most influential poet. The works collected in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass pay homage to the freedom and dignity of the individual while celebrating democracy and the brotherhood of man. Peter Doyle was a 21-year-old conductor on a horse-drawn streetcar when he and Whitman, who was 45 at the time, became lovers. Whitman and Doyle were in an outlaw marriage from 1865 until 1892, when Whitman died. Together from 1865 to 1892: 27 years.

James Bernard & Paul Dehn:
In 1949 or 1950, Paul Dehn began a professional relationship with composer James Bernard, who later became his life partner. Dehn asked Bernard to collaborate with him on the original screen story for the Boulting Brothers film Seven Days to Noon (1950). For this Paul Dehn and Jame Bernard shared the 1952 Academy Award for the Best Writing, Motion Picture Story. Paul Dehn died in 1976. James Bernard went into semi-retirement in Jamaica with his new partner, Ken McGregor. James died in 2001. Together from 1949 to 1976: 27 years.

Tom Ford & Richard Buckley: Tom Ford is openly gay, and he and his partner, journalist Richard Buckley, have been together since 1986. Buckley was the former Editor in Chief of Vogue Hommes International. Buckley was diagnosed with cancer in 1989 and after his recovery the two moved from New York to Italy. Together from 1986 to 2012 (and counting): 26 years.

Martha Carey Thomas & Mamie Gwinn. Together from 1878 to 1904: 26 years.

Jean Cocteau & Jean Marais:
In 1937, Jean Marais saw several drawing by Jean Cocteau and was stricken as they reminded him of himself. He managed to meet him. Cocteau was 48 years old, Marais was 24. As the second said, I was not a gigolo, I was an arrivist (go-getter). They fell in love and started a relationship and artistic collaboration that would last a long time. In 1943, Marais appeared in Jean Delannoys 1943 film L'Éternel retour (after a personal recommendation from Cocteau, who wrote the scenario). Together from 1937 to 1963: 26 years.

Robert Rauschenberg & Darryl Pottorf: Robert Rauschenberg's partner for 25 years was artist Darryl Pottorf, his former assistant. Together from 1983 to 2008: 25 years.

Rudolf Nureyev & Erik Bruhn: Erik Bruhn met Rudolf Nureyev, the celebrated Tatar dancer, after Nureyev defected to the West in 1961. Nureyev was a great admirer of Bruhn, having seen filmed performances of the Dane on tour in Russia with American Ballet Theatre, although stylistically the two dancers were very different. Bruhn became the great love of Nureyev's life and the two remained close for 25 years, until Bruhn's death. Together from 1961 to 1986: 25 years.

David Leavitt & Gary Glickman: After graduation David Leavitt moved to New York where he lived at first with some fellow students and later with writer Gary Glickman with whom he still lives. David Leavitt and Gary Glickman, 1987, by Robert Giard. Together from 1987 to 2012 (and counting): 25 years.

Robert Colquhoun & Robert MacBryde:
Robert Colquhoun won a scholarship to study at the Glasgow School of Art, where he met Robert MacBryde with whom he established a lifelong gay relationship and professional collaboration, the pair becoming known as "the two Roberts". Robert Colquhoun died, an alcoholic, in relative obscurity in London in 1962. MacBryde moved to Dublin, where he was killed in a traffic accident in 1966. Their friend Anthony Cronin describes them with respect and affection in his memoir Dead as Doornails. Together from 1937 to 1962: 25 years.

Joyce Warshow & Dorothy Sander:
Joyce Warshow was a formidable champion for LGBT rights. She was a leading spokesperson against ageism in the LGBT community and was honored by Senior Action in A Gay Environment (SAGE) with its Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. Sadly, she died before she was able to accept the award. Joyce died at home on October 2, 2007 at the age of 70. She died with her beloved partner of 25 years, Dorothy Sander, at her side. Togerher from 1982 to 2007: 25 years.

Connie Kopelov & Phyllis Seagal: Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples made history on July 24, 2011, as they lined up first thing in the morning to exercise their newly-gained right to marry. The first couple to wed in the city was Connie Kopelov, 85, and Phyllis Seagal, 77. The adorable couple met 23 years ago at a senior center and had been longing for this moment for years. Siegel said: "I am breathless. The fact that it's happening to us, that we are finally legal and can do this like everyone one else. It's mind boggling." Together from 1988 to 2012 (and counting): 24 years.

George Tooker & William R. Christopher: George Tooker had a long-time partner since 1949, William R. Christopher, who died in 1973. George Tooker, Daniel Maloney and William Christopher at Sneideus Landing, Oliver Jennings's House on the Hudson River, 1951. Together from 1949 to 1973: 24 years.

Urvashi Vaid & Kate Clinton:
Urvashi Vaid shares homes in Manhattan and Provincetown, Massachusetts with her partner, comedian Kate Clinton. Kate Clinton and Urvashi Vaid met in 1988 at a War Conference, held in February 1988. A friend who was at the conference had this to say about their meeting: "Because some of us in the quartet had recently been dumped by our girlfriends, we called our foursome The Jilted Speak. We spoke and spoke about a lot and a lot. But Kate and Urvashi spoke in a different language to each other." Together from 1988 to 2012 (and counting): 24 years.

Patrick King & Johan King: Patrick and Johan King are a long-term couple, together since 1989 and married in Sweden in 1997. In their duo ballet 2Men, the dancers tiptoe in cautious circles, beholding one another as suspiciously as tigers before the pounce, and then engage. Then, for five minutes, before a riveted audience, the pair lock arms, shove one another away, embrace, attack, cuddle, pull apart. "We never thought of it as being a gay dance, to us, it's just a relationship. It has always been a human story." Together from 1989 to 2012 (and counting): 23 years.

James Broughton & Joel Singer: James Broughton’s meeting with Joel Singer was a life-changing, life-determining moment that animated his consciousness with a power that lasted until his death." He died in May, 1999 with champagne on his lips, in the house in Port Townsend, Washington where he and Joel lived for 10 years. Before he died, he said, "My creeping decrepitude has crept me all the way to the crypt." James Broughton and Joel Singer, 1988, by Robert Giard. Together from 1976 to 1999: 23 years.

Pavel Tchelitchew & Charles Henri Ford:
Charles Henri Ford, actress Ruth Ford's brother, returned to New York City from Paris in 1934 and brought Pavel Tchelitchew (Ford's life partner until the latter's death in 1957) with him. Ford's circle at the time included Carl Van Vechten, Glenway Wescott, George Platt Lynes, Lincoln Kirstein, Orson Welles, George Balanchine, and E. E. Cummings. Visiting friends from abroad included Cecil Beaton, Leonor Fini, George Hoyningen-Huene, and Salvador Dalí. Charles Henri Ford died, aged 89, in 2002. Together from 1934 to 1957: 23 years.

Robert Ferro & Michael Grumley: During his final semester at Iowa, Robert Ferro met Michael Grumley, also a student at the Writers' Workshop, and the two began a two-decade-long personal and professional partnership. Known to their friends as “the Ferro-Grumleys,” the couple lived primarily on New York’s Upper West Side. Robert Ferro died of AIDS a few months after his partner, Michael Grumley, in 1988. Robert Ferro and Michael Grumley, 1985, by Robert Giard. Together from 1965 to 1988: 23 years.

Graham Chapman & David Sherlock:
Grahan Chapman kept his sexuality a secret until the 1970s, although he did allude to it in some Monty Python sketches. He came out as homosexual on a chat show hosted by British jazz musician George Melly, becoming one of the first celebrities to come out publicly. Several days later, he came out to a group of friends at a party held at his home in Belsize Park, where he officially introduced them to his partner, David Sherlock, whom he had met in Ibiza in 1966.Together from 1966 to 1989: 23 years.

Don Amador & Tony Karnes: Don Amador served in the U.S. Navy. He was aide to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, and later he was a candidate for the California State Assembly in 1977, and for the Los Angeles City Council in 1980. Amador developed one of the nation's first accredited college courses in gay studies. He was featured in People magazine on more than one occasion for his work in creating a Gay History and Education, and for his 10+ year relationship with Tony Karnes. In the picture the two of them with Harvey Milk. Together from 1970 to 1992: 22 years.

Michel Focault & Daniel Defert:
Daniel Defert met Michel Foucault while he was a philosophy student at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France and their relationship lasted from 1963 until Foucault's death in 1984. They described their relationship as a "state of passion". It was Foucault's death from AIDS that led Defert to enter the field of AIDS activism. (Pics: Police dispersing protesters: Jacques-Alain Miller, Daniel Defert, Michel Foucault, Jean-Pierre Bamberger, Claude Liscia, 1972.) Together from 1963 to 1984: 21 years.

Allan Spear & Junjiro Tsuji:
Having come out of the closet on December 9, 1974, Allan Spear was one of the first openly gay Americans serving in elected office. His coming out drew national attention. Spear was instrumental in passing the 1993 Minnesota Human Rights Act, which guaranteed protection from discrimination in education, employment, and housing to GLBT Minnesotans. Spear died October 11, 2008 from complications following heart surgery earlier that week. He is survived by his partner of 20-plus years, Junjiro Tsuji. Together from 1987 to 2008: 21 years.

Steven Arnold & Kaisik Wong: Steven Arnold played an instrumental role in giving The Cockettes, the famed psychedelic San Francisco drag troupe, their first chance to perform on stage in exchange for free tickets to his "Nocturnal Dream Show" - which was among the first-ever Midnight Movie showcases. This launched The Cockettes into underground fame. Early in his career, Arnold also nurtured a prolific creative relationship with the pioneer of the wearable art movement Kaisik Wong which lasted until Kaisik's death in 1989. Together from 1969 to 1989: 20 years.

Russell Cheney & F.O. Matthiessen: Russell Cheney had a twenty-year love affair with English Literature Professor Francis Matthiessen, an authority on American Literature, who taught at Yale and Harvard Universities and who was also a Yale graduate and became a member of Skull & Bones in 1923. Matthiessen was twenty years Russell's junior. F.O. Matthiessen and Russell Cheney on a Normandy beach, summer 1925. Together from 1925 to 1945: 20 years.

Michael Bronski & Walta Borawski: Michael Bronski's lover was Walta Borawski from the mid 70s until Borawski's death from complications of AIDS in 1995. Michael Bronski and Walta Borawski, 1987, by Robert Giard. Together from 1975 to 1995: 20 years.

Jewelle Gomez & Diane Sabin:
Diane Sabin, left, kisses her partner Jewelle Gomez, right after hearing the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriages outside the court house in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, May 15, 2008. In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Together from 1992 to 2012 (and counting): 20 years.

Alec McCowen & Geoffrey Burridge:
Geoffrey Burridge was an English actor noted for his performances in theatre and television. His 20+ years partner was actor Alec McCowen. In 1989 McCowen was featured on the British version of the celebrity surprise show This Is Your Life. He was shocked at the slight from the show's complete failure to mention Geoffrey Burridge, who had died 2 years before from an AIDS-related illness. Brave for the time, McCowen insisted that his late partner be acknowledged on the program. Together from 1967 to 1987: 20 years.

Audre Lorde & Frances Clayton: Audre Lorde was a widely acclaimed author who focused on the issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Frances Clayton was a tenured professor of psychology at Brown University, until she left that position to support Lorde’s transformation into a full-time author. Lorde and Clayton were in an outlaw marriage from 1968 until 1988. Together from 1968 to 1988: 20 years.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2012 10:31 am (UTC)
A radiant post, Elisa! Thank you.
(Goodness, but I want to see Patrick King & Johan King perform!)
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
they still perform sometime, mostly in Europe from what I know. They reside in Germany now.
Aug. 15th, 2012 10:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing all these special couples.
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:38 am (UTC)
my pleasure, I love each one of them.
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:08 am (UTC)
i agree with mightmaeve! this was radiant!

and i might add my brother and his partner into the mix- although not famous, but together for over 30 years now! :D

also, news from yesterday here in the united states- actor ron palillo- most known for his "arnold horshack" character of the show, "welcome back, kotter", a hit tv show from the 70's, passed away yesterday suddenly, is survived by his partner of 41 years.

so much love, so many beautiful love stories... this is what we need to hear more of...

and i remember a youtube performance of the kings- mesmerizing and so sexy!

thank you, elisa! a wonderful post!
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
Yes, you are right, I reserved to post about Ron Palillo soon, but indeed he has the right to be above there.
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:43 am (UTC)
oh, i hope i didn't spoil things!
the story saddened me but also made me happy in that he had found the love of his life...
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:50 am (UTC)
No, not at all, I don't like to post when the news is so fresh, it's like harping on the hurting of people, probably I will do that in the first anniversary, so it's right to include him now. Already done.
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
A wonderful, heartwarming tribute to love! Thank you for sharing, Elisa!
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
I'm alwyas warm in the hearth when I read about a couple who really managed to spend the life together
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
What a lovely post:D I'd love to see the Kings' dance;)

BTW, as a married straight woman I don't feel threatened as many politicians insist I should;P
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:40 am (UTC)
I'm not married, but I don't feel threatened neither. And this is the proof that "same-sex" marriage is simply a marriage.
Aug. 15th, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
Lovely post my dear.

Many of them didn't survive the loss of their soul mate and followed them soon behind.

This is the aspect of love that frightens me the most: being left behind.

ps when you cone over for the GLBT meet up, how long will you be in the UK and will you be staying in London at all?
Aug. 15th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
2 days in brighton and 2 days in london, I will stay sunday and monday night in London leaving on tuesday.
Aug. 15th, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Ah. I cannot get cheap train travel on Sunday and on monday I have to work. So near and yet so far.
Aug. 15th, 2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
it is really a quick stop, I have to be back in Italy on Sep 19 for some medical check up.
Aug. 15th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
I was hoping to go to the Brighton meet up, especially because JCP is speaking, but other things got in the way. Mind you, if I met her I'd embarrass myself by fangirling her.
Aug. 16th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
I will take pictures for you!
Mykola Mick Dementiuk
Aug. 15th, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! I envy all the lovers, so very nice. But with me nothing ever lasted a year or so and we'd be gone. I wonder if they ever think of me... Alas, who knows?
Aug. 15th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Lovers
you are like a butterfly, you spread the love around ;-)
Aug. 15th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
I love a Happily Ever After!
Aug. 15th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
you know well that I love them too.
Aug. 15th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
That's so beautiful. Thanks you for sharing.
Aug. 15th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
And they said same-sex marriage is not a marriage... tell that to who was together for more than 50 years!
Aug. 15th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
I watched the 2men dance by the King and it's awsome.I've been intrigued by them since then.

Thank you for collecting and sharing these lovers' beautiful and admirable love lives.
Aug. 16th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
The kings are wonderful and their show was at the same time sexy and romantic
Aug. 15th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
Love the RL romances. My favourites of your post are the still "counting" ones.
Aug. 16th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
And im so happy there are a few of counting couples... I wish them to reach 100!
Aug. 16th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC)
What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing this.

I was reminded of Norman Sunshine and Alan Shayne, who recently wrote their story - they've been together for over 50 years, Double Life: A Love Story from Broadway to Hollywood.

I also thought about George Gross and Harry Who, two famous clothes designers who live in my home city. They've been together for 45 years.

Edited at 2012-08-16 12:15 am (UTC)
Aug. 16th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! I will for sure add them to the list and I want to profile them soon (Double Life is in my reading list already).
Aug. 16th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC)
mille grazie!
Aug. 16th, 2012 07:00 am (UTC)
my pleasure (more than)
Jan. 17th, 2014 12:33 pm (UTC)
Sigh. What heartwarming stories. Even through extremely tough circumstances, these couples persevered. Lovely. Thanks for sharing.
Jan. 17th, 2014 12:42 pm (UTC)
this is an old post, Ihave found many more now, impressing how many had long-lasting love stories.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )


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