Several years ago, I painted Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise to express my optimism about the marriage equality movement. I believed we were on the cusp of great progress, and I chose to symbolize our inevitable victory with my own version of the Noah's Ark story. I painted a grand ark/cruise ship filled with happy gay and lesbian animal couples and a few human guests too (like Ellen DeGeneres/Portia de Rossi, and Elton John/David Furnish). There are even some drowning sinners (such as Ann Coulter, Larry Craig, Sally Kern, and Fred Phelps)!
Fast-forward to now. Indeed we have come a long way! Twelve states have legalized gay marriage, and important decisions about DOMA and Proposition 8 are being considered by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately I still live in a state where I am not allowed to get married, but Dennis and I have decided to do it anyway. We are excited to be a part of a special initiative by the group MarriageEvolved called C-Bus of Love. Along with 24 other LGBT couples (who also can't get married in their home states), we will be traveling by bus to Washington D.C. this June to get married on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In honor of this, I'm releasing a special new print -- Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise: MarriageEvolved Edition. It's an update of my original painting with the addition of Joshua and Steve Snyder-Hill, the two founders of MarriageEvolved. Steve is the soldier who was booed during the Republican primaries last year after asking a question about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The incident caused great controversy for the candidates who did nothing to discourage the crowd from booing someone serving their country. I can't imagine the bravery it must have taken to out himself on international television while on active duty. Together, he and Joshua have championed the cause of marriage equality, even fighting DOMA on the national level to establish equality for LGBT military spouses, and they won't rest until everyone in this country who wants to get married will have the right to do so. I'm proud that they are our friends and thrilled to add them to the crew of Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise -- especially since they are the co-captains of our own upcoming wedding excursion!
Josh & Steve
100% of the profits from the sale of Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise: MarriageEvolved Edition will be donated to MarriageEvolved to help pay for the C-Bus of Love trip and future advocacy work of the organization. It's an important, worthwhile cause and I encourage everyone to show their support by purchasing a limited-edition print today. They are available in three different sizes in my online store HERE.
13" x 11" - $35
20" x 16" - $75
26" x 20" - $150
Visit the C-Bus of Love website to learn more about our upcoming road trip for equality. And check out our wedding bio while you're there!
Dennis & Paul
So, what you are waiting for? go and buy these wonderful prints to support MarriageEvolved, and to close this post, I want to add my "special edition", the Gold Marriage LGBT Couples, those partners who managed to stay together for more than 50 years, despite the history "telling" them they were not married, but in their case, the legal papers didn't mean nothing, they were officially married in their heart.
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 2013 (and counting): 64 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 2013 (and counting?): 63 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 in 2008. Martin and Lyon met in 1 950, became lovers in 1952, and moved in together on Valentine's Day 1953 in an apartment on Castro Street in San Francisco. They founded the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco in 1955. They were married on June 16, 2008 in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco. Together from 1952 to 2008: 56 years.
Janet Flanner & Solita Solano: Janet Flanner was a novelist, translator, and journalist, best known for her fortnightly "Letter from Paris," which she wrote for the New Yorker from 1925 to 1975. Flanner had an affair with Edith WHARTON, but Solita Solano, a well-known writer and drama critic for the New York Tribune, was her greatest love. They remained close for over sixty years. Another long-term lover was Natalia Danesi Murray, an Italian-born radio broadcaster who later became vice president of Rizzoli publishers. Together from 1919 to 1975: 56 years.
Natalie Clifford Barney & Romaine Brooks: The longest and most important relationship of Romaine Brooks's life was with Natalie Clifford Barney, whom she met around the start of World War I. Barney was an American-born writer who hosted a l iterary salon on Paris's Left Bank. She was avowedly nonmonogamous; when they met she was already in a close longterm relationship with Duchess Elisabeth de Clermont-Tonnerre, which would last until the Duchess' death in 1954. Romaine had many other relationships of varying length and devotion as well. Together from 1914 to 1970: 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 2013 (and counting): 55 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.
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 2013 (and counting): 54 years.
Horst P. Horst & Valentine Lawford: Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (August 14, 1906 – November 18, 1999) who chose to be known as Horst P. Horst was a German-American fashion photographer. He met Valentine Lawford, British diplomat in 1938 and they would live together as a couple until Lawford's death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together. One of the great iconic photos of the Twentieth-Century is "The Mainbocher Corset" with its erotically charged mystery, captured by Horst in Vogue Paris studio in 1939. Together from 1938 to 1991: 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.
William M. 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.
Duane Michals & Frederick Gorree: Duane Michals (born February 18, 1932) is an American photographer. Michals's work makes innovative use of photo-sequences, often incorporating text to examine emotion and philosophy. Michals grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and currently lives in NYC. Michals has been in a relationship with his partner, architect and vice president of Gramercy Neighborhood Associates Frederick Gorree, since 1960. Though he has not been involved in gay civil rights, his photography has addressed gay themes. Together from 1960 to 2013 (and counting): 53 years.
Gian Carlo Menotti & Samuel Barber: Samuel Barber was an American composer. He is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century; music critic Donal Henahan stated that "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim." He entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he met Gian Carlo Menotti, who became his partner in life as well as in their shared profession. Gian Carlo Menotti supplied the libretto (text) for Barber's opera, Vanessa. Together from 1929 to 1981: 52 years.
Thom Gunn & Mike Kitay: Thom Gunn, born Thomson William Gunn (29 August 1929 – 25 April 2004), was an Anglo-American poet. In 1954, Thom Gunn emigrated to the US 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 1952 to 2004: 52 years.
Arthur Laurents & Tom Hatcher: Arthur Laurents (July 14, 1917 – May 5, 2011) was an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter. Laurents wrote Original Story By Arthur Laurents: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood, published in 2000. Tom Hatcher was an aspiring actor whom Gore Vidal suggested Arthur Laurents seek out at the Beverly Hills men's clothing store Hatcher was managing at the time. The couple remained together for 52 years until Hatcher's death on October 26, 2006. Together from 1954 to 2006: 52 years.
Eleanor Charlotte Butler & Sarah Ponsonby: Rather than face the possibility of being forced into unwanted marriages, Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler & Honorable Sarah Ponsonby ran away together in April 1778. Their families hunted them down and forcefully tried to make them give up their plans – in vain. They set up home at Plas Newydd, near the town of Llangollen in 1780. Butler and Ponsonby lived together for the rest of their lives, over 50 years. Their books and glassware had both sets of initials and their letters were jointly signed. Together from 1778 to 1829: 51 years.
Richard Plant & Oskar Seidlin: Richard Plant (1910-1998) was a German-American writer. He is said to have written, in addition to the works published under his own name, several detective novels or Kriminalromane, with Dieter Cunz and Oskar Seidlin (1911-1984, under the collective pen-name of Stefan Brockhoff. Upon the accession of the Nazis to power in Germany in 1933 and the enforcement of the Paragraph 175 against homosexuality, he was obliged to leave Germany for Switzerland in concert with his partner, Oskar Seidlin. Together from (before) 1933 to 1984: 51 years.
Elsa Maxwell & Dorothy "Dickie" Fellowes-Gordon: Elsa Maxwell’s most notable achievements were the extravagant parties she threw for her friends in the worlds of art, science, politics, royalty, and society. She also hosted Elsa Maxwell’s Party Line on national radio and wrote a widely read newspaper column. Her constant companion, lover, and friend of fifty years was socialite Dorothy Fellowes-Gordon, affectionately referred to as “Dickie.” Maxwell left her entire estate (which amounted to less than $10,000 after all those parties) to Dickie. Together from 1913 to 1963: 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.
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. She and Mullard emigrated to South Africa, where they remained for the rest of their lives. There, according to Proud, they found a community of gay expatriates who had "escaped the repressive attitudes towards homosexuality in Britain for the comparatively liberal atmosphere of Durban." Together from 1933 to 1983: 50 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.
Maurice Sendak & Eugene Glynn: Maurice Sendak was an American illustrator and writer of children's books. He was best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963. Sendak mentioned in a September 2008 article in The New York Times that he was gay and had lived with his partner, psychoanalyst Dr. Eugene Glynn, for 50 years before Glynn's death in May 2007. Revealing that he never told his parents, he said, "All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew." Together from 1957 to 2007: 50 years.
And a very personal favorite of mine, also since Vincent is a dear friend, and for the first time this year, also in the Rainbow Awards jury:
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 2013 (and counting): 49 years.
Next year it will be 50 for them, and I will be sure to be there, first in line to pay them my congratulations!
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