Brave pioneers of the alternative lifestyle: Stunning pictures of lesbian couples show the women who paved the way for modern day tolerance
29 September 2012
These are the pictures that document the changing times, from what was in fashion in clothing to what society deemed as appropriate.
Curated by Marie Lyn Bernard, also known as Riese, the pictures show how the community has changed and evolved in more than a century.
The editor-in-chief of Autostraddle took it upon herself to research early images of same-sex couples, painstakingly looking through archives, websites, digital collections, and Tumblr sites alike.
The idea, she wrote, was not just to collect the familiar images of actresses, but to get ‘pictures of actual people, pictures of women who were active in the community – regular human beings, writers, and social activists.’
She noted on her website that it was ‘impossible to verify the sexual orientation of some of the subjects of earlier photos’ that were sourced to Tumblr. She said: ‘Some of these photos may just be of cross-dressers or super-close friends.’
Herstory: Charlotte Cushman and Matilda Hays, a couple pictured from the 1850s, left, and right, Anna Moor and Elsie Dale pose for a photograph in 1900
Just the two of us: Left, a young couple in the 1900s is seated in garden from the Powerhouse Museum Collection, and right, a couple from the 1920s wearing top hats and three-piece suits
Feeling friendly: Left, four women at the Dyke Lumber Company in 1925, and right, American blues singer Gladys Bentley poses with bandleader Willie Bryant in 1930 outside the Apollo Theater
All you need is love: An interracial couple embraced on June 27, 1971 as demonstrators gather for the second Gay Pride Parade in New York City, left; right, Gwenn Craig, from San Francisco, holds aloft a poster giving her sentiments during final session of Democratic Convention on August 14, 1984
Showing affection: Left, a lesbian couple kisses at a 1994 protest, and right, a couple in Albany in the 1970s