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Gay Wedding Photos From 1957 Resurface, But Who Are the Grooms?

Gay Wedding Photos From 1957 Resurface, But Who Are the Grooms?

Gay Wedding Photos From 1957 Resurface, But Who Are the Grooms?

The photos were confiscated when they were developed.

rachelkiley

Back in 1957, being LGBTQ used to be a hell of a lot harder than it is today, especially when it came to marrying the person you loved. Sure, we still run into bakers that won’t give us cakes, or dress makers that try to introduce us to Jesus, but we can get married and we can ultimately get most of the things expected from a “traditional” marriage, even if it often takes some extra work to get there.

A series of photographs from a commitment ceremony between two men in Philadelphia have recently resurfaced after 62 years. They were confiscated by the drug store worker who was given the responsibility of developing them for their rightful owners.

Instead, he deemed them inappropriate and refused to hand them over.

But a woman who worked at the store saved the photos, and now her daughter has found them and the LGBTQ community is banding together to try get them back to the couple or any living relatives they might have.

“My mother had a somewhat photographic memory for faces and retained these in the event the customers who dropped them off ever came back to the shop so that she could give them to the customers on the sly,” the daughter wrote.

She sold the photos on eBay back in 2013 and the buyer subsequently donated them to the ONE Archive Foundation in Los Angeles and the John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives in Philadelphia, and the search has continued for the men in the photos.

“It’s a needle in a haystack — there’s too many questions and not enough information about this photo collection,” said ONE archivist Michael Oliveira. “While many people and families tend to stay put in the Delaware Valley area, we can speculate about where they were taken, who took the photos and so much more — and never arrive at an answer.”

He added: “There are so many unidentified people in our collection — it’s a frustrating part of history.”

You can view the full collection of photos and reach out if you recognize anyone in them at OurOneStory

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.