My Boston: Cindy and Barb’s Wedding
This photograph is part of my series At Home with Themselves: Same-Sex Couples in 1980s America, which was published this past fall and will be exhibited in February at Carroll and Sons gallery in Boston.
In the 1980s, many same-sex couples had weddings, often called ‘holy unions.’ These were not legal weddings but were celebrations—an occasion to bring friends and sometimes families together to acknowledge the relationship. Often, ministers from the Unitarian Church or pastors from the Metropolitan Community Church (a nondenominational Christian church for gays and lesbians) would officiate at these ceremonies.
Looking at these photographs today, I realize that it took a good deal more courage to stand up and be photographed as a same-sex couple in the 1980s than it does now. It’s a wonderful step forward for the civil rights of this country and our collective humanity that same-sex relationships and marriages have become accepted and celebrated. It’s important, though, to recognize that these relationships have always existed, and, in many cases, thrived. They were often discreet, and many people lived their lives in the margins. But the success of the same-sex-marriage movement would not be possible without the efforts of all those couples who came before, and who worked to achieve this goal. Their private love, and their persistence in going public with it, should never be forgotten.” —Sage Sohier, photographer