Monday, July 23, 2012
The ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archive: Photos Online
I suppose, though I've never given it much thought, that had you asked me when Gay Marriage first surfaced as an idea I might have said the 1970s. Well, the wonderful Boobob92 of Roger & Frank fame has tipped me off to the fact that the ONE Archive National Gay and Lesbian Archive has begun digitising some of its collection of personal and documentary photographs and what a treasure they are, including this set of photos (there are more) from a gay wedding in 1957. The photos were deemed 'inappropriate' by the developing photo store and never returned to the owners which is sad and cruel and it makes you wonder how they came to survive at all. Nonetheless, they do, along with hundreds of others of wonderful images of gay and lesbian life from the 1910s onwards.
There are pictures of both protest and pride, they are both private and public, intimate and in your face. It is a fascinating collection and, at the moment seems to run to about 700 images, I can only hope that is going to grow and grow into the future.
These two photos below were a couple of my favourites, for their intimacy and for their use of the photobooth, the only place really where photos like this could be both taken and developed safely in the 1950s.