(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Loving’s Official Amazon Account)

There’s a new book that contains over 300 photographs of men in love with men, guys, and they were taken from before the Civil War to shortly after WWII. My most favorite is the one where the couple was holding a sign that said: “Not married but willing to be.” 


Today, where same-sex marriage is already legal in some parts of the world like the United States, it feels like their struggle is already a history from a long time ago. And we can only imagine how it was for them, for the men and women of the LGBT community who lived in fear of the possibility of being persecuted just because they love someone of the same sex.

This book called Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s-1950s by Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell, however, gives us a glimpse of that time. Most importantly, the book shows us how love endures all things, that love is universal, and must therefore be celebrated. 

Nini and Treadwell said they started collecting photos when they stumbled upon a picture of two men locked in an embrace, gazing at each other’s eyes while they were visiting an antique shop in Dallas, Texas. 

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“LOVING A Photographic History” A beautiful book of over 330 photographs of romantic couples spanning the period between the 1850s and 1950s. The photos chosen from our personal collection of over 2800 romantic couples photographs. LTD Edition signed and numbered copies are still available for purchase at LOVING1000.ORG (Link also in BIO) Check out our short documentary about us, our collection, and the book when you visit our website. The commercial addition will launch worldwide in four languages, (English Italian French German) October 14, 2020. #loving1000#loving_aphotographichistory#limitededitionbook#limitededitionbooks #signedbooks#venacularphotography#photographybook #vintagestyle#vintagegaycouples #vintagemen#menkissing #menlovingmen#lovingmen #gaymagazine#gaybook #gaybooks #photographymuseum #gaycouple #gaycouples #gayhistory#lgbthistory #lgbtqhistory #husbandandhusband #lovewins❤ #gaywedding #gayweddings

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That was 20 years ago. Today, their collection have grown to 2,800 photographs of men in love with each other and some of the snapshots were from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan, Latvia, and the United Kingdom to name a few.

Most of the photographs, however, were from the United States and were reportedly shot between the 1850s and 1950s. Never mind gay marriage, this was a time when gay relationships itself was illegal, and, according to Metro.co.uk, even “punishable by death until the 1873 in South Carolina.”

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“LOVING A Photographic History” A beautiful book of over 330 photographs of romantic couples spanning the period between the 1850s and 1950s. The photos chosen from our personal collection of over 2800 romantic couples photographs. LTD Edition signed and numbered copies are still available for purchase at LOVING1000.ORG (Link also in BIO) Check out our short documentary about us, our collection, and the book when you visit our website. The commercial addition will launch worldwide in four languages, (English Italian French German) October 14, 2020. #loving1000#loving_aphotographichistory#limitededitionbook#limitededitionbooks #signedbooks#venacularphotography#photographybook #vintagegaycouples #vintagemen#menkissing #menlovingmen#lovingmen #gaymagazine#gaybook #gaybooks #photographymuseum #gaycouple #gaycouples #gayhistory#lgbthistory #lgbtqhistory #husbandandhusband #lovewins #gayarmy #gaysoldier #gaysoldiers #gaymitary

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Anyway, the authors Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell have been together for nearly 30 years and have been married themselves since 1992. I love what they said about their personal realization while doing this book so we’ll leave it below for you to read:

None of the subjects in our photos had the legal option of marriage, they, like us in 1992, did have the private, personal option. These photos have taught us something we instinctively understood, but hadn’t yet formed into a thought: the human heart has never conformed to the strictures of society as it stumbles awkwardly through something it doesn’t immediately understand. The heart will always find its way to the light, and in this case, into daylight. Until this collection, we thought that the notion of us as a loving couple was “new.” What we have learned from our collection is that we’re not new. We, and other couples like us, both male and female, are a continuation of a long line of loving couples who have probably existed since the beginning of time.

Meanwhile, the authors said of their new book in a separate interview: “The subjects of our photos will publicly narrate their own lives for the first time in history. And far from being ostracized or condemned, they will be celebrated and loved.” 

Nini and Treadwell added, “And the love that they shared will inspire others, as they have us. Love does not have a sexual orientation. Love is universal.”

You can purchase Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s-1950s here. For more information about the book, you can read Esquire’s interview with the authors here.

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