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Photo: Tom Ford Kisses Partner Richard Buckley in 'OUT' Magazine Cover Self-Portrait


OUT editor Aaron Hicklin writes to tell me that the magazine decided to do away with its annual swimsuit issue this year in favor of one focusing on couples and relationships.

On its cover is this portrait, shot by Tom Ford, of Ford and his partner Richard Buckley.

Writes Ford, as one of 23 "love stories":

"One of the things that always amuses me -- amuses isn’t even the right word, because it doesn’t amuse me -- but often, I’m at dinner parties with very close friends, straight, and they realize that Richard and I have been together 24 years, and the response is often, "Wow, you guys have been together 24 years! That’s so amazing. I don’t think of gay men being together that long." And I’m, like, "Why? What are you talking about?" Some of the longest relationships I know of are same-sex couples. A lot of my straight friends have married and divorced and married and divorced in the time Richard and I have been together. I think that preconception, from even very educated liberal friends, that being gay is possibly more sex-based than emotionally based, is surprising and shocking in today’s world."

Two more portraits — of artist Catherine Opie and her family, and Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste and his partner Chad McPhail, AFTER THE JUMP...



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  1. Lovely photos

    Posted by: Artredriver | Jan 10, 2011 12:58:43 PM

  2. Love the concept and the execution. How wonderful to focus on love and relationships. Not sure why it had to be an either/or proposition with the swimsuit issue, though. Seems like there is room for both on a year's editorial schedule, just as there is room for both in life. :-)

    Posted by: breckroy | Jan 10, 2011 1:17:19 PM

  3. Ford's completely right. I've been with my partner for 13 years (thats longer than my heterosexual friend's three marriages) and we still get amazed reactions from even the most liberal people we meet.

    I'm kind of sick of it, actually. Kudos to Ford and Buckley. Not everyone is fortunate to find a love that endures but I admire couples who stick with it and thrive together.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Jan 10, 2011 1:40:13 PM

  4. Tom is indeed correct. My boyfriend Bill and I ahve been together for 38 years. We're scarcely alone in this.

    I suspect a lot of the opposition to gay marriage comes from the fact that THEY KNOW WE DO IT BETTER THAN THEY DO!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 10, 2011 1:45:44 PM

  5. My partner and I just went to our 4th (straight) wedding last month - and he remarked that out of all the straight weddings we've been to, our relationship has outlived all of them. And we've only been together 10 years!

    The longest relationships I knows, aside from my parents who have been together 60 years, are two same-sex couples, each together 40 years.

    Great idea for a cover - I'm glad it's dispelling the myth that all GLBT relationships are primarily sex-based.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 10, 2011 2:12:28 PM

  6. @YONKERSCONQUERS: You have one heterosexual friend? :-)

    Posted by: redball | Jan 10, 2011 2:36:52 PM

  7. I never would have guessed Ford has a long term partner the way he groped my husband at a fitting at his atelier a few years ago - right in front of me no less. That ball grab would have put a TSA to shame. Needless to say we didn't buy anything that day and have never been back.

    Posted by: MT | Jan 10, 2011 2:38:02 PM

  8. Those are wise and articulate words from Tom Ford. THANKS TOM!!

    Posted by: redball | Jan 10, 2011 2:38:36 PM

  9. Its about time that we start focusing on what we want, if marriage equality is what we want. I dont know a single gay man who has trouble finding pics of hot gay guys in swimsuits if he wants to, so kudos for putting love in the forefront. @MT keep dreaming about having your man fondled by Tom Ford, dear.

    Posted by: Jerry | Jan 10, 2011 2:49:49 PM

  10. I think most people who express "surprise" and comment on the length of our relationships (31 years and counting) are trying to be supportive and congratulatory. They don't mean to be rude. Of course, if they expressed the same degree of wonder at a straight couple who mentioned they were married 30 years, the straight couple would be perplexed and probably insulted, without being able to pinpoint exactly why.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 10, 2011 2:53:33 PM

  11. I am SO tired of Tom Ford and his endless self-promotion. Why is HE on the cover?

    Preaching to the choir is what the gay press does best. I'm a gay man -- I know that relationships are more than sex. Don't really need a gay magazine to tell me that.

    Certainly not at the expense of a hot swimsuit edition!!! :-)

    Posted by: Buster | Jan 10, 2011 3:01:29 PM

  12. Gee, what an incredibly handsome couple Tom and Rich make and I couldn't be prouder to see them on the cover of OUT magazine. And Tom took that picture himself! Do you see the camera clicker in his right hand there? The Gay (male) Community couldn't have a better couple to represent us then Tom Ford and Richard Buckley.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jan 10, 2011 3:20:13 PM

  13. Tom has a lot of fun on the side, which is so typical.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Jan 10, 2011 3:40:15 PM

  14. It would have been a little cooler if you couldn't see the "camera clicker"---and he easily could have put it in his left hand. (It's a remote device.) Now I find it distracting. But I applaud Out's judgment. There are enough swimsuit-wearing men all over.

    Anyway, my ex and I were together 17 years, and after the 7- or 10-year point we'd be on some sort-of gay vacation and other gays would have the exact same reaction as straight liberals. Posters here know a lot of long-term gay couples, but we really got tired of hearing, "Really, more than 10 years?" (Along with, "When did you start dating, at age 10?" No, 19.) We too outlasted many of our straight married friends, but honestly I'm glad not to have ever gotten married, and we could have.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 10, 2011 3:47:48 PM

  15. The gay relationship stereotype is not completely unfounded, but it really doesn't have to do with our relationships being 'all about sex.'

    It mainly has to do with the fact that a gay marriage is so difficult to obtain, family support is not always a given, and the 'staying together for the kids' idea doesn't quite work when kids don't pop out by accident.

    Practical reasons, sure, but just a reminder that the right wants to perpetuate the above stereotype by enforcing those very customs and laws.

    Posted by: sarah | Jan 10, 2011 3:50:13 PM

  16. Wow - what an incredibly photoshopped picture of Tom Ford.

    Posted by: SteveC | Jan 10, 2011 4:04:24 PM

  17. THAT is his partner??

    Posted by: shannon | Jan 10, 2011 4:04:59 PM

  18. Seriously guys?

    A couple of examples does not the standard make. Frankly, for every one gay couple that lasts 40 years, there's forty that fell appart in a the first couple of years. The gasps come from people who know and have met the other 40 breakups.

    Also, are all you long-lived couples monogamous? 'cause if you aren't, then I don't think most people consider you "married." (And sorry but playing together doesn't count as monogamous.)

    For the rest of the couples that really do last and keep it strictly a pair, then many kudos and congratulations!! It's still amazing to carry on that long, straight or gay.

    Posted by: Frozen North | Jan 10, 2011 4:06:38 PM

  19. @Jerry, I agree. Pictures of hot guys in swimsuits is easy to find - this is much better and the type of advocacy a gay magazine should be doing.

    Posted by: Joe | Jan 10, 2011 4:25:53 PM

  20. If this were to be a revolutionary thing, it would be on a mainstream magazine cover, not one that is marketed to the gay ghetto.

    As for Tom Ford, I find him nauseating.

    Posted by: mark | Jan 10, 2011 4:26:34 PM

  21. I tend to agree with most opinions here, but Frozen North are you right!

    For those who missed the trick, the camera clicker is visible on purpose.

    It does feel fresh not having the mandatory t*rt in a swimsuit showing his pecs.

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 10, 2011 4:48:52 PM

  22. Plenty of hetero marriages have not been & are not monogamous, by mutual choice or otherwise. And that is no one's business but the two (just two?) people involved. Relationships evolve, change, change back, possibly dissolve, reunite, re-ignite, etc., just like individuals. If you've been with someone 15, 25, 35+ years & can't distinguish the difference between loyalty, love, respect, & just plain sex-- you're delusional or plain lying.

    Posted by: twocents | Jan 10, 2011 4:54:19 PM

  23. The hounds are back!

    Anyway Paul R, the point is to show this IS a self portrait not pretend by some photos done. Admittedly,I studied art and there was a big thing about showing that you are clicking the camera instead of pretending the picture...just happened.

    Gabe, everyone has different values of what make THEIR relationship work. Who knows if his partner is still in working order? I don't know nor do you know because cancer is different for everyone.

    Even if it wasn't because his partner had cancer, who cares?

    I can so see their love for eac other and especially from Richards comments.

    The realist in me says that Tom realised that this could be his way into the fashion world and took it when he met Richard-I dont believe his 'oh I fell in love with the eyes', that guy is pro from the START.

    But, I do believe that he really loves Richard. And I think Richards undying love and respect for Tom has made him who he is.

    Just my two cents.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 10, 2011 4:55:26 PM

  24. Show a little of gay happiness –even if it is a pose for a photo shoot- and some people get nuts, literally. From the disbeliever to the scorners. And everything in between.
    I really don’t care if the one and only sex they had was just once 24 years ago. Or if they are planning to adopt children or cat and dogs. Or if they never knew any other penises than theirs. Being in love with someone, standing by someone is something many people don’t get to know. I’ve known so many cheating heterosexuals who only became “faithful” when their gears didn’t work anymore than I can not but laugh at the comparisons. And if the only valid commitment two persons can have to each other so they can be considered partners is updated sex, now I understand why there are so many splits, so many loneliness and bitterness. All of them in pursue of a Saint Grail that fails to appear. And those who get vitriolic are showing exactly why they are that way.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Jan 10, 2011 5:02:04 PM

  25. "If you've been with someone 15, 25, 35+ years & can't distinguish the difference between loyalty, love, respect, & just plain sex-- you're delusional or plain lying."

    This is sort of odd to say. Just because they're not the same doesn't mean that some people won't react unhappily if someone has an affair. Don't get me wrong - I don't like the angry reactions some have when two partners say their relationship is open. But it's also problematic to imply that monogamy is silly, or wouldn't work for certain people, because it actually does.

    Posted by: Genghis Khan | Jan 10, 2011 6:12:03 PM

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