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These Men Are Officially, Wonderfully The Face Of Marriage Equality In Washington State: PHOTO


You've probably seen this picture already. It's of 56-year old Larry Duncan and 48-year old Randy Shepherd receiving their marriage license in Washington State this morning.

Photographer Meryl Shenker snapped it and, as the photo became an internet sensation, told Seattle PI she focused on the men because she wanted to challenge stereotypes. She did her job well, and we should all be grateful.

6a00d8341c730253ef0168e8c99d58970c-500wiIt seems each new state that legalizes marriage produces its own poster couple. For example Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, the elderly lesbian couple pictured to the right, became famous for their marriage here in the Empire State, and were even asked to be grand marshals at Gay Pride.

And you know what, it's great that Siegel and Kopelov and Shepherd and Duncan become viral images: not only does it show that gays and lesbians are not, as much as Queer Eye tainted popular opinion, all power lesbians or done-up gays, but that we come in every shade, color, size and age.

More importantly, these couples show how long some people are willing to wait for legal recognition of their love. Duncan and Shepherd have been together for eleven years, a short amount of time when compared to Siegel and Kopelov's 23, but still an impressive period to bide your time for marital respect and if you ask me they're in a perfect position to become figureheads for same-sex couples marrying in Washington State, and everywhere else, for that matter.

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  1. Rick the troll didn't get his desired response from his first comment, so he's back with a more lengthy comment SO HE WILL FINALLY GET NOTICED LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY TELL ME I'M PRETTY

    Posted by: Luke | Dec 7, 2012 10:18:25 AM

  2. Rick the troll didn't get his desired response from his first comment, so he's back with a more lengthy comment SO HE WILL FINALLY GET NOTICED LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY TELL ME I'M PRETTY

    Posted by: Luke | Dec 7, 2012 10:18:32 AM

  3. And how do we know they are gay?? They could be just two guys getting married.

    As to whether they marriage survives a move to another state. The short answer is "maybe". Under DOMA, a federal law, the states can technically ignore marriages not recognized under DOMA from other states. However, this might be in violation of the US Constitution, which supersedes federal law and so should be litigated. Conservatives wanted a Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to ensure that this issue could not be litigated. Currently, states are under no obligation to recognize marriages from foreign countries, though they normally do. As you might imagine, a Saudi man with four wives would have legal issues here in the US.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 7, 2012 10:23:56 AM

  4. "And how do we know they are gay?? They could be just two guys getting married."

    Ha, ANON, you're a funny one. Cause two non-gay buddies who have been together for 11 years and moved together from TX to WA would be sure to line up at midnight on the first day licenses are available to get married.

    CPT_DOOM's assessment of where we're at is right on, however. The more states with in-state equality, the more couples married, the more unsustainable DOMA becomes legally and culturally. The crazy patchwork will have to go, and stuff like these 2 guys being out and getting married is one step forward towards making that happen.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 7, 2012 10:54:28 AM

  5. RICK - you are absolutely, trenchantly and manifestly right. Plus, be encouraged, our male culture IS changing, the gender non-conformists and fruit-coms are looking more ridiculous by the day. It's so very overdue.

    Posted by: JEEZE | Dec 7, 2012 11:24:26 AM

  6. Geez. Ya gotta love Rick, ya know? "Culture of Effeminacy". I mean, now....that's sweet. Poor, Rick. Who's gonna tell him there's, uh, no such thing? I mean, his whole life seems to be obsessed with this. Poor baby. God. I hope he'll be able to deal.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 7, 2012 1:51:01 PM

  7. Ugh, I thought we had finally gotten rid of Rick/Jason.

    Posted by: MateoM | Dec 7, 2012 2:13:32 PM

  8. Ugh, I thought we had finally gotten rid of Rick/Jason.

    Posted by: MateoM | Dec 7, 2012 2:13:34 PM

  9. JAMAL - what pile of sand is your head in?

    If there were not indeed a very active "culture of effiminancy" (entrenched images of conventionally affected gay men) there would not be so many stereotypical gays playing fruitcakes in tv shows and the media. This must be stopped and RICK/JASON (along wih a good many others - see the earlier Hospital posts today) have accurately and consistently pointed it out.

    Most of us are sick to death of this kind of misrepresentation of our lives and manners. Join the new and better gay future in which RICK/JASON will be unsung gay heros. In this matter I am totally on their side.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 7, 2012 2:54:44 PM

  10. @UFFDA, I actually agree somewhat that MEDIA representations of gay people are unfairly skewed toward a shallow stereotype.

    However, where I part ways with Rick, Jason, and apparently you is when individuals who don't fit some masculine ideal are attacked and treated as "lesser than," a blight on the gay community. Get over yourselves. If you s*ck c*ck you can act like a combination of Eastwood and Stallone if you want but in the minds of the enemies of the gay community you've failed the masculine ideal entirely. So take the stick out of your @ss about how OTHERS act.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 7, 2012 3:12:08 PM

  11. lovely lovely lovely.

    i tip my hat with love and affection to all LGBT people who stand up to be counted, Live Out Loud, and represent themselves without fear or shame.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 7, 2012 3:16:45 PM

  12. @Caliban - rest assured, my brother, TrollRickJasonUFFDA's hoped-for revolution will never come. Why? because gay guys like them (insecure closeted effeminacy-hating cowards) will never grow the orbs and spines to live freely, openly, and OUT.

    you can file their misery under "S**T Closet-Cases Say"

    gender-nonconformists will never go away. they're unafraid to live as they live, out loud and proud. and those who are not gender-nonconformists, but are confident and secure and therefore don't denigrate those who are, continue to stand in solidarity with ALL of their brothers and sisters.

    what we're seeing is, of course, projected bitterness. the "type of gay" that those anonymous internet trolls hate so much are living Out lives. the anonymous trolls are not. hence, their anger. they don't have the strength to live with the courage that the "effeminate males" they hate live with.

    confident traditionally-masculine (for lack of a better term) gay meals don't denigrate nor distance themselves from their perceived-effeminate brothers. that's solely the domain of the insecure resentful homosexual, who still lives each day looking over his shoulder in fear of what The Straights are saying about him.

    real men stand and support their brothers. little boys cower and hide and point fingers from the darkness.

    kudos to all who embrace the beautifully diverse fabrics of our communities.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 7, 2012 3:25:32 PM

  13. "If you s*ck c*ck you can act like a combination of Eastwood and Stallone if you want but in the minds of the enemies of the gay community you've failed the masculine ideal entirely"

    @CALIBAN Historically, that has been true. What you are missing, however, is that "straight" men are changing their attitudes about male intimacy, including male sexuality.....and I see them striving gradually to INCORPORATE sexual expression between men INTO the way that masculinity is defined, and there is a precedent for that in previous historical periods.

    And that is a change all men should welcome, regardless of sexual orientation.

    But the basic defining features of masculinity--TRUE masculinity--will remain intact, as they should, since, like sexual attraction between men, they are products of nature.

    What is most decidedly NOT a product of nature is men deliberately trying to behave like women, living vicariously through women rather than men, idolizing women in preference to men, identifying women rather than men......all of which (listen to me here, Jamal) constitutes the culture of effeminacy that I have referred to. Men do not naturally refer to each other as "girls" or "she"....it is deliberate learned behavior and deliberate learned behavior is by definition cultural rather than natural.

    Those "gay" men who continue to fight to preserve that culture of effeminacy and the oppression that it represents.....rather than meeting straight and bi men in halfway in their attempts to construct a new male culture that will serve all men well, are obstacles to progress, in addition to being pathetic cases of psychological disturbance.

    A new world is on the horizon: Embrace it!

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 7, 2012 3:53:46 PM

  14. Rick, prove that you embody what you preach. Provide the URL to your own page, blog, video, whatever...that shows that you live and breathe each day as an Out, Proud, empowered and "masculine" gay man.

    If you can't do this, which of course you can't, you only prove me and others right. You're not masculine. You're just another closeted insecure adult who's wasted his entire life angrily typing diatribes against "effeminate gay men" who, let it be known, are clearly more man than you'll ever be, as they live Out and without fear or shame.

    I dunno. Sometimes I get labeled a "fem" by these anonymous internet trolls. Clearly, however, I'm doing something right. I've got a dad who marches each yeah in the pride parades, and straight male friends who do the same.

    but hey, it's the same old story.

    angry closet case types rant against "effeminate gay men" and yet cannot put a face to his comments. why? because he's still a cowardly boy.

    *elegant curtsy*

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 7, 2012 4:02:54 PM

  15. "Join the new and better gay future in which RICK/JASON will be unsung gay heros"

    Well, he lives in New York City. You can visit your hero in the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital.

    I guess he has access to the hospital library's computers.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 7, 2012 4:13:01 PM

  16. KIWI is always finally a broken and pointless record of the same gas. He has not the imagination to recognize any of the legion reasons to not post ones name and URL. Most people post anonymously with many and various good reasons. These have been listed before by others.

    This guttersnipe from Canukistan - with the sleezyest form of comment history on this site (along with the best) - has even gone so far as to say in his inimitable way that NOBODY in North America has any reason to not come out publicly.

    This is how out of touch you get when you live in Toronto, have rich parents, don't need a job and associate overwhelmingly with gay people as a special species.

    His URL demand means nothing, it's not required at all to make and present a case which is what and all we're doing here.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 7, 2012 6:10:50 PM

  17. My current wallpaper. This is beautiful.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 7, 2012 9:46:57 PM

  18. Honestly..our friends, a gay couple who have been together for 35 years, were SO in my mind upon reading about these recent changes and hearing about the SCOTUS cases to be decided soon made me actually tear up today! The older (by 7 yrs) of this couple (I'll call him "Bob") is 62 and his partner ("Scott") is 55. They have been in a completely monogamous, committed relationship and Scott has even legally taken Bob's last name.
    Bob is not well and has had serious health problems for several years now.He made the most money over the years from his work (Wall Street, then nursing) since Scott is a florist(very talented but not as well paid)
    Bob worries that when (if) he dies before Scott....Scott will not have the same protections and rights afforded a heterosexual married couple,ie; the right for the survivor to choose the higher SS retirement amount etc.
    Bob has said repeatedly that until same sex marriages are FEDERALLY recognized, a ceremony of any sort is "out of the question" and he has pessimistically stated many times that he doubts that it will come to pass in HIS lifetime. I am hoping he's wrong there. I want to dance at their wedding! (And cry my freaking eyes out too!) Hurry up SCOTUS and DO THE RIGHT THING!

    Posted by: RedRoseQueen1 | Dec 7, 2012 11:37:44 PM

  19. What exactly is wrong with effeminate men? It's not as if their mannerisms are some act, its just how they are.

    Until we stop jumping up and down when we come across gay men that aren't effeminate then the suicide of effeminate gay boys isn't going to stop.

    Honestly our community sickens me sometimes.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 8, 2012 12:38:03 AM

  20. Posted by: Rick | Dec 7, 2012 2:12:27 AM

    Hey Rick, I appreciate it, I've seen bias against certain LGBT people who naturally do not conform to the stereotypes, and it often comes from inside of the LGBT community, that's all.

    That said, I don't necessarily agree with all your views. I may not understand where you come from with your views, but I'll be respectful about them so long as you remain respectful of ours.

    I don't think all effeminate men should change to fit in either, because I am not entitled to call them an "act" either. For gay/bi men, both ends of the spectrum (feminine - masculine) exist for whatever reason (nature, nurture) and we all should be free to stay on side or sit in the middle, without being labeled "inauthentic" by someone who's sitting comfortably on one end.

    So these gentlemen don't really fit a stereotype nor do they seem to have a "queen" bottled up inside waiting to get out, fine, but who's to say that theirs is the right way to be? What we can tell is that they're at a place where they've found acceptance, love and happiness. They showed up to request their marriage license, and came as they are, and I don't think anyone could be so cynical to think that they're putting up an act, right?

    Posted by: stranded | Dec 8, 2012 2:23:29 AM

  21. Posted by: stranded | Dec 7, 2012 7:22:46 AM


    Hey, I didn't mean to impersonate you, I deeply apologize but that is not my intention. So there's definitely more than one stranded person in here. Yikes!

    I started using this screen name at the beginning of this year, more or less, and I'm not a frequent poster. I don't know when you started using it, but I'm sure we can figure out a way to avoid confusion.

    I also posted in the last Mormon-themed thread yesterday, btw.

    Posted by: stranded | Dec 8, 2012 2:31:58 AM

  22. That's a great photo. However, for gay men commenting here to use this as an occasion to bash 'effeminacy' via an ostensibly progressive shattering of 'stereotypes' is depressing. To my mind, it will be an even more happy and progressive day when the gay community and everyone else can as easily embrace the sight of two fabulously well-groomed flower-arrangers with bleached-hair in the Castro getting married as they apparently do images of gay coupling that 'challenge stereotypes' (as here; or say in the way that Brokeback Mountain was embraced). I don't think it's a victory for gays when unconventional gender comportment in the gay comment is avoided or swept under the rug.

    Posted by: Bears Are Fat | Dec 8, 2012 3:50:18 AM

  23. Sorry: just caught up on comments.

    Yes: *What LittleKiwi said*

    Posted by: Bears Are Fat | Dec 8, 2012 3:55:24 AM

  24. That is actually a picture of two of Little Kiwi's aliases: Mateom and Jamal 49. Can't wait to see what: Genuine carel, Yogabgaba, Dynex, 2 Dads, Jackon, Real Talk, USA Trojan Fan, A J , Mikel, Cinesnatol et al look like. That homofascist Canadian sure is something. LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 8, 2012 7:15:09 AM

  25. "What exactly is wrong with effeminate men? It's not as if their mannerisms are some act, its just how they are."

    No, it most definitely is not "just how they are". Men do not behave like women naturally--when they do so, it is an affectation that stems from learned behavior that can be unlearned.....and SHOULD be unlearned, because it is UNNATURAL and damaging to the self-esteem of those engaging in it, not for the sake of complying to any "heteronormative" ideal

    Now, some aspect of effeminate behavior are more conscious than others. It certainly is a fully-conscious DECISION to refer to other men as "girls" or to use the word "Honey" constantly as a form of address.

    After all, anyone can simply decide not to use such forms oif address any time they want to.

    When it comes to more subtle behaviors like the "gay voice" or walking with a swish.....these may not be as conscious.....but even if they are not, they still reflect low self-esteem, since they are derived from an internalization of the idea that being attracted to other men makes a man less than masculine and a sort of pseudo-woman....the very essence of homophobia and the reason we have been oppresed.

    Bottom line is that effeminate behavior in gay men represents some kind of unhealthy mental/emotional condition and needs to be dealt with as such, for the sake of all concerned, particularly those who are so afflicted.

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 8, 2012 11:23:07 AM

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