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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. fun fact - behind every closeted anonymous internet troll who "hates effeminate men" are the family members that hated them for being gay, no matter how many dollops of pseudo-macho posturing they failed to affect.

    it's the truth. as shown, as always, by the reality that not one "i can't stand femmes" poster can put a face and name to their comments.

    of course you hate effeminate gay males. they live openly, and Out, and date, and have lives. and you're still in the closet as a middle-aged man. life has passed you by. and hating on them won't make your own life better.

    it'll be the same old story, until these trolls die.

    so pity 'em.

    you show me a gay man who harbours anger toward "effeminate males" and i'll show you a wimp whose balls never dropped.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 8, 2012 11:37:45 AM

  2. As a gay man from Indonesia, I find these pictures very touching. These people give me hope. I am so happy for them and for all of us as well.

    Posted by: darkorient | Dec 9, 2012 2:07:38 AM

  3. Amazing. I look a great deal like Larry, as my beard doesn't have any color but white, and I carry a cane as well. I'm a few years older than he, but I'm glad that Andy showed me that there are folks like me in the "community" of gay people.

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Dec 9, 2012 5:39:28 AM

  4. Those guys are from New Hampshire.

    Posted by: rhea | Dec 11, 2012 9:48:59 AM

  5. Do any of the readers of Towleroad ACTUALLY WATCH TELEVISION? Did you all just stop watching in 1995? There have been and continue to be MORE BUTCH gay male characters on television on a weekly basis than feminine. That has been true since the 1990s. Where have y'all been?
    Do you just ignore the gay male tv characters that don't fit your antiquated gripe about representation? Did none of you ever hear of the shows "Brothers & Sisters" "Six Feet Under" "Mercy" "Gray's Anatomy" "Reaper" "GLEE" "Ugly Betty" "Greek" "One Life To Live" "As The World Turns" "The Young and The Restless" "Days of Our Lives" "90210" "LA Complex" "Degrassi" and countless other shows in the last 15 - 20 years with a WIDE DIVERSITY of gay male characters that were not like "Will Truman" or "Jack McFarlane"? I loved "Will and Grace" but if you stopped watching television back when it ended you don't get to have an opinion on what kinds of gay male characters have been on television since then because folks here are clearly uninformed.
    For every Kurt, Justin, and other more fey characters (whom I love) there's an Austin, Karofsky, Max, Calvin, Heath, Luke, Noah, Kyle, Sebastian, Oliver, Teddy, Cal, etc who isn't fey.
    That is balance of representation.

    Posted by: Pickles | Dec 13, 2012 6:18:19 PM

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