15 Vintage Gay Couples You Need to See

Dear Gays,

With Valentines Day upon us, many of us have couple-hatred on the mind. However, there is one type of couple it’s impossible to hate. Vintage Gay couples. Not only is their style totally unique and exciting, the fact that they were forced to love each other in secret makes these photographs all the more titillating. Sure, there’s no proof that any of these guys are actually couples, but what is the point of looking back on history if you can’t mold it to fit your modern-day agenda? Thus, for the purpose of this post I will be assuming all these guys are Gay, and that they had great relationships and loved each other until they died, happy as clams.


Take these happy sailors for example. True love.


True love on the American Frontier. Haute.


And these guys. Doing a total WeHo Party Photo Booth pose. Sidekiss!


I don’t know what is happening here but I think I like it. Or it makes me uncomfortable. Or I like it.


Vintage hotties. Hay boys.


I love these guys. On vacation. Together. Wearing matching swimsuits. Someday I will manipulate my boyfriend into doing this. Until then, my life will be incomplete.


Yes, the do look alike which is slightly creepy, but still a cute photo.


There is something inherently Gay about the sailor costume. I have no idea why. But gays have loved it since the beginning of time. Maybe it’s the cute hat and the fitted pants, I have no idea.


This is your classic Daddy with the Pool Boy combo. Yes, it’s terrifying. But also kind of sweet.


“They went to war for our country, but the true battle was for each other’s hearts.” That will be the tagline for the movie version I plan on making of this photo.


I bet they sent this out with their Christmas card. So adorable!


Gay and black at the turn-of-the-century. That must have been easy-breezy!


This couple looks like they had a cold, complicated relationship. But at least they had great clothes.


It’s funny how these styles have totally been recycled. I could totally see someone wearing these fashions today, with the same haircut.


More sailors, of course!

I don’t know what it is about these images that is reassuring. Maybe it’s that they are a reminder that Gays actually existed before the 80s, when I was born (But in all honesty, did anything really “exist” before I was born? Did anything really exist before you were born? Probably not). Maybe it’s that clothing was at one time more dignified and well-tailored than it is today. Either way I like to fantasize about living one of these antique love affairs. Even though in reality it would have meant the townfolk would have chased you with pitchforks while yelling insults at you through their toothless mouths (Coincidentally, that pretty much sums of my high school experience).

The moral of the story here is to look for love where you find it. Sure, lots of these dudes are probably just buds who had no idea that their bro-pics would someday end up on a Homosexual website. But wouldn’t you rather think of them as lovers, who lived a classic fairytale romance whilst wearing super cool vintage fashions? I would.


23 thoughts on “15 Vintage Gay Couples You Need to See

  1. You’re right–we can’t tell what went on in the past. A lot of these pics do have to be filed under “Goofing Around”, but the more interesting fact is that in ages less enlightened than our own people weren’t nearly so uncomfortable with decent expressions of affection, either. And affection is a very different business from sex. As I need not tell you.

    Nicely written! Had me laughing at the first sentence. As usual.

  2. Lol…. You are a mess, Orlando. A lovable mess. I could have almost predicted the comment on the black guys before I scrolled down on my phone. XD

  3. It would be interesting as well as surprising to learn all these couples were actually what we call gay. Of course there’s no evidence either way, especially on the older photos, but it’s a nice valentine assortment.

  4. Orlando… you’re the best and… WHY don’t I know you??
    The pix here are priceless and feel frighteningly familiar… perhaps it’s just because “gay is gay” no matter the century, the fashion, the hairstyle…
    you quickly come to see that those things are so totally inconsequential in these shots, but rather, men are men and love is love whatever the decade!
    These pix are truly lovely and very endearing!
    Palm Springs couple – 17 years

  5. I love the pics. And I’m not really bothered about the fact if all of them were actual lovers or not. The fact is, homosexuals have been around for a long time. Yes even before you. And I think whatever their relationship was, affection for each other or love, even if it is only friendship or platonic, who cares, love comes in all forms and shapes and colours and sounds and tastes…and it’s good to see these lovely pics. Makes me happy! Thank you once again for a lovely post.

  6. Amazing. I love these pictures. I can imagine many stories trought those. You can’t tell if they’re playing around, making fun, serious lovers or sunday lovers. but there is clearly something touching, something ”untouchable” if i may say.
    Thanx for sharing, Orlando!

  7. Fun! Are you watching Downton Abbey? What did you think of the whole Thomas storyline in the last episode?

  8. These pics are wonderful. Although, let’s just say they ARE all genuine gay couples, I can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding for how these guys must have lived compared to how I can live so easily these days (I’m lucky enough to live in Sydney) … On another note, they’re also really hot. Like, really hot.

  9. Love these. Big gay history buff here and wish there was a TV show that explored the difficulties faced by a gay couple — not just a single gay valet at an English manor — in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    (However, for what it’s worth, I’d seen photo #4 before — the two young men wrapped around each other in front of a bank — and subsequent research shows that they are actually brothers. I guess brothers were more affectionate back then?)

    1. It’s pretty much accepted that everyone was more demonstrable about affection, including men who were just friends. There’s a whole subculture of collecting old pictures demonstrating just that. The comradeship of soldiers in war is especially favored. If you’re interested, there’s a book titled “At Ease” that illustrates this very well.

  10. Listen. Guys didn’t ‘Goof’ around while making pictures, especially during the turn of the century. These pictures are just what they are and these dudes are bold to say the least. These photos were treasured and hidden under beds and behind walls. If caught they would have faced an outrageous amount of backlash. So no, I don’t think anyone here was goofing around.

  11. Thank you for sharing the pictures and comments. It’s a sad thing to say, but it was the high point of my day!

  12. Unfortunately most of these photo’s are not of gay men. I’ve done a lot of reading about societal changes in acceptable displays of affection between heterosexual men, and many of these photos fall into that category. At least 1 of the pictures (I’ve seen the original) has been cropped to make it look more gay and at least 1 picture is very obviously 2 brothers.

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