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Philadelphia Photo Exhibition Celebrates Long-Term LGBT Relationships In A Beautiful Way

For all you hopeless romantics out there awaiting your knight in shining armour to come and whisk you off your feet, allow the First Comes Love Project to keep the fairytale dream alive. 

Although, this ain’t no fairytale. And there’s not a suit of armour in sight. Having shot more than 70 couples since the project’s inception in 2009, fine art photographer Barbara Proud's touching collection of stills are on display at the William Way LGBT Community Centre in Philadelphia from today (Friday) and capture real people and real love in real lives. Among the subjects are retired Physical Education teachers Del and Harriet, together for 44 years since meeting on a hockey field in 1969, and avid bikers Chris and John, who have burned rubber together as far afield as Nova Scotia, Quebec and the Blue Ridge Mountains in their 18 years as partners. 

Proud wanted to share the love of same-sex couples in long-term relationships in order to celebrate them and also to educate non-LGBT people about their validity and value. “The work has been amazingly rewarding and is garnering great attention”, she says. “Best of all are the ‘thank you’s I get for telling these stories”. 

Other couples in the series include New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson and his partner Mark, together for 25 years, and Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston, Texas, and her other half Kathy, who have recently celebrated 23 years. 

A photo book of the images will be released in Spring 2014. To learn more about the project, visit the First Comes Love website.

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