Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

PICTURE THIS Photo book documents '80s same-sex couples
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times
2015-02-18

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Talk about patience. Sage Sohier has waited three decades to put together a wonderful collection of intimate portraits of, and interviews with, same-sex couples across the United States. Step back in time with her new book, At Home with Themselves, and experience this era of both love and death, during the early years of the AIDS crisis and the fight for civil rights.

As the LGBT community celebrates the stunning marriage victories sweeping through America's courts, this book provides a needed perspective on just how long this road has really been. Starting with the photo of two dads cooking with their child on the cover, the book takes you through a myriad of images showing what makes a family, including couples with pets, parents and wedding cakes well before it was legal to be married.

The 122-page softcover book includes 56 black-and-white photographs, interviews of the couples by the photographer, plus an essay by Hunter O'Hanian, director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

As Sohier writes in the book's introduction, she came to document this community through an unusual story: "One evening in the late 1970s, my cousin Jackie happened to see my father dancing with a young man at a club in New York. When she reported this to me and my sister, we realized, rather belatedly, that our father must be gay. We were intrigued and relieved by this revelation. He had split up with our mother when we were toddlers, and had kept us at arm's length for many years. … He never 'came out' to either me or my sister, and it became increasingly clear that he didn't intend to. …

"In the spring of 1988, I was just finishing my same-sex couples project. It had taken me almost halfway into the project to realize that I had been inspired to a great extent by my lifelong curiosity about my father and more recent curiosity about his lifestyle. I was in New York showing the work to galleries and museums, and decided to call and see if my father was in town. He invited me over for lunch the next day; I had my portfolio with me, but figured I would never get up the nerve to show it to him.

"His partner, Lee, answered the door when I rang. He had long blond hair pulled back in a pony tail, a Southern drawl, and was about my age. Lee made sandwiches for us while I chatted with my father. I mentioned my project and, after some urging from Lee, showed them my photographs. My father appeared to be interested, amused, and touched. As we kissed goodbye later, his eyes teared up. His emotion and relief at my coming out for him was palpable. I began this project in 1986 because the advent of AIDS had led me to think about the prevalence, variety, and longevity of gay and lesbian relationships—the opposite of the promiscuity that was getting so much play in the press. My ambition was to make pictures that challenged and moved people and that were interesting both visually and psychologically. In the 1980s, many same-sex relationships were still discreet, or a bit hidden. It was a time when many gay men were dying of AIDS, which made a particularly poignant backdrop for the project."

Sohier continues, "Looking at these pictures now, I realize that it took a good deal more courage to stand up and be photographed as a same-sex couple in the 1980s than it does today, and I think the photographs somehow convey that. In some, there's a tentativeness, in others a kind of not-to-be-taken-for-granted raw tenderness. People in my father's generation had grown up feeling that being openly gay was just not an acceptable option. In my generation that began to change, and I was grateful to be witness to it."

Now you can be a witness, too, by exploring this treasure-trove of images. It's like opening a time capsule in your attic, peaking into the dusty photo albums of a generation of courageous individuals and couples.

See www.sagesohier.com/ahwt.html .

See related coverage at the link www.windycitymediagroup.com/gaynewsarticles.php .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Man Up Medical co-founder looks to past to shape present 2019-01-16 - Dean Hervochon dispenses words of advice like they are business cards. He is the guy who knows everything, as his friends tell ...


Gay News

DRAG PROFILE Jerfay 2019-01-16 - NAME "JerFay simply comes from my boy name being 'Jeffrey' and I just mixed it up for a new persona!" FIRST DRAG ...


Gay News

Same-sex couple rocks records at Rattleback 2019-01-16 - There's a new retailer in town, called Rattlebake Records, located in Andersonville at 5405 N. Clark St. Husband-and-husband team Paul Ruffino and Mike ...


Gay News

Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek on medical award, Dr. Tamara O'Neal 2018-12-26 - For 25 years, renowned physician Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek has been treating patients and teaching medical students and residents the ins and outs ...


Gay News

Jody Michael talks Crain's honor, StartOut, future plans 2018-12-26 - When Jody Michael started her business, Jody Michael Associates, 22 years ago she was one of the first executive and career coaches in ...


Gay News

IN THE LIFE Lala Thomas 2018-12-12 - Lala Thomas' life has been shaped by working hard, fighting for what she wants and speaking her mind on a myriad of issues. ...


Gay News

Artist Tom Bachtell on exhibit and late partner Andrew Patner 2018-12-12 - Self-taught artist Tom Bachtell's work is currently featured in a exhibit, "Tom Bachtell in AdventureLand," at AdventureLand Gallery, 1513 N. Western Ave. The ...


Gay News

SWZLE, part of the reusable straw revolution 2018-12-05 - Reusable straws have become a central focus in helping to preserve the environment—so much so that banning plastic straws was an issue on ...


Gay News

10 Questions by Vic: Greg Louganis 2018-12-04 - Greg Louganis is the greatest diver in history. In the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Louganis achieved gold medals in both the ...


Gay News

The Best Party of Our Lives: Stories of Gay Weddings 2018-12-03 - By Sarah Galvin $18.95; Sasquatch Books; 226 pages Your summer is filling up quickly. It starts with graduations and confirmations. You've ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.