I deeply despise headlines that command an emotional reaction from you. But I’ve found few things as touching this year as watching this wonderful video by Paul Moakley, the deputy photo editor at Time Magazine, in which Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, walks us through decades of private photographs from her marriage to her late wife, Thea Spyer:
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Part of what makes these pictures so effective is that both women appear to be pretty good photographers. In a lifetime of taking family pictures, it’s inevitable that you’ll get some good snaps along the way. But these pictures rise above that. The pictures of the two women are well-composed, often beautifully-lit, and make very nice use of their surroundings. And most effectively, they’re clearly taken by people who love each other very much and know each other very well: Spyer and Windsor know each other’s good sides and are comfortable in each other’s gaze.
Popular culture frequently comes up in conversations about LGBT equality for its role in familiarizing even audiences who don’t know LGBT people, LGBT couples and LGBT families in real life with the idea that people and families live and love like this, and that their romances and relationships are more familiar than not. But that’s not always the same thing as actually seeing LGBT people through their lovers’ and partners’ eyes. Spyer and Windsor’s photographs of each other are a gorgeous example of that kind of perspective.