Docuseries will uncover mystery of gay wedding photos from 1957

A new docuseries, 'The Mystery Of The 1957 Gay Wedding Photos', will set out to uncover the hidden history behind the wedding photos of two men in 1957.

Photo of two grooms dancing after being married in 1957. A new docuseries aims to uncover the story behind the photo.

A planned docuseries will set out to uncover the history and stories behind the mysterious photos of a gay wedding in 1957

Writer and producer Neal Baer, filmmaker/producer P.J Palmer, and Los Angeles-based writer Michael J. Wolfe are teaming up to develop the new docuseries, titled ‘The Mystery Of The 1957 Gay Wedding Photos.’

The show is produced by Authentic Entertainment in collaboration with ONE Archives Foundation in Los Angeles and John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia.

Courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

President of Authentic Entertainment, Helga Eike said, “The mystery of this love affair, and the detective story to find these men, is the perfect combination of personal narrative and hidden history. We are honoured that Neal, Michael and P.J. have asked us to join them on this epic journey. These photos are so powerful; they are a snapshot of an otherwise lost time and place.”

Courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

Since the discovery of a photographic collection of a gay wedding in 1957, researchers have been reaching out for information about the grooms. The docuseries will follow a research team as they try to piece together the story behind this beautiful moment from the past. 

Baer said, “We are drawn to stories of bravery, where these men lived out their lives under threat of danger or actual harm. We owe them our deepest gratitude because they did something no one else had done before them: they recorded their love for themselves and for posterity. Now 60 years later, we have the photos, but there’s a painful gap between the past and the present.” 

Courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

The producer further stated, “Their legacy empowers us today and we are setting off to find these men and their stories. Along the way, other heroes have appeared, whose stories have never been told. So, this is a treasure hunt for our past that emboldens our future.”

On the website, part of the research process has already been documented and to see it further expanded on as part of a docuseries will be a truly unforgettable experience. As noted in the research, it is believed the photographs were printed at a drugstore in Philadelphia. However, the printer did not return the photos as they deemed them “inappropriate.”

Palmer said, “The first time I saw these photos I was surprised to be moved to tears, I’ve never seen these types of family photos before. These men look so happy and in love, and the memory of those moments were muted when the photos were denied to them and their history denied to the world. The archives hold an enormous collection of these types of stories that were nearly erased. We are out to bring these stories forward to reclaim our history to show we have always been here, since day one.”

Courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

Wolfe spoke about how empowering the journey to uncover the mystery has been, “Searching for these men for the past 18 months, talking to countless LGBTQ elders and hearing stories of what life used to be like for them, has been a master class in gay history. To speak with them is to connect with my ancestors, to finally know family I never knew I had.”

The team have set up a website and Facebook page where the public can share any clues and relevant information to help unravel the mystery behind the photos. 

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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