A gay couple who have been together for more than two decades offered up a striking rebuttal to the homophobic refrain that being gay is a phase.
Kurt English and Nick Cardello shared a pair of eerily similar photos on Twitter taken 24 years apart, showing them blissfully in love at Washington Pride in 1993, and at the same march in 2017.
The photos went viral on Twitter with the caption: “It’s just a phase,” garnering 600,000 likes and more than 150,000 retweets.
Nick, a photographer, told PinkNews in 2017 that the first photo was taken just three months after he lost his brother to AIDS.
“In 1993 we had just come from the Reagan years and the federal government avoiding the AIDS crisis,” he said.
“It was a difficult time for us, since three months earlier I had lost my brother to AIDS. Then Clinton signed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defence of Marriage Act.”
The second photo was taken shortly after Obama and the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage across the nation.
“For the 2017 March we were elated by the Obama administration’s federal recognition of same-sex couples, the Supreme Court rulings, the overturning of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defence of Marriage Act,” he added.
Cordello said that despite the leaps forward that have been made for LGBT+ rights, we need to keep going.
“We now have concerns with the rolling back of rights we have gained,” he said, speaking just months into Trump’s presidency.
Nick said he and his husband had been profoundly affected by the reactions from around the world.
“Many times we have been moved to tears by reading the comments,” he added.
“It is rare to see these types of images in the media of same-sex couples growing old together.
“The youth needs to see that it is possible to find a loving partner and that the relationship can last.”
Some Twitter users responded to the tweet by posting their own LGBT+ relationship glow-ups.
Others commented on “how old they got”, but Nick clapped back saying: “Yes, you too will get old!”
The phrase is often associated with bisexual people.
Lois, the founder of the Bi Survivors’ Network, said: “Bi people are not just a phase. You can be a better bisexual ally, first and foremost by listening to the bisexual community.
“The stereotype I have heard most is: ‘Oh I used to be bi and then I actually came out’. Whereas I actually am bi and I am out.”