QUEER IRL PHOTO GALLERY: Queers in Celebration!

Jess and Cat / 24, 23 / Brother’s Wedding / Bismark, ND / September 2017

“My beautiful girlfriend and I got all dressed up for my little brother’s wedding this fall. It was the first time I ever wore a vest to an event, so I’d say it was a success.”

Sarah, Abbie, Kendra, Janae / Halloween / Brooklyn NY / 2016 and 2017

Leah and Lindsey / 33 / Surviving 2016, Celebrating NYE 2017 / Harlem, NY / December 31, 2016

“This was my girlfriend and my first New Year’s together. She’s 6 ft and I’m 5’2”, her Dad commented that all our photos look like I’m in her armpit, so we thought this was funny, plus we look fabulous which is the best way to deal with the current cultural climate. (Decorations inspired by Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Boy Problems” music video.)”

Anna, Heather, Josh, Yuse, EJ / Electric Haze / Worcester MA / October 2017

“For the past four years I’ve been running Airspray, a queer community group, and hosting fabulous monthly queer dance parties. This month’s theme was STAY GOLD and we had some fabulous outfits!”

Ashley and Liz / Friend’s Wedding / Denver, CO / 2017

“We went to the wedding of one of our friends and there was a photobooth at their reception (at a bar which, A+ venue selection), which we took full, drunken advantage of.”

Stephanie and Dwyn / 29, 27  / Our Birthday Week! / San Francisco, CA / October 26, 2017

“Our birthdays are three days apart and happen to fall during a fairly busy time of year for both of us. However, the nonprofit I (Dwyn) work at was having a small fundraiser at a yacht club so we got the chance to dress up a little and spend the evening celebrating together somewhere fancy. It was pretty much the most fun way to celebrate our birthdays.”

Maria and Kathryn / 25 / Friend’s Wedding / Bundoran, Ireland / 24 September, 2016

“These photos were taken at the wedding of one of my girlfriend’s closest friends. She was a bridesmaid and it was the first wedding we went to together. I love going to weddings and nothing makes Kathryn happier than dancing like an idiot (she is a much better dancer than me). I remember that I could barely stop smiling all night.”

Amanda and Abbie / 29, 27 / We Were Legally Married! / Canmore, Alberta, Canada / July 26, 2012

“The picture I have chosen to include for this collection is the moment our officiant pronounced Abbie and I wives. It was a moment of such pure joy, and our incredible photographer (Canada’s best, who basically did our wedding pro bono) was able to capture it so well. We live in the state of Washington, and at the time we were planning our wedding, it was not legal to marry in our state. It was very important to us that we married, not domesticated (that’s what we called Washington’s domestic partnership law). My family is from Montana, hers is from Pittsburgh, so it seemed fair that everyone be required to travel for our wedding, including us. The event was hosted in a bed and breakfast, where they provided everything we needed for two full days–an incredible rehearsal dinner with beer and wine, a wedding day brunch, picnic baskets for guests to take as they explored the beauty of Banff National Park, rounds and rounds of phenomenal tapas for the wedding dinner, along with a fully stocked open bar, and a goodbye brunch the following morning. Our wedding was a very small, intimate affair, and truly the most lovely day of my life. Because most of us stayed together in the b&b, everyone felt their attendance was important and appreciated (and it was!). Also, our family members who attended, some of whom did not understand why we chose Canada as our wedding location (or were even against gay marriage to begin with), gained a newfound appreciation and respect for our love, our relationship, and the value we placed in the ability to become legal spouses. My wife and I have been together now for nine years, and legally married for five of those. Cheers to many more years!”

Kathryn Niesche, Tigger!, Governor of Victoria Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Taylor Mac, Creatrix Tiara, Mama Alto / Morning Reception for Melbourne Festival / Government House, Victoria / October 17 2017

“For the last month or so I was part of the Melbourne Festival production of Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade History of Popular Music, a 24-hour high-glam super-queer Radical Faerie Realness Ritual performance art concert extravaganza exploring US history from 1776 to now via music that was popular and/or relevant for its time. (Though anything I could say about it would really be an understatement). I was a Dandy Minion, a “candystriper meets cabin attendant meets Rocky Horror Picture Show floor show cast member”: a bridge between the audience and the stage, providing support through fabulousity. It’s one of the most epic experiences of both my creative and personal life – getting to know all of these amazing talented people and being part of a unique, incredible, and transformative experience.

The artists performing at Melbourne Festival, including the cast and crew of 24 Decades, were invited to Government House for tea with the Governor of Victoria. It was really entertaining to see a colonial institution (the Governor is technically a representative of the Queen of England in Australia) filled up primarily with queers, gender-benders, and other rebels.

What I found especially entertaining was my mother’s reaction to the photo. I told her about our invite to the Governor’s house and how I wore her kebaya, and she got so excited she posted the photo to her Facebook profile – and the comments are filled with blessings and well-wishes from relatives and old family friends. Yet if any of them knew that everyone on the couch (save the Governor though who knows really) was very openly queer, with at least a couple being trans and/or non-binary, and that we were part of a production that relished in sexuality and taboo-breaking and copious amounts of nudity, they would all be scandalised. (Hell Tigger! is wearing a very lacy outfit with pretty much nothing underneath!!!) Respectability politics can count for something sometimes!”

Emily and Maddy / 24, 21 / Friends’ Wedding / Asheville, NC / October 7, 2016

“Emily’s best friend got married, and we traveled to Asheville to celebrate! Technically the wedding was in nearby Weaverville, which is beautiful and mountainous and home to a llama named Chocolate Chip who made it into some of the pictures. Best memory: this photo booth picture, which perfectly captures the trip/our friendship.”

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  1. Oh my gosh, thank you all for sharing your joy and smiles! You are all so good-looking! So many of you are married and your weddings are gorgeous!

    Also, couple who met in nun school, please write a book. Or at least an AS post.

    • I have written several fictional pieces that use our origin story. They never quite reach the magic of the real thing. I probably will try to capture our true story someday. :)

  2. These photos are giving me such life today! Excellent, excellent job everybody! ? ☀️ ❤️

    Also, *thank you* Autostraddle editors and contributors for posting such powerfully uplifting content today. I was expecting this day to feel heavy af, and in some ways it still is, but I’m filled with more energy, optimism, and love than I could’ve expected.

  3. Wedding at Crystal Bridges! I worked there from the beginning of construction until early 2014 and would have LOVED to be there for your wedding! I helped lots of cute couples get engaged and do elopement ceremonies on the trails and at the LOVE sculpture but I just know y’all would have been my faves.

    If you ever come down to Shreveport, hit me up and I’ll buy you a beverage of your choice!

  4. my favorite part of this gallery is that there are so many weddings and engagements and group celebrations and i’m just like I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY LOOK AT MY COOL PINK SPARKLY DRESS PAY ATTENTION TO ME!! which, frankly, is very on brand and i have no regrets.

    but for real, this whole gallery makes my heart explode, thank you everyone who contributed and thank you laneia for tirelessly putting these together and thank you queer people for making my whole goddamn world go round <3

  5. It was such a joy to be a part of Jack and Darcy’s day. They are both loving and caring individuals, and I feel so lucky to have them as friends. If either of them are reading this, love you both!

    Saying that, it was such a joy to look at all these celebratory pictures and read their words. On a day that feels very positive for queer people, this post gave me one more reason to be happy today.

  6. This is adorable and all the weddings (and all y’all!) are beautiful!

    ALSO: Vicky – Madrid??? Because I am also here and am lacking in English-speaking queer lady friends, so, like, send me a message or something so we can maybe be friends? Awesome.

    • @gasp-its-harto HIIIIII! Yes Madrid, I live here! And I am a very-queer, very-lady, and very-English speaking person and we should def be friends! I know a lot of other queer ladies (a few who speak English lol). Let’s meet up ?

  7. I love this. So many weddings and friends’ weddings! So many Pride celebrations! And engagements! And birthdays! And sparklers! And a unicorn boat! Life is good.

    • Not to mention the graduations and misc friend groups having fun in beautiful places. Love the backpack photo and the Spice Girls.

  8. OMG, I’m loving all these celebrations! I am so excited to see so many weddings, and engagements, and I really want in on that murder mystery, it looks like so much fun. Also, shout out to all the Andrea’s in here ❤️

    • This is amazing!!! I saw Taylor Mac do a lecture/radio broadcast interview at my university on art and activism this past January, around inauguration time (along with Bill T. Jones, a modern dance legend, and Niegel Smith, a playwright). The three interviewees were so incredibly insightful and inspiring, and…I’m just so grateful for queer artists. As a queer dancer/performance art person myself, I’m super excited to know that Autostraddle folks have connections like this! How cool that you are/were in this production!

  9. oh autostraddle! i did not realize how much i needed to see page after page of smiling, in love, happy, celebrating queers on this day; but here i am with tears streaming down my face beaming back at it all. thank you for this. and for everything. literally so worth my A+ membership just for this feeling. thank you.

  10. I LOVE ALL THE HAPPY QUEERS. Also, I gave up wedding photography because I’m so incredibly tired of straight people and they far outnumbered the queer folks I worked with, but damn this makes me want to go find way more queer weddings because they are genuinely the greatest experiences.

    • Queer weddings really are the best. My partner’s a wedding officiant and my favorite weddings to try to invite myself to are the queer ones – especially for older, long term couples who never expected to be able to marry.

  11. This is just lovely, all of you beautiful people. Congratulations to you all on your engagements,weddings,graduations,fun with friends, theatre parties…..everything. You’re all doing you with love and style.

  12. These are all such lovely photos <3 <3 also, hey Erin and Sarah who got married in Wandsworth! That's where I grew up, it's so nice to see some happy queer people getting married there :)

  13. You all are lovely. Seeing all of this happy makes me so happy! (And not just because my darling girlfriend and I are featured in it)
    Keep it up, friends. Remember – better days are coming. :)

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