QUEER IRL PHOTO GALLERY: Queers in Celebration!

Anastasia / 27 / Salem, Oregon / Halloween, 2017

“Until I can assemble my Darth Amidala costume, I dress every year as a queer from the classics: a maenad.  These were mythological members of an all-woman Dionysian cult who would roam the countryside and tear men limb from limb.”

Vanessa / 27 / My 27th Birthday Party / Portland, OR / December 21, 2015

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m OBSESSED with celebrating my birthday. I like to plan a big party so I can invite everyone I’ve ever met and bake an impressive cake and have everyone compliment me and wish me happy birthday all evening, and that’s exactly what I did for my 27th birthday. I decided to make it a sparkly fancy dress theme and I found the most perfect pink sequin party dress that used to belong to Beth Ditto (!!!!!) at Fat Fancy (a plus size consignment store in Portland) and wore the tiara I wear every year on my birthday and then I went all out and made a DIY photo booth in my bedroom, complete with a gold background, balloons, handmade props, and glittery champagne bottles. It was perfect.”

Meghan and Megan / 39, 32 / Frocktoberfest Birthday Party / Minneapolis, MN / 2012

“This was our second joint birthday party. With birthdays 6 days apart and many friends in common, we combined forces for Meg(h)an^2 birthday parties with different themes based on our combined ages, the year, or, in this case, our birth month and our love of dresses. Our friend & former colleague, Amy, used to work at the Germanic-American Institute and helped us get hold of Oktoberfest-appropriate outfits for ourselves and all our guests. Megan had 2 costume changes during the party! (Photo: Jenny Veile)”

Ari / 20 / My 20th Birthday Party / Boston, MA / March 31, 2017

“This is a before and after series. My friends threw a party for my 20th birthday which started around 7 PM and went into the wee hours of the morning and we played what must have been a hundred rounds of Cards Against Humanity (with several custom cards one of my friends had made, featuring weird inside jokes) and…I was actually genuinely happy.”

Leah and Katie / Our Big Gay Wedding / Toledo, OH / October 21st, 2017

“I’m from Pittsburgh and Katie’s from Chicago so we decided to get married in the middle, which turned out to be Toledo! Since we couldn’t go on a honeymoon right away, we’re celebrating our two week anniversary this Saturday at the Tegan and Sara The Con X show.”

Maggie / 24 / 24th Birthday / Crumbs and Whiskers DC / October 5, 2017

“In these photos, I’m visiting a cat cafe in DC called Crumbs and Whiskers to celebrate my 24th birthday. My partner and I took a day off from work, grabbed lunch, and got to play with adoptable kitties for about an hour. We really fell in love with Cinnamon (pictured) but since our apartment doesn’t allow pets, we couldn’t take her home. Did I say “doesn’t”? I probably should have said “didn’t” because OUR APARTMENT JUST BECAME PET FRIENDLY! Crossing our fingers that Cinnamon is still available for adoption by the time we get the paperwork. To be continued…”

Jess / 26 / Graduating ith My Master of Public Health / Boston, MA / May 20, 2017

“I am the first in my immigrant family to graduate from college and now, with my Master’s. Queer, Brown, hella Proud and ready to fight for people’s rights.”

Erin and Sarah / 28, 27 / Our Wedding / Wandsworth Town Hall, London / 12 December, 2014

“These pictures were from our wedding day, a small but powerful occasion in London. I grew up in New York in a strict Catholic home, which made coming out very difficult. In the end, my parents did not come to our wedding. BUT that did not actually diminish the pure amazingness of the day, and of any day of the nearly three years we have been married. A friend told us the first photo is the happiest photo he’s ever seen. The second is my favourite-  it’s Sarah’s Dad showing us an earlier photo he took. I just love the pure happiness we all have there and how it defies everything I ever imagined acceptance had to be.”

Rachel and Hannah / 29, 30 / 10 Year Un-niversary Party / New Orleans, LA / February, 2016

“We started dating when we were gaybies and after 8 years we “broke up” and became extra special super committed friends (dare I say “platonic life partners”?!). On the 10th anniversary of our coming together we had a big party where folks shared stories of how friendship had given their life meaning. Photo credit: Melisa Cardona.”

Lauren and Carolyn / 23, 24 / 4th Anniversary / Jamaica Plain, MA / September 2017

“You know those flirty anonymous messages you think about sending to your “crush” on Tumblr? Well, this is what could happen when your crush actually responds. Though we’ve been long distance almost our entire relationship, we make the time to see each other at least once every two months, occasionally even leaving the house to go on adventures. Hopefully once Carolyn is done with grad school we can live together in the Boston Land of Queers (aka Jamaica Plain), where we celebrated our most recent anniversary during a visit.”

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  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. This day is too much, in the best way.

    Thanks AS and all the cuties celebrating for all the pure joy!

    • On a second note, I had to stop reading this post at work cause I started tearing up after the 3rd picture. I am a weak gay ?

  3. 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.

  4. Dear Lesbian Murder Mystery Totally 80s Prom people, please write a post about how to host this event

    • gonna work so hard as your community editor to make this happen — Lesbian Murder Mystery Totally 80s Prom People, i am gonna be contacting you! we must give the queers what they want!!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

    • I keep wanting to have a big blowout birthday with everyone I’ve met but I find it hard to even get ONE PERSON to show up -_-;;

  7. I love everything about this. You are all incredibly pure and wonderful people. Bookmarked for days when I’m feeling blue.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ?

      • @vickys1 Awesome! Wanna maybe grab coffee or something this weekend? Cool. I’ve followed you on insta, so we can carry on chatting on there ???

  10. 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.

  11. I read every caption on every single picture, y’all are so sweet and happy and this is wonderful and pure and good

  12. 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 ❤️

  13. This is so sweet and pure and I love it so much. Thank you for helping us get through this day today.

    • 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Love that there were a few A-Camp marriages in here! so many lives have been drastically changed because of this website ❤️

  18. 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 :)

  19. 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. :)

  20. Maggie, you’re going to have to write back and update on the Cinnamon situation. Now I’m invested in this story…

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