With Pride Month in full swing across the world, beautiful stories have been emerging about couples and how they're choosing to ring in the landmark celebration. For Nick Cardello and Kurt English, who've been together as a couple for 25 years, that meant one special thing — re-creating a poignant photo that they took at a Pride event when they first became a couple.
Speaking with Buzzfeed News after their Facebook post went viral, the duo shared that the original photo — a cute moment of Cardello kissing English on the cheek, with a Pride flag waving in the background — took place when they decided to attend the March on Washington in 1993. "[It] was a kind of second coming-out for us," Cardello explained, noting that he didn't usually share such "affectionate" photos. "Most of [the photos] have been kind of generic — a lot of people get kind of sensitive to seeing images of gay men kissing, so I've always resisted posting them on social media." However, this year he decided to change his mind, because it was "important for people to see that image."
The re-creation of the photo happened naturally, when the couple returned to the same spot — this time as part of the Equality March in Washington — 24 years later.
Within days of Cardello posting the diptych on Facebook, social media websites including Tumblr and Twitter had reposted it hundreds of thousands of times, which genuinely surprised and delighted Cardello. "It's who we are," he told Buzzfeed. "When we started reading the comments and were tuned into what it meant to people ... that was really touching."
"What's interesting to see from the photos that have gone viral is the comments from the youth," he continued. "They don't see many photos of gay couples getting old together. They're tagging their significant others, saying, 'this could be us'. That was really cute."
As for people who still may not be receptive to gay couples, Cardello has some simple words of advice for them. "People need time to adjust," he explained. "I needed time to feel comfortable posting those photos, and people needed time to see them." Here's to 25 more years of happiness for him and English.