Have you heard about the mystery of the 1957 gay wedding photos that recently surfaced?
If not, you will soon!
The fascinating mystery is about to become a television show.
Read on to learn more about how these photos came to light and what Hollywood plans to do with them.
Gay Life in the 1950s- The Story Behind the Story
To understand why these photos are so phenomenal, it’s important to know what life was like back then for gay couples.
The gay rights movement in the United States has come a long way in recent years.
On September 20, 2011, the U.S. military lifted the ban on openly gay troops.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was enacted in 1993, which banned lesbians, gays, and bisexuals from openly serving in the military.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
However, it wasn’t always that way. In the 1950’s, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) classified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
It wasn’t until 1987 that it was no longer classified as a mental disorder.
Needless to say, gay marriage was far from legal during the 1950s.
However, a brave gay couple apparently tied the knot in 1957, but it is a mystery as to who the couple is.
The Mystery of 1957 Gay Wedding Photos
In 1957, a newly-married gay couple dropped off their film, of wedding photos, to be developed at a neighborhood drugstore, located on the corner of North Broad Street and Allegheny Avenue, in North Philadelphia.
Sadly, the couple never received their photos. The drugstore manager refused to give them to their rightful owners because he deemed them inappropriate.
This was actually legal and part of the store’s policy.
However, a drugstore employee held onto the photos. When she passed away in 2013, her daughter discovered them.
The daughter sold the photos to a donor on eBay, who later donated the photos to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles and the John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives in Philadelphia, who both have copyrights to the photos.
In 2017, Neal Baer, P.J. Palmer and Michael J. Wolfe were visiting the ONE Archives where they came across the photos.
Baer said that the photos looked just like your typical 1950’s wedding ceremony, with one exception- the couple getting married were 2 gay men.
“Our One Story” Team Picks Up the Trail
The “Our One Story” team consists of Neal Baer, P.J. Palmer,and Michael J. Wolfe
Neal is a Harvard-trained physician, documentary filmmaker and producer/writer for hit shows like Designated Survivor, ER, Law & Order: SVU and Under the Dome.
Palmer is an award-winning filmmaker, documentary director and producer of Hulu’s web series- “Anyone But Me”
Wolfe is an LA-based writer, teacher and expert on retelling life stories.
A few days after coming across the photos, the trio decided to try and locate the grooms (or their wedding guests) to return their photos to them.
However, to date, their efforts have not been fruitful.
The set of 21 photos depict a happy couple, obviously in love, exchanging vows, sharing their first kiss and their first dance as a married couple, and cutting their wedding cake.
The photos also depict an officiant presiding over the ceremony and a few wedding guests.
Numerous leads, but no success just yet
The team’s search for the couple brought them across many stories from LGBTQ elders about life before the gay rights movement.
The stories were deep, heart-wrenching, and personal, leaving the team wondering how they can share their stories, stories that have likely never been told.
That’s where the idea for a docuseries was born.
The “Our One Story” team is collaborating with Authentic Entertainment, a Burbank-based reality television company that is known for producing hit shows, like Bravo’s Flipping Out and TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras.
They are working to develop an unscripted television series, titled “The Mystery of the 1957 Gay Wedding Photos.”
The docuseries, with a currently unknown release date, will follow the team as they search for clues and answers as to who the couple is, as well as the details surrounding their commitment ceremony.
Read more details of this mystery and share their store as well in “Dear Gentlemen, Your 60-Year-Old Wedding Pics Are Ready- posted by The Philadelphia Citizen.