It all started with a charming collection of vintage photos of gay couples privately and often secretly celebrating their relationships. This volume is a unique collection of photographs of gay couples from 1900 to 1960. While this is a time many now regard as the deeply closeted “dark ages,” these photos show gay couples who were clearly out (at least for a moment) – some camping it up for the cameras while others in loving or clearly domestic poses.
These photographs were discovered and collected by Sébastien Lifshitz at flea markets and garage sales, the names of the subjects and their photographers lost to time. He was intrigued by the fact that the pictures show couples posed hand in hand, revealing happiness, serenity, and a surprising air of freedom so unlike the image of gays suffering in secret or fighting for their rights. This unique collection inspired Sebastien Lifshitz to restore to these nameless couples their voices in his documentary movie The Invisibles for which he was awarded the Cesar Award for Best Documentary in 2013. In the film, several elderly homosexual men and women speak frankly about their pioneering lives, their fearless decision to live openly in France at a time when society rejected them.