old friends

Trip to a Very Gay Cemetery

It’s not really an all gay cemetery, but there are a lot of lgbt people buried there. It’s about three miles away from my home, in New Hope, Bucks County, PA, and I usually stop there two or three times a year. I chose (it wasn’t luck) to live and work in a community where lgbt people are treated with equality, and I’m posting the photos below, with explanations, to show how diverse everyone is…even in death. I knew each of these people personally for many years when they were alive, it’s not something I’ve contrived.

The photo above is a long shot of the actual cemetery, where people of all nationalities, races, and backgrounds are buried. It’s part of a small church on a scenic Bucks County Road. Though I’m not big on decorating graves, a lot of people decorate for all holidays.

This photo above is the grave marker for two people who were very dear friends for a very long time. They were a gay couple who met in l960…long before I was born…and lived together as a “married” couple all their lives. They owned property, a very successful design firm in both Manhattan and New Hope, and shared every aspect of their lives, through sickness and health. As you can see from the dates, one of them passed away almost right after the other. I’ve seen this with older gay men and women who have been together for many years. They can’t seem to find a way to survive once their partner is gone.

As I said, they were both very dear friends whom I spoke with daily and socialized with often. I still miss them to this day.

This photo is the grave marker of a rather colorful local in New Hope. We called him “Mother,” or “Josie.” But his real name was Joe and he served in the US military for many years. He was the resident cross-dresser/entertainer in New Hope up until the day he passed away. They even laid him out in drag, big hair and all, with sequins and rhinestones. The day of his funeral, cars were lined in front of the church for blocks.

I’m posting these things partially because these people were very dear to me. And also because I think it’s important to show people all aspects of gay life, not just the junk that’s portrayed in the mainstream media. I also see too many inauthentic things online these days written by people with furtive hidden agendas, which is fine. But I think someone should share the real things, too.