‘When you know, you know!’, ‘She’s the one!!’, ‘It was love at first site!!’ These are just a few of our very favorite things to hear when we ask our couples about meeting their person! As the month of Pride comes to a beautiful, colorful and brilliantly bold end, we like it just as well to say love in all its forms is beautiful. Our job as photojournalists in documenting love stories knows no boundaries and cares greatly for all the diverse ways people can love one another. After all, there isn’t one person that can possibly know what love means to everyone else; that is love is subjective and what may make you swoon may not phase me. What may make me go ‘ga ga’, may make you curious to know just what makes me tick! There are so many forms of love and why restrict our scope based on limited experience, exposure or even understanding.
Today, we also mark 50 years from the riots at Stonewall, an event that really mobilized the LGBTQ movement across this country and inspired others around the world. Reflecting on this moment in history half a century ago, reminds me that it is also equally important to be and have allies in all movements which seek equality for every body. Safe space for people to connect, commune and show their love is also paramount in growing a world of tolerance and love. I’m likely preaching to the choir here but let us also take pause to remember how far we have come for equal rights for same sex couples as well as how far we still have to go. So much pioneering has be done by activists pushing forward legislation that advocates for dignity and equal status to all same-sex couples and their families and abolishes laws that limit rights. It was just in June of 2015 when the United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage between peoples of the same sex was legal in all 50 states.
It’s with this forward progress that make such celebrations as the wedding we documented earlier this month a public, honored and celebratory occasion in one of Chicago’s most notable, historic hotels in the Loop. Keeping in mind that less than a century earlier, white men were the primary guests, visitors and social leaders of such spaces. Women, people of color and certainly any queer celebrations where not openly hosted, attended or praised. Whilst The Windy City is notably a liberal bubble and metropolitan hub of its own accord, progress still takes time to really grow roots and shine brightly in public arenas. It’s therefore even more imperative that those of us who are family in the LGBTQ community and our allies take every inch we move forward and push it down that Mag Mile! And Sophie + Melissa did exactly that with the support of their friends, families and about 50 of Melissa’s co workers, Chicago Police Department officers. Truly the city was standing in their honor!
As I write this sweet, photographic diary, I am listening to the bold and brilliant song that Sophie + Melissa had played as they entered the grand ballroom at Hotel Allegro upon being announced as Wife + Wife! Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days are Over is THE PERFECT ballad of love, progress and resilience. As these two women entered, the gusto and sincere pride they have in their hearts shined so brightly. Everyone in the room was standing with them, in great support of their love and applauding as if the Chicago Cubs won the world series again; but this time LOVE WINS in Chicago! The incredible energy and excitement of moving forward with this big, true and equal love was palpable. To think, less than 100 years ago, this couldn’t have happened in such an open and supportive way. It’s truly incredible and we are all part of making history move forward. Sophie’s father even mentioned his own journey of acceptance and honoring his daughter’s choice for seeking, finding and honoring her true love. His honesty shows that we are evolving as humans, we are changing and we can move forward.
To my beautiful, lovely brides of recent Chicago Pride glory, I am honored to have had my team along side to tell your love story. We are allies, family and friends. Rose Photo believes fully that #lovewins and that living your best, true and honest life leads you to the biggest and best love one can dream of. Thank you for trusting us with your love story. To many more chapters!