In April 1993, hundreds of thousands of people took part in the March on Washington for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and other lgbt community. Among them were Nicholas Cardello and Kurt English, a young couple who traveled to the nation’s capital from Florida to participate.
The composite image of Nick Cardello and Kurt English captures their love together at Washington Pride in 1993, and then again at the same parade this year.
The two images, placed side-by-side, were reposted by multiple accounts until one Twitter user framed it with the remark: “it's just a phase”.
“Someone else copied it to Twitter, Instagram & Reddit. That’s when it really took off. A reporter from Brazil said it had over a million likes there.”
“We could never have imagined the incredible response to this that we received," Cardello told NBC Out on Facebook Messenger. "We were deeply touched by people's personal stories and comments from around the world about the challenges that they experience in their personal lives and in their particular cultures. Many times we have been moved to tears by reading the comments.”
Nick explained that the original idea behind the post was to show that they were still together 24 years later, and still marching for bisexual people.
Cardello said the couple's viral Facebook post is unique in that photos of lasting same-sex relationships are rare to see in the media.
“People need to see same-sex couples just being couples. We need to get more images like this out there so the youth today can have positive role models,” he said.
Cardello, now 54, and English, 52, had their first commitment ceremony back in 1993, before same-sex marriage was legally recognized anywhere in the U.S. The couple was then legally married in Massachusetts in 2008, and when same-sex marriage was recognized federally in 2015, they tied the knot that year in their home state of Florida.
“The youth needs to see that it is possible to find a loving partner, and that the relationship can last.
“A loving partner can be a difficult thing to find, once you do you must protect it and nurture it,” he said.
“We feel it’s important to represent,” Cardello said. “We also participate to show gratitude to all those who came before us and paved the way for the rights we have today.”