Picture Perfect: 100 Years of Men in Love

Written by | The Lens

When your soul ascends to gay heaven, what do you wish to leave below? Material possessions are a nice gift for your heirs, but your legacy is much more intangible and savagely personal. Your keepsakes are an archaeological puzzle that piece together what was important to you in life and what will define you after death.

These are the themes of David Millbern’s dazzling documentary 100 Years of Men in Love: The Accidental Collection. It explores found photographic evidence that queer affection has existed forever. As taboo as these trysts may have been, they are also as natural as any hetero coupling.

“We really are the same human being,” Millbern explains to Awards Daily, “we’re just dressed up in different space suits, if you will.”

After sweeping viewers off their feet last year, the program is now sweeping its way into the cultural realm.

“I was so honored that this TV special is not only playing in a Hollywood museum in Los Angeles, but the Palm Springs Art Museum is now dedicating an evening to it coming up April 8th for a charity fundraiser.”

Guests will travel back in time aboard a rush of defiant desires and enduring romance.

“The love is captured at a time when these men could have been put in prison or lost their entire livelihood. They could have ruined their lives. Yet they felt their love mattered so much that they wanted to capture it. Little did they know those photos would survive and their love would be basically a call to action. I feel that these pictures show that we stand on their shoulders. The ability to love freely whoever we choose is basically resting on the shoulders of those who showed us the way.”

Millbern is humbled by the sacrifices his subjects made in the past so that we may have a more vibrant future.

“They are looking down at us and saying thank you. Thank you for bringing these pictures to life. Thank you for honoring our love and acknowledging that it mattered. Because it mattered to them.”

Punctuating his point emphatically, Millbern wraps a century of inclusion into one crystalizing declaration.

“Love matters then and it matters now.”

History made.

Last modified: March 24, 2023