Most Adorable Gay Couple Ever Celebrating 54 Years of Love And Five Years of Marriage

adorable-old-gay-coupleShow us one thing better than an old gay couple that’s been together for half a century.

We effing dare you.

Case in point: cutest couple in the world, John Darby and Jack Bird, who will celebrate 54 years of love and life together in July and their five-year wedding anniversary two months later.

The AFP profiled John and Jack and it’s basically the best thing ever:

“I will always remember putting this on his finger,” Darby said, touching the wedding ring on Bird’s hand. “It was a marvelous day.”

“It is so important to realize that gay life is so much more than just sex; it is love,” he continued as Bird nodded.

“It would be lovely if we could die together, just go to sleep holding hands and let relatives get rid of everything for us.”

John and Jack met in 1959 at a friend’s apartment in San Francisco during a Fourth of July party. John had just gotten back from trips to Cuba and Mexico and was living with a “roommate” at the time, but that didn’t stop Jack from running away with his heart that night:

“I was younger, a lot younger and taller,” Darby recalled. And then he spied the blue-eyed Bird. “I fell in love,” Darby said.

Darby went to use the bathroom only to find a queue, with Bird among those waiting in the hallway.

“He looked at me and I looked down and kissed him,” said Darby, who stands taller than 5-foot, 4-inch Bird.

From there, things moved quickly as the two men got “engaged” — or as engaged as two men could get 50 years ago — found an apartment together and opened up a joint checking account. Later they found out their next door neighbors were a lesbian couple.

Though their family was not accepting of their relationship, John and Jack  bought a house together and lived their lives in private — never holding hands or kissing in public, confiding only in their gay friends. Then in September 2008, they wed in San Francisco during the brief window ultimately closed by Prop 8.

By then they had moved into the San Francisco Towers retirement community. In 1998, when they initially moved in there, they were told that two men could not share a one-bedroom apartment, but today their photo appears in the Towers’ promotional materials. After they got married, a group of their fellow residents had a party to congratulate them. Some people never spoke to John and Jack again, while some people managed to completely surprise them.

“What was really amazing,” Darby said, “was two days later there was a bag hanging on our door with a bottle of champagne and a card from an elderly widow who I thought didn’t even know what the word ‘gay’ meant.”

In the case of Jack and John, it simply means love. Now excuse us, there’s a box of tissues that needs to be brutally assaulted by our tears.

Photo: AFP/File, Josh Edelson

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  • tdx3fan

    For the life of me, I will never understand how anyone thinks that being gay has sexual activity as a core value. Being gay is about being IN LOVE with another man. It is about love. It has nothing to do with fucking. Sexual activity is a spectrum, and that spectrum for many can consist of both sexes. Being gay is an emotional activity not a sexual one.

  • Caliban

    I love this quote.

    ‘Darby laughed while recalling times he was asked who is the husband and who is the wife in the relationship.

    “Asking a gay couple which one is the wife is like asking chopsticks which is the fork.”‘

  • Martin

    Such a heart warming story :-) I wish them many more happy years together x

  • tdx3fan

    @Caliban: Depends on the couple. I am quite proud of the fact that I am undoubtedly the wife. Everything I do is centered around the traditional female role of the relationship, and he is the ultimate bread winner and centers around the traditional male role. Every relationship is different.

  • darkorient

    Awwww… :’)

  • 2eo

    @tdx3fan: All of a sudden the apologist rhetoric makes a lot more sense.

  • DMingledorff

    This story parallels that of my partner and me. We celebrated 52 years together in October 2012. Sadly he died last Christmas morning due to complications of Parkinson’s
    Disease. It was the saddest day of my life. When these guys said they wish they could die together I totally understand.Our lives were so entwined it makes it difficult to continue some days but somehow you do. Having a lifetime committment with someone you
    love is incredible and I wish more of my Gay brothers and sisters could achieve it.
    However, for whatever reason it is not always possible for some people. We HAVE come a
    long way though.

  • Texasteacher

    @DMingledorff: I’m so sorry for your loss! I wish I could jump through the computer and give you a big hug.

  • mjcc1987

    @DMingledorff: God bless you @DMingledorff. Next week is our 25th and I am going to propose. I have the ring and am scared shitless. I feel 25 all over again. I can’t waste another second worry what others will say. My world and life centers on him and he deserves ALL I can give.

  • DMingledorff

    It amazes me sometimes how we have allowed straights to instill fear into us about relationships. You absolutely should not be “scared”. It will be the most wonderful thing you will ever do.You’have been together for 25 years and know each other extremely well by now. We missed out on getting married as we had no idea Prop 8 and all the HATE it carried would overtake us. Your commentary tells me all I need to know about your devotion and that my friend is what it takes.

  • LadyL

    @mjcc1987: @DMingledorff: Aw, you guys. You’re gonna make me cry. *hugs*

  • LadyL

    Beautiful story, Queerty. I’ve had a crappy day and this has made me smile and remember what matters.

  • rcs831

    @DMingledorff: I’m so sorry for your loss. You must have so many amazing and happy memories.

  • RickinTheCity

    I LOVE this story. My partner and I have been together 28 years and as soon as the SCOTUS finally gives us our well deserved marriage freedom we are going to “tie the knot”. We didn’t do it during the window before Prop 8 because we were holding out for national freedom for all our gay brothers and sisters but we have decided that time isn’t on our side and we don’t want to die unmarried. It’s a very sad state in this country that as supposedly the “leader” of the free world so many other countries have shamed us in allowing gays to marry while we act like an ignorant backward third-world nation. Here’s hoping things change for all of us soon!!

  • Tackle

    Nice story all-around. And I like how the San Francisco Towers retirement community eventually came around and now have the two on their promotional material.

  • Niall

    @tdx3fan: I’m not sure if I’m interpreting this right, looking at your last sentence, it’ll suggest that if you were the kind of person who for whatever reason could form romantic attractions with men but was only capable of sex with a woman, you’d be gay? Doubt it.

  • manxxxx

    This story and the replies reaffirm everything my partner of 36 1/2 years have had in our lives. Our family is large and has always been accepting of our relationship. There has never been a hint of anyone’s ever indicating that our relationship was less authentic, less loving, less valid than that of our parents, siblings, etc. We have always been referred to as “son-in-law” and “brother-in-law” as well as “uncle.” We know how lucky we are to have each had only one incident in our respective work places where we were attacked (not physically) because we were gay. It happened to my partner 35 years ago, and to me last year. At times of illness we have never had problems with being there or being “allowed” to be there for one another. Our neighbors and co-workers have always been supportive and welcoming. We don’t talk about what does or does not go on in the bedroom…but neither do our heterosexually-couple relatives; but, we do talk about our love for one another and to our young nieces and nephews how important it is for them to nurture their relationships.

    Despite all of the joys we have had in our lives and our domestic partnership, we still crave that one missing piece, marriage equality in our state, Nevada. Lives and relationships as demonstrated here are at the heart of marriage equality. I truly believe that many, many people are our allies and admire us as they and we do Jack and John.

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