Feeling jaded about love? Perhaps this story will help lift you from your funk. A gay couple in Britain just celebrated their 55th anniversary together. They are believed to be the country’s longest gay pairing.
78-year-old Ted Spring and 77-year-old Paul Pollard first met at The Lockyer Hotel, one of only two gay speakeasies in their hometown of Plymouth at the time, back in 1960, when homosexuality was still considered illegal in the U.K.
“I was chatting to a friend of his when he came over. He bought me a drink and we just started talking,” Ted told The Plymouth Herald. “He’s never bought me a drink since, mind you!”
“I knew from the minute I saw him that this is someone I could spend the rest of my life with,” he added.
When they first met, Ted admits he was still struggling with coming to terms with his sexuality.
“I was always frightened by the gay side of life, but Paul didn’t care,” he explained. “He always used to say, ‘What’s wrong with being queer? What’s wrong with that? Who cares what people think!’”
“He showed me that no matter who you love, or what you love, love is beautiful and, after being with Paul for 55 years, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.”
The couple eventually went into business together, managing several bars and restaurants before eventually opening a small B&B, which they ran until they retired in 2000.
Over that time, they saw huge advancements in gay rights, but Ted confesses there are still times when he misses the good ol’ days, back when homosexuality was still considered taboo and gay people had to band together for support.
“We were like a big family,” he said, speaking of the friends he used to hang out with at The Lockyer Hotel. “We all knew who we were and where we could go. You’d go out and visit people on a Sunday for tea and things like that.”
“The country has changed so much, but prejudice still goes on,” he added. “If a lot more people had a better attitude, it would allow for a greater portion of society to live their lives.”