Luminary Couples, an organization created to honor and celebrate long-term same sex couples in South Florida, will be featured in a new permanent exhibit at Stonewall National Museum – Wilton Manors Gallery, 2157 Wilton Drive, on Friday, June 19 from 7-9 p.m. The opening of the exhibit, showcasing members of the Luminary Couples (same-sex couples who have been together 20 years or more), will be accompanied by a reception where the organization will induct six new couples. At the reception, posters displaying the images and stories of all of the couples in the group will be on display. The following day, Saturday, June 20, the Luminary Couples will participate in Wilton Manors’ Stonewall Festival and twilight Pride Parade. The Luminary Couples float is sponsored by Magnum Healthcare and supported by Stonewall National Museum & Archives.
Luminary Couples began in 2011 when Stonewall National Museum & Archives (SNMA) and Wilton Manors Pride Parade organizers decided to provide a showcase for long-term same sex couples. The project recruited ten couples and hosted a reception at Stonewall Library, created posters for each of the participating couples that included a recent photo, in addition to one from early on in their relationship, and included a story about the life of each LGBT couple. In the parade the couples rode in vintage cars and were very well-received by the crowd.
In 2012, thanks to a donation from Magnum Healthcare owner Charley Menten and his partner John Fama, the couples were again able to participate in the Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade. That milestone galvanized the couples into forming a group, which raised funds to cover other costs. Prior to the parade, SNMA hosted another reception for the couples, at a pop-up gallery space on Wilton Drive, at which time eight additional couples were inducted. 2013 brought four new couples and the decision was made to form a social group that would meet throughout the year.
Posters from the original exhibit and subsequent years are housed at SNMA and are also on display at the Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors, Florida. For more information about Luminary Couples, visit luminarycouples.org, call 954-646-6456 or e-mail Marco Magdaluyo, President, at Marco.Magdaluyo@luminarycouples.org.