To Love and Be Loved / Gay Liberation in New York City

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    George Segal (November 26, 1924 , New York - June 9, 2000, New Brunswick, New Jersey) was an American painter and sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement. He was presented with a National Medal of Arts in 1999.

    Love transcends our artificially-created barriers. We are all children of God, whatever form that God may take. In time, in the United States, we will change - and correct - the discriminatory laws that have been unjustly been imposed on various groups of people within our population.

    About the sculpture "Gay Liberation":

    In 1979, pop sculptor Segal was commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund, a private Cleveland-based foundation that supports public art, to create a work that would commemorate New York City's Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 riot that conveniently (if somewhat simplistically) marks the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement.

    The result was the first piece of public art commemorating the struggle of glbtq people for equality, predating Amsterdam's "Homomonument" by some seven years.

    Tellingly, Segal's sculpture has, from the very beginning, been at the center of controversy and suffered the kinds of assaults and bashings that glbtq people themselves have all too often experienced. The sculpture has been attacked frequently (both physically and esthetically) as well as having been moved around. Since 1992, it has stood very comfortably, however, in Sheridan Park, New York, the site of the Stonewall Inn

    The sculpture, a life-like, life-size bronze group, painted white, depicts four figures: a standing male couple and a seated female couple. One of the men holds the shoulder of his partner; one of the seated women gently touches her friend's thigh. The poses are non-dramatic, but quietly powerful, suggesting depths of love and companionship.

    Segal's aim in his depiction of the couples was to normalize and domesticize homosexual relationships, rescuing them from the sensationalized, over-sexualized images so common in the popular media. At the same time, however, Segal emphasizes the physical element of relationships. The partners' soulful gazing into each other's eyes symbolizes commitment and communion, but their touching represents physical intimacy.

    As David Lindsey has observed, "'Gay Liberation' is all about touch and tender, affirmative embrace."

    The artist himself remarked, "The sculpture concentrates on tenderness, gentleness and sensitivity as expressed in gesture. It makes the delicate point that gay people are as feeling as anyone else."

    The political significance of the mundane reality of loving couples is suggested by the title, "Gay Liberation."

    Segal's choice to define gay liberation in terms of ordinary, committed relationships is itself profoundly political. It quietly but unmistakably affirms the unexceptionable observation that the aspirations of gay men and lesbians are no different from those of heterosexual couples. The personal is made political in this case not by the artist or by the couples, but by the social and legal prohibitions against the most basic of human needs, the need to love and be loved.

    Some critics complained that the figures appear too sad, but the complex interior life the figures display expresses, at least in part, the ambiguous place gay men and lesbians occupy in the American public consciousness, surely cause enough for sadness.

    sources: wiki and glbtq online encyclopedia. see:

    StephenCotterellPhotography, c_vivi, and 15 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Don3rdSE 77 months ago | reply

      nice shot! Well done!

      I saw this wonderful photo in HIDDEN TREASURE GROUP


    2. kerrins_giraffe 77 months ago | reply

      Love is love and it doesn't matter if it is between two men, two women, or a man and a woman. Love is love, and it should all be treated the same. If we are supposed to have true separation of church and state, then why does it matter what it says in the bible about marriage. Someone answer that. All people deserve to be treated the same. It says in the Declaration of Independence that we are all created equally.
      Ok I will step off of my mini soap box now.
      Tony this is a great photo.

      Seen on your photo stream.(>?<)

    3. Tony Fischer Photography 77 months ago | reply

      Hi and Thanks!

      I think we tend to interpret important documents as we wish. There is much about the development of the Bible that is thought-provoking. I went to Catholic high school and had different interpretations of the Bible amongst the teachers.

      The spirit of the Declaration and the Constitution supports individual rights as does most of the great thought and writing throughout the ages. I think the more open and accepting a society, the more happy and successful the people are.

      When we examine the worst dictatorships of the world and the most oppressive societies, we find a high degree of unhappiness and societal failure -as well as violence and hatred - such as in in Germany, for example.

      It is a matter of historical fact, not just philosophy.

      Love is a beautiful thing, There should be lots more of it!

    4. c_vivi 77 months ago | reply

      Wonderful shot!!!

    5. Celeste y Blanco 77 months ago | reply

      Tu Foto ha sido vista en el grupo
      Fotografía y Otros

      El cual se verá asi:

      Tu Foto ha sido vista en el grupo
      Fotografía y Otros
      Muchas Gracias

    6. prdsra2 77 months ago | reply

      Compliments, I like it;
      Please add this photo to

      "your preferred pictures"

    7. billnbenj 77 months ago | reply

      An excellent picture of some great pieces of sculpture,enhanced as ever by your detailed notes.

    8. Tony Fischer Photography 77 months ago | reply

      Thanks so much. I am so happy to have the opportunity to post this on flickr.

    9. Patrickometry 76 months ago | reply

      We'd love to have this photo in the new GCRM (Gay Civil Rights Movement) Media Club photo group.

      We're a chapter of The GCRM Media Club where GLBTQ media producers, media collectors, activists & allies come together. Join us.

    10. onetalentdog 71 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called soulful group, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    11. onetalentdog 71 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called open to be gay and freedom, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    12. Fabio Leone 71 months ago | reply


      visit my flickrspace @
      you're welcome

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