A picture tells a thousand words.
And they don’t come much more poignant than this one which has gone viral on social media with hundreds of thousands of re-tweets and likes.
The composite image of Nick Cardello and Kurt English captures their love together at Washington Pride in 1993, and then again at the same parade this year.
The two images, placed side-by-side, were reposted by multiple accounts until one Twitter user framed it with the remark: “it’s just a phase”.
The post exploded.
Nick, a photographer, told Pink News he “could never have imagined” the response which the picture would generate.
“I only posted the photo on my Facebook page after the march. It took off from there,” he said.
“Someone else copied it to Twitter, Instagram & Reddit. That’s when it really took off. A reporter from Brazil said it had over a million likes there.”
”it's just a phase” pic.twitter.com/WlkgiHDnh9
— mh (@tagyourheathen) June 18, 2017
Nick explained that the original idea behind the post was to show that they were still together 24 years later, and still marching for LGBT equality.
“For other reasons now, compared to 24 years ago, but still not full equality.”
The reactions from people all over the world had deeply affected him and Kurt.
“Many times we have been moved to tears by reading the comments. There have been so many supportive comments on the post, such as ‘Relationship Goals,’” he said, though some had simply made him laugh.
One person commented: “Look how old they got,” to which Nick said: “We were 30 years old in the first photo and 54 in the second, and we were thinking: ‘Yes, you too will get old!’”
He said he learned through the post that “it is rare to see these types of images in the media, of same-sex couples growing old together.
“The youth needs to see that it is possible to find a loving partner, and that the relationship can last.
“A loving partner can be a difficult thing to find, once you do you must protect it and nurture it,” he said.