Michael And Spider Collage

Submitted by Michael Ely December 5th, 2011
Certifikitsch WinnerClassique d Camembert

As of December 5th of this year, my partner (Spider) and I have been living together as a couple for 40 years (from 1971 thru 2011). Thru thick and thin, thru ups and downs, thru good times and bad times, as best friends, as music partners and as lovers, we were part of a new wave of gay couples that began living  together out in the open shortly after the Stonewall Riots (the begining of the modern gay rights movement). Check out this video which shows us over the years in photos set to one of our own recordings –


The framed collage piece was created by L.A. artist Marnie Weber using a photo that was taken of Spider and myself back in 1971 (our first year together, when we were a couple of young hippies). Also in the piece is two of our beloved pets (our cat Pumquat and our dog Cheyenne), both who have since gone to pet heaven.  Marnie is a wonderful multi-media artist (collage, sculpture, costume, performance – www.marnieweber.com ) and a dear friend for many years.

My wish is that one day (sooner than later) Spider and I will be able to get married just like our heterosexual counterparts. After 40 years together, I think we have more than proven that our love and commitment is for real….and despite what some backward thinking people may think, our relationship is not a threat to their marriages. This world needs more love, not less.

8 Responses to “Michael And Spider Collage”

  1. Allee Willis

    Massive congrats!!! Vid is great. 40 years together even better. Altho you live in what’s probably one of the toughest states to get equality legislation through I believe people will come to their senses one day and it shall come to pass in Arizona. Happy 40th one way or the other!!

    • Michael Ely

      Dear Allee – Thank you so much for the award. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Yer right, we do live in a conservative state, but I have to believe that things will eventually turn around for us and someday we will enjoy the same marriage rights as others. When that does happen, it will be because of people like yourself making a difference in how people think. btw, Spider and I did have a commitment ceremony a few years back in which we exchanged rings and jumped over a broom hand in hand (taking our cue from the days in which slaves could not marry, so they jumped over a broom). Bottom line is that Spider and I are blessed to have found each other and that is what counts.

  2. Lisa Rios

    Thanks for posting this! What a beautiful love story. Brought tears to my eyes. Such a wonderful photo too. Happy Anniversary!!

  3. shirlie williams

    Michael, that my favourite picture of you and Spider and I love the collage. I had a look at Marnie’s website an her work is fabulous, very creative. Forty years together , you two are really blessed…x

    • Michael Ely

      Thank you, Shirlie. Yes, we feel truly blessed. I was only 18 and Spider was 20 when we met and it was an instant soulmate connection.

      Glad you liked Marnie’s work. She is a very interesting artist and a very sweet person.