Same Sex Grave

1025957_10152923745131552_7106389068356719703_oKarl Lubcke
Oct. 1980.

Gerry Cummins
Oct. 1978

Together with everlasting friendship, love & trust.
Deep waters,
Cannot quench
Nor floods,
Sweep it


The clasped hands initially drew me to this grave marker in the Cowes Cemetery on Phillip Island. The clasped hands were a popular symbol on Victorian-era grave markers and symbolised reunion of a couple in heaven. I had never seen a modern grave marker with the clasped hands symbolism and when I walked closer I realised that the two hands were both male. In Victorian times there was always one male hand and one female hand, which was finer and had a lacy shirt cuff, so this is certainly a real twist on Victorian era symbolism!

What also surprised me was that the grave is in country Victoria, Australia, and that it was erected in the early 1980s, which is not a place nor a time I would typically have thought of as particularly liberal minded. However, I’m thrilled that my preconceptions on country Australia’s attitude toward same sex relationships in this era have been proved wrong.

I’ve not been able to find a great deal about Karl and Gerry beyond electoral roll records, which record them as residing at separate addresses, but their joint grave is testament to the bond they must have shared.

RIP Karl and Gerry


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