Thea Spyers and Edith Windsor were life partners in the most literal way: After Edith divorced her first husband, she met Thea, they became fast friends, dancing the night away until Edith got holes in her presumably awesome retro-chic stockings. Two years later, they started dating and fell in love. They've been together ever since. It wasn't until much later, though, that the two women were able to marry in Toronto. Is that the end of the story? Not quite.
As you may already know, Edith Windsor is one of the plaintiffs in the recent Supreme Court Case which looked, in part, at the legitimacy of a New York state court's ruling that found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. In her story, things got really righteous around 2009, when Spyers passed away and Windsor found herself saddled with a ridiculous $363,000 federal tax bill after inheriting her partner's estate — something that would never happen to someone in a federally recognized marriage (though New York state recognized same-sex marriages fulfilled in other jurisdictions at the time). So, with the help of the ACLU, Windsor filed the suit.
From there, things escalated fast, and as the case rose through the justice department, it quickly became a symbol of the fight for marriage equality. But, at the heart of it all is a supremely sweet love story (something almost certainly being adapted in Hollywood as we type): a tale of two strong, independent women who defied the norms of their time — not just because they were activists who cared about a cause, but because they were real people who loved each other and just wanted to live freely. Buzzfeed tells the entire tale of their relationship, and we'll be the first to say this is important, not just because it's adorable and might make you tear up, but because it humanizes an important political issue and reminds us all that, at the heart of this long fight, are couples like Thea and Edith. Click through to check it out — but don't forget your rainbow handkerchief.
Photo: Courtesy of Edith Windsor/Via Buzzfeed.