Over the past decade, society’s attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people have changed irrevocably and for the better. Now the majority of progressive countries have legalized gay marriage, adoption, and made it easier for transgender people to live as their authentic selves.

While heteronormative standards have largely been consigned to the past, even when the LGBTQ+ community was entirely persecuted, a number of brave people defied these conventions in years gone by – showing that throughout history, love has always triumphed.

1. These women were epitome of 1940s fashion

Even if their openness about their sexuality was taboo for the time.

2. This picture was taken when homosexuality was illegal

The fact that this photograph dating back to the 1910s exists is a miracle. Many family members destroyed pictures of their homosexual relatives out of fear of persecution. In some countries, homosexuality was even subject to capital punishment.

3. A passionate and beautiful embrace

Dating back to the 1890s, this photograph is of two women who are widely believed to be lesbians.

4. A confirmed lesbian couple who were together for 10 years

American actress Charlotte Cushman, left and British writer Matilda Hays, right, in 1858.

Check out this video below to learn more about lesbian history:

Throughout history, recorded cases of lesbianism are rare, with sodomy being subject to the greatest amount of condemnation, although the earliest laws against lesbianism date back to the seventh century.

The Paenitentiale, a book written by Theodore of Tarsus, who became archbishop of Canterbury in England, states, “If a woman practices vice with a woman she shall do penance for three years.”