Second Avenue Subway Station Features Portrait of Gay Couple Holding Hands, a Bigger Deal Than It Seems

Photo: New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority

When the 72nd Street station on the Second Avenue subway line opens on January 1, people waiting for the train will be greeted with life-size images of people waiting for the train. Among those depicted in artist Vik Muniz’s “Perfect Strangers” are Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg, a married couple who are shown holding hands.

The portrait of the couple is the first permanent, nonpolitical LGBTQ public art in all of New York City, Jonathan David Katz told the AP. The SUNY Buffalo art historian said the piece is significant because “it isn’t gayness singled out and made the theme. On the contrary, the work naturalizes gayness within the fabric of the city, and in so doing, that’s actually an even more powerful message.”

Another reason the work is powerful, at least as far as its subjects and their loved ones are concerned, is because the two men aren’t traditionally hunky. “Our friends were happy that this is gay representation on the walls of New York City, but our friends were even happier that this is gay representation that is not incredibly beautiful and skinny,” Kellogg told the AP. Or, as his husband called them,“ just average-looking guys.”

Second Avenue Subway Station Features Portrait of Gay Couple