Chris Jepson’s image depicting ‘Modern Love’ is a winner in GREAT Britain’s national competition

Graham Robson March 30, 2022

Modern Love, an image from photographer Chris Jepson, is one of 40 winners of the GREAT Britain national photography competition, which celebrates the UK’s “rich cultural diversity and innovative, welcoming spirit”.

The GREAT Britain campaign invited photographers to submit images that captured the true spirit of the UK from across the four nations. The 40 winning entries were selected by a panel of expert judges and are on display in prominent media spaces throughout Heathrow Airport.

The subjects of Chris’ image Modern Love are George Montague, ‘The Oldest Gay in the Village’, and his husband of 25 years, Somchai. Born in 1923, George spent much of his life in the closet hiding his true self. He had a wife and children, was a successful businessman and had a career as a senior commissioner for disabled boys in the Scout Association, but deep down yearned for the love and affection of a man.

He discovered he was gay in his 20s and led a double-life, of ignorance, intolerance and constant danger until coming out and living openly later in life.

George and Somchai

There followed a lifetime of activism where George was influential in the campaign to ‘pardon’ Alan Turing but also in obtaining an apology from the UK Government for the historical persecution of gay men, a copy of which he read out on BBC Newsnight in April 2017.

In April 1993 George met a young Somchai in a London bar and they immediately fell in love. They moved in together and entered a Civil Partnership before converting it to a full marriage when the law allowed.

Somchai has supported George’s campaigns and every year proudly accompanies him on the Brighton & Hove Pride parade with a placard reading, “I’m The Oldest Gay In The Village. I’m gay. I’m in love. I have no regrets.”

George sadly died in March 2022, 13 months before his 100th birthday.

For more info on the GREAT Britain campaign, CLICK HERE

For more info on Chris Jepson, CLICK HERE