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Edith Windsor And Thea Spyer's Great American Love Story

You probably already know that Edith Windsor spent her later years fighting for marriage equality, but how much do you know about the whirlwind romance that started it all?

After divorcing her husband, a young Edith Windsor asked her friends to, "Take me where the lesbians are."

Windsor went back to school at NYU to gain a mathematics degree and went on to work for IBM.

The first night Windsor met Thea Spyer they "danced a hole through the bottom of one of Edie's stockings."

Thea was her intellectual match, a psychology Ph.D from Adelphi University.

After their first meeting, it would take the pair two years to make it official and start dating.

Thea gave Windsor a circle pin adorned with diamonds instead of an engagement ring.

A gift she would wear proudly for the rest of her life.

They were globetrotters, traveling as often as they could.

The couple bought a rental in the Hamptons in order to have a place of their own to escape to.

Their love never waned over 42 years...

...quite a long engagement.

A love story so cinematic, it was made into a feature length film:

View this video on YouTube


The award-winning 2009 documentary film, Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement by Susan Muska and Gréta Olafsdóttir.

Thea was diagnosed at 45 with multiple sclerosis. Windsor then took early retirement to become a full-time caregiver.

When Thea's doctor told her she had under a year to live, they flew to Toronto to be legally wed.

Thea passed away only 21 months after the wedding.

Windsor referred to the years before they were married as, "just dancing."

Windsor had a heart attack a month later. She recovered to fight the injustice she saw in the federal law that did not recognize her own marriage.

She was an outspoken gay rights activist all her life.

She even had a life-size photo of Thea in their apartment, which she admitted she would sometimes lean up against and discuss the progress of the case.