Mark Pinkosh, now 54, and Godfrey Hamilton, now 68, met in London in April 1988.
Pinkosh was in London performing in a production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Hamilton, a native Londoner, was managing the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square. Mark had just turned 24 and Godfrey was 37.
That first meet-cute happened at a gay men’s group in Earl’s Court in London. Then, like something out of a romantic comedy, they would coincidentally bump into each other every day for the next three days. Pinkosh says he “took it as a sign.” After the fourth day together, they never parted company until Pinkosh had to return home to Honolulu. They were apart for four months but spoke daily on the phone. Finally, in August of that same year, Godfrey came to Hawaii for a “two-week visit” and never left. The couple just celebrated 30 years together.
This is the story of their life together as told in photos.
This photo was taken a few months after they moved in together. But first, a little about each of these men. Hamilton is a writer whose body of work includes more than 30 plays and film scripts. His plays have been presented in London, New Zealand, Honolulu, Chicago, Los Angeles, the World Stage Festival in Toronto, the LGBT Festival in Vancouver, Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Miami’s Light Project, Seattle, Sydney, Hong Kong, Munich, Geneva, San Francisco, Milan, and Paris. You get the idea. Pinkosh is the founder of Starving Artists Theatre Company in the U.S. and Starving Artists Productions in the U.K. He became head of the company in 1984 and has produced over 60 shows, directed 22, and performed in several. Some of the work includes performances at Manchester Royal Exchange, Tron, Traverse, Paisley Arts Centre, Eden Court, Lyric Hammersmith, Finborough, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Sheffield Crucible. He has quite the Hawaiian acting portfolio too, having appeared in Hawaii Five-0, Magnum, P.I., Charlie’s Angels, and Waikiki — plus many others. Of course, he’s also performed in short films written by Hamilton.
Hamilton named his dog, Penny, after the character Lady Penelope from the British children's television series Thunderbirds. Pinkosh's dog, Tyler, was looking forlorn in the Honolulu ASPCA. He took one look at that face and said "Tyler!" As the story goes, the dog looked up, wagged his tail, and went right home with them. Tyler would live with the couple for 12 more years until his last breath.
The couple eventually moved to Santa Cruz, Calif., to make the commute to London easier. They had been staging work in Honolulu and London for years, but 1993 was the year they closed the Honolulu base and expanded in London. Some friends suggested Santa Cruz might be the perfect progressive, gay-friendly beachside place to live while in the U.S.
Andrew Douglas was hired to shoot publicity photos for the London performances of Road Movie as well as their play Viper's Opium. The theater publicist arranged the shoot, "and unbeknownst to us, we walked in and Andrew Douglas was the photographer. Andrew, years before, had been in school with Godfrey. We were taken by surprise," Pinkosh says. Hamilton and Douglas first met at age 15 and hadn't seen each other in more than 20 years. Hamilton and Pinkosh love the resulting picture so much that it hangs in their bedroom.
It's hard to believe now that their godson is finished with his first year at university. "It's amazing to see what a beautiful, strong, smart, and kind young man he has become." This photo was taken when their godson was only 5 months old. His parents had to go to Canada for a long weekend, and the godparents turned babysitters for four days. "It was surprisingly easy," they say. "It's astonishingly simple to care for someone when you love them very much."
The couple gathered seven of their dearest friends for a brief ceremony where they exchanged vows and officially registered a civil partnership in the U.K. The Registrar of Marriages told them their vows had made her cry. "Then we all went off for tea and cakes together!" They would be married again in Los Angeles in April 2017.
Hamilton was a journalist during the 1970s in London and met Patti Smith in 1976 when he interviewed the legendary author and musician. He became "totally enamored of her" and is still a self-described "Mega-Fan." This photo was taken at her book signing in downtown Los Angeles.
This photo was taken during New York City Pride in 2017. But their very first Pride event as a couple came during the March on Washington in 1993. Their most enduring memory of that moment is "the sense of complete safety and security we experienced, being surrounded by half a million of our brothers and sisters."