Robert O'Connor and Richard Lerner have been together since 1992, marrying in Provincetown, Mass. in 2004. Robert is an artist and Richard has a successful orthotic and prosthesis business. They share a unique family unit in which Richard's childhood best friend, Maxine, and her wife, Gina, asked Robert to father their child. Eden was born in 2016. Gina is the birth mother, and Eden was formally adopted by Maxine. Eden's adored older sister, Eliza, is from Gina's previous marriage. The family lives around the block from each other, and Eden is a very happy little girl enjoying double the love.
Robert at engineering site, Queens, NY, 1994
George Larkin, c. 1955
Robert's grandfather, to whom he bears a striking resemblance
Richard and Aunt Susan, c. 1975
Susan Auerbach was Richard's maternal aunt, and a beloved second mother to him.
Richard and his high school sweetheart, Stacey Renger. They are still very close today.
Friends since the third grade, Maxine and Richard both finally came out to each other the same evening, after a long walk together till dawn.
Gay and Lesbian Youth Prom, 1993
Robert: bottom row, second from left
NYC Pride Parade, 1995
Fernando Gomez, Robert O’Connor, Richard Lerner, Scott Shelton (died from AIDS)
~ Awareness ~
At the time when Richard and Robert were coming out, the AIDS crisis was at its height.
Vermont Sleigh Ride
The couple spent many winters visiting their good friend, Jeff Minor, whom Richard met on a gay cruise. Robert met Christine Barker at his engineering job and were good friends when they first came out to each other. Pictured: Richard Lerner, Judy Croon, Christine Barker, Robert O’Connor, Suzanne Cohen, Fernando Gomez, Steve, Jeff Minor, Raul (died from AIDS), Michael, and Bruce.
Wedding Day, 2004
Robert and Richard were married in Provincetown, MA after about 12 years together. It was the first state to legalize gay marriage.
Rich’s family, c. 2005
Sam Lerner, Lillian Lerner, Michael Lerner, Richard Lerner, Karen Lerner, Robert O’Connor, Joel Lerner, Claire Lerner; kneeling is Jeffery Feldman (Richard’s 1st cousin)
Baby Eden, 2016
Richard, Robert, Maxine, Cindy O'Connor, and Gina
Eden's Adoption Day, 2016
Gina Holland, Maxine Katchen with baby Eden, Eliza Holland Madore, Judge, Richard Lerner and Robert O'Connor
~ Generations ~
Grandma (Rose Mae O’Connor), Eden Katchen, Robert O’Connor, Robert O’Connor Sr., and Sam Lerner (Pops)