A lesbian couple in Florida are celebrating their 70th anniversary together.

Caroline Leto, 96, and Venera Magazzu, 97, from Dania Beach, will celebrate the landmark anniversary on August 17th.

In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, they told how they had to keep their relationship secret for years.

”You just couldn’t tell everyone we were lovers,” said Leto. “You tell people we’re friends, and some thought we were sisters.”

The couple met in 1939 at a party and moved in together in New York a year later, telling only close family and and a handful of friends about their relationship.

They registered as domestic partners in New York in 1996 and subsequently moved to Florida, where they felt able to become involved in the gay and lesbian community.

A party is being planned by local gay group Etz Chaim on the date of their anniversary.