A total stranger came and slapped me across the face this week.
I don’t mean slap as in a physical, draw your hand to your stinging cheek kind of way. I mean slap as in a wake-up call.
It all started when I ran what I thought was a fun story on my website, DarynKagan.com, where I share uplifting and positive news with the world.
The story goes like this: A couple decides to elope from Los Angeles to New York City. The Jet Blue flight attendants were so excited for them, gathered gifts, etc. They also pointed out they might’ve overlooked one little detail: You need a witness to get married. Before the couple could freak out over the idea that they knew no one in New York, that their romantic elopement was about to go down the drain, the flight attendant volunteered to be their witness.
How sweet is that? Flight attendant saves the day! It was the No. 1 story that day on DarynKagan.com.
Now, if you happened to have read the item closely, you might have noticed that the soon-to-be-wed couple were two men. The article didn’t make a big deal about that, after all, they’re two adults eloping to a state where it’s legal to get married. I didn’t make a big deal about it either. To me, the story was about two people getting married. Let me tell you, as a somewhat recent bride, I love me some wedding stories!
Later that day, I received this email from a regular visitor to the website.
“I’ve really loved hearing your ‘good news’ stories over the last few years,” it started, “But, have to draw the line when it’s something that’s offensive to me. I do not want to hear about homosexuals getting married or anything else they do. I am un-subscribing to your e-mails.”
I got to tell you, this email kind of punched me in the gut. I’ve taken pride that I run a website that has no political or religious agenda. It celebrates good news and shares inspirational stories. All sorts of folks come for a visit. Had I blown it? How do I keep more folks from fleeing?
The more I thought about it, I realized the only thing I had blown was not being honest and speaking loud enough.
My family is gay. Not my husband and I, we’re as straight as you can be.
My younger sister is gay. She was blessed to marry her partner of 10 years last year.
The obstacle I faced was what do you do when your professional pursuits seem jeopardized by what is true for you? Thanks to this week’s emailer, I’m now clear.
I’m true to those I love and trust the rest will take care of itself.
I wrote back to that woman, simply thanking her for her email and politely telling her she made the right choice in unsubscribing.
“Homosexuals” in my world mean my baby sister, my biggest cheerleader, my biggest fan.
“Homosexuals” mean Craig and Michael, the couple who introduced me to my husband. Without them, I would’t have my immediate family.
So go ahead, call me whatever you want. You can even call my family gay. We have plenty in our family tree. And I, for one, couldn’t be prouder or happier.