Here's Hoping One Day All Grandmas Will Be As Cool As This One When Their Grandkids Come Out
Engagements and weddings are joyous celebrations, but they can also be downright stressful when you’re not sure how your family will react.
Katie Mathewson is 26 years old and recently got engaged to her girlfriend, Mackenzie Hill.
Mathewson was thrilled to share the news with family and friends, but there was just one problem: her paternal grandparents didn’t know that she’s gay. Mathewson tells Buzzfeed her grandparents live in a bit of a “wealthy, white heterosexual bubble” and she’s heard them make disparaging comments about people with so-called alternative lifestyles before. For that reason, she wasn’t sure they’d be open to her coming out.
She figured with her wedding on the horizon, now was probably a good time to let them know what’s going on, so she penned a letter announcing her engagement and hoped for the best. In response, she got a letter from her grandmother that moved her so much she decided to share it on Imgur.
In the letter, her grandmother thanks her for sharing her exciting news and writes, “The most important matters [sic] is your happiness with Mackenzie for the rest of your life.” She adds that most of the world will catch up with progressive ideas “as time moves on” and that if people can’t accept it, that’s “their problem.” She also expressed frustration at not being able to find an engagement card meant to congratulate a gay couple.
The letter ends with, “We send our congratulations and blessings for your health and happiness and most of all no matter what may come – we still love you very much!”
Needless to say, Mathewson was stunned and moved by the loving response. She’s been even more stunned by the support she’s gotten since she shared it. At the time of this writing, her Imgur post has been viewed over 100,000 times and many have reached out to offer words of congratulations, love, and encouragement. According to Buzzfeed, Mathewson wanted to share the letter to inspire others who might be hesitant to come out to their grandparents.
In an ideal world, someone coming out and being accepted for who they are wouldn’t be a big deal. Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet. People who come out as gay still face a tremendous amount of prejudice and backlash, even from their own families. Her grandmother’s response is inspiring because she handled it the way someone’s coming out should be handled: with love and unconditional acceptance.
When these stories go viral, they not only inspire people who might be afraid to come out; they also give families a roadmap for how they should react when their own loved ones come out. Hopefully those who most need to see this letter will read it and learn something from it so we can move one step to closer to a world where who you choose to love is no big deal.
Congratulations to Katie and Mackenzie!
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