Beauty queen and orange juice spokesperson Anita Bryant famously became a vocal anti-gay speaker in the late 1970s. In her fiery speeches, Bryant would say being gay was a choice and a sin to rally audiences against queer-friendly legislation.
(The photo above shows her famously getting a pie in the face from a Gay Rights activist during a 1977 press conference. HA!)
Her granddaughter, Sarah Green, said in a recent interview that she came out as gay to her grandmother on her 21st birthday.
Bryant’s response? Green said her grandmother told her homosexuality doesn’t exist. Bryant, instead, told her to focus on her love of God, and that doing so would remind her she was straight.
“It’s very hard to argue with someone who thinks that an integral part of your identity is just an evil delusion,” Green said. “She wants a relationship with a person who doesn’t exist because I’m not the person she wants me to be.”
It’s been years since Green came out to Bryant. She’s now planning her wedding, but is unsure if she should invite her grandmother.
“I think I probably will eventually just call her and ask if she even wants an invitation, because I genuinely do not know how she would respond. I don’t know if she would be offended if I didn’t invite her,” Green said on the episode.
Her father and Bryant’s son, Robert Green, said Bryant’s “face froze” when she learned of the engagement.
“All at once, her eyes widened, her smile opened, and out came the oddest sound: ‘Oh.’ Instead of taking Sarah as she is, my mom has chosen to pray that Sarah will eventually conform to my mom’s idea of what God wants Sarah to be,” Robert said on the episode.
Green said she doesn’t hate her grandmother for her anti-gay views.
“I just kind of feel bad for her. And I think as much as she hopes that I will figure things out and come back to God, I kind of hope that she’ll figure things out,” said Green.
I don’t think we should hold our breath.
What do you think? Do you invite homophobic relatives to your wedding? Or leave ’em off the guest list, avoid the stress, and enjoy your big day?
(via: Insider; photo: MediaPunch)