A lesbian woman named Ash Summers recently delighted Reddit with the 42-year-and-counting romance between Carol Baier, Summers’ maternal grandmother, and Priscilla “Aunt P” Gay, Baier’s wife.
“We joke ‘the gay gene’ skipped a generation,” Summers wrote on Reddit. “I’m so much like [Aunt P] that people often think I’m her blood relation.”
Baier and Gay met in West Virginia in 1976 as they served on the board of the local YWCA. “They said they knew they were in love when my Aunt P was sitting at Mommom’s feet while she was knitting at a board meeting,” Summers told Newsweek after her Reddit post went viral. “But mostly it was love at first sight.”
At one board meeting, Baier walked into the room just as a man was regaling Gay with a rude remark about women in government. “My Aunt P not so subtly pushed up her glasses with her middle finger,” Summers recounted. “The man was deeply offended and Aunt P just laughed at him.”
In 1978, Baier and Gay had an unofficial wedding under a tree in the West Virginia town of Bluefield. For much of their lives so far, they ran a dry-cleaning business and a knick-knack shop together.
“Their relationship is so sweet,” Summers observed. “I remember spending the night when I was little and my grandmother would lay on the couch with her feet on my Aunt P’s lap and Aunt P would rub her feet until she fell asleep… They were never much for PDA, but you could just feel the love radiating through those small gestures.”
Gay proposed to Baier in 2015, on the same day that same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide. “Their wedding day was wonderful,” Summers said. “It was me, my wife, my mom and one of my best friends to witness. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen them that happy.”
Now Summers is cherishing as much time with her grandmothers as possible, especially because Baier was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. “With my grandmother being this sick, I don’t know how I’m going to handle it,” Summers said. “I don’t know how Aunt P is going to handle it.”
Baier and Gay gave their consent for their story to be shared with Newsweek “if it helps further the cause.”
“I love my grandmothers dearly,” added Summers, “and I just wanted to share two of the most amazing people I know.”