Ign'nt G-Ma

VIDEO: Grandma is Too Busy Being Ignorant to Come to My Wedding


This is Randi’s second video she’s ever made. The first video was for the It Gets Better Project. We applaud her strength, her courage, and even her light hearted humor as she deals with her Grandmother’s ignorant behavior. Too ignorant, it seems, to attend to her granddaughter’s wedding. So very sad. But growing up in a different time and learning to believe a different set of social standards, can we blame her?

On a personal note, I have a strong relationship with my Grandmother who emailed me in response to a plea I sent to vote “No on Proposition 8” back in 2008. She tried to explain that marriage was for people who can have babies. She wrote from her heart and not with hate or anger. I know that she loves me. She tried to explain how she felt and what she believed. She said, with honest thought, that perhaps we just need to wait for her generation to die off.

I told her (among many other things) that it was a shame she felt that way because I would give anything to have her at my wedding someday. I said, “I respect how you have seen the world and continue to see it… But my world is different and I see it differently… and in the end, this vote affects my world and not yours. I love you very much and will always love you no matter how different our worlds are or become.”

She spent some time on her own, researching and thinking on her own and a day before the vote I received this email:

I just wanted you to know that I am going to vote No on Prop. 8.  The more I read about it, the more I realize that it is a very prejudice inititative. It bothers me that Prop. 8 discriminates against people who are gay, and that is not acceptable to me. Good luck, honey.

So can we expect an older generation to change? Do we really need to wait for them to die off?

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  • chrissie riot

    My grandmother thinks that I’m not gay and that I just dated a woman because I’m angry at men. To her credit it took me until I was 30 to realize that I was actually gay and that the reason that I was single for … most of my life at this point is because I genuinely wasn’t interested in men as partners.

    I am her second lesbian grand daughter and she accepts us and loves us but I don’t think that she understands that being gay isn’t a reaction to men.

    I think that in dealing with our grandparents and even our parents we have to remember that they grew up in a time where homosexuality was thought to be a mental disorder, like depression or ocd. Generally acceptance is preferable but tolerance may be the best we can expect.

  • nsomniac

    I’m going to have to say I think it’s sad she doesn’t support you but I do. I think love is all that matters in life. I think the two of you are beautiful. You deserve one another. My partner and I have been together for 13 years. I’m going to say I don’t care what anyone else thinks about Patrick and I. This was a great article.
    Much Love,
    Shane and Patrick

  • Bob

    My paternal grandmother, back in the 1960’s took me aside and told me she would love me the same whether I was straight or gay. I was about 15 years old and not out and wondered how she knew. She died right before I met the man I have been in love with for 38 years. She would have supported me the same way my other beloved maternal grandmother did. It is funny but my maternal grandmother at the age of 85 or so said to me, I don’t understand the relationship but as long as you love each other and are happy, I am happy. It is not necessarily a generational thing since, if these women were alive today one would be 109 and the other 119 years old. God bless them both!

  • Pitou

    Thats sad. Grandmas are supposed to be the shit.. to all her grandchildren and beyond.
    But it is true fact that we live with a large generational gap when it comes to social issues. It is reality though, that said gap regarding LGBT AND Racial equality (I throw in racial because my Ma still has issues with all my sisters making part-Puerto-Rican babies, and I have 8 sisters:-)) will fade with time, but it will likely be replaced with what we twentysomethings disagree about with our children and grandchildren. Its happened across all generational eras. More often then not, its the connection with a family member or close friend in the “unagreeable situation” that the intolerant ones realize their intolerance is based purely out of ignorance or unsubstanciated fears. I feel the best thing we could do is raise our next generations to be more tolerant about things/people/places/cultures that are different. Not everyone is of the same mold, but we are one people.

  • TMikel

    Yes, we can expect an older generation to change. My grandmother, who died in 1994 at the age of 90, always accepted my being gay and accepted my late partner as well. In fact, both John’s and my families accepted us as a couple. We never had the option or marrying because John died in 2005 before either California [his home state[ had its brief window for marriage equality, or Iowa, my home state, adopted marriage equality. When we make excuses for older people and allow them to continue to be ignorant, we perpetuate the status quo. Had my grandmother acted as Randi’s has, I would have told her she was entitled to her opinion and I would have moved on. I loved my grandmother dearly, and I would have missed her, but when we do not stand up for ourselves, how can we expect others to do so?

  • ewe

    We can expect that generation to change but most of them have no intention of budging. So fuck it.

  • christopher di spirito

    My 95 year old Italian immigrant grandmother “got it.”

    She didn’t articulate any pro-gay opinions but she used to say, “Why don’t you boys adopt?” “Boys” a reference to me and my partner.

    You see, for her, having a gay grandson didn’t matter — she just believed not having a child was unacceptable, so we wanted us to adopt a child to complete our family.

    My grandmother completely accepted my spouse and considered him another son. I miss her terribly.

  • Steve

    While I’m sure we can blame many things on a generation gap, ultimately, things like this just come down to what kind of person you are: you’re either someone who is aware and accepting of change and diversity or you’re somone who virulently clutches onto only what you know and damn anyone who’s different.

    That’s actually a bit of an over-simplification, but I’ve talked to several older people, both that are family and complete strangers, and I’ve found that most of them support gay rights. Generation gaps do exist, but I really think that no matter what, it comes down to what kind of person you are.

  • Joe

    Randi, I am sorry that your grandma can’t see her way clear to join you on your wedding day. It may be that it’s a generation gap, and maybe she is too old to overcome her prejudice, but it doesnt change the fact that it probably hurts and I’m really sorry you have to deal with this.

    A number of years ago I put down the picket signs and stopped protesting and decided I would change the world by demonstrating that this gay person is proud, satisfied and happy with my life. However you project yourself to the world, do it with pride and love and you’ll be happy as a pig in shit.

  • nowliveit

    So beautifully done. Your grace, as seen in this, will carry both you into the most incredible happiness together.

  • Bill

    Powerful and moving.

  • the crustybastard

    That was just amazing.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Chuck

    Maybe those death panels weren’t such a bad idea after all?

  • chrissie riot

    I had a nice conversation with my grandmother this morning (after posting what I said earlier) and she said she’d been thinking about it and she figures that if god doesn’t make any mistakes and that gay people aren’t choosing to be gay then being gay is what some people are and there’s nothing wrong with it.


  • tefinger

    @chrissie riot: I am so beyond thrilled that my post led you to have a conversation with your grandmother. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing.

  • evilqueen

    If it’s a generation gap thing, how do you explain all the virulent 20 something homophobes out there?

  • Shannon1981

    This video makes me cry each time I watch it. My family is the same way…

    I don’t have a partner, but when I get one, I will never see or hear from them again. Ever.

  • Geoff By)

    WGreat story. I wonder about posters wish the elderly dead so we can get our rights. I know some can be set in their ways, but they’re not all that way. My grandparents are probably more up on gay culture than I am and they are conservative Hispanics. They would ask why my partner and I aren’t marries, and didn’t even realize we couldn’t. If we would reach out to older people (most of whom know and/or love someone who is gay wether they know it or not) instead of demonizing them or pushing them aside, we could change at least some minds, just like the Grandmother in this article.

  • JM

    Makes me sad. My grandparents on both sides ‘get it’ and are pretty supportive (for as much as they can be in old age).

    They understand I live a bit more radical than most LGBT folk and even in those odd moments, they still are open to my life.

  • drewa24

    Sounds as though “Grandmother” has suffered more than a lifetime of regret. Can you imagine being bitter, ignorant, and wholly stupid your entire life just to make a point? To quote Nancy Spungen(of Sid and Nancy fame)”FUCK YOU GRANDMA”. Good Luck on your beautiful life together girls, No regrets…EVER!

    P.S Someone please tell me who sings this achingly beautiful song, is it Fionna Apple?

  • Marc Chambers

    Wow, I don’t even know you two and there couldn’t be two people happier than you are. So many of “us” have Grandmas and family, etc. etc. etc. like this and as I listened and watched this totally awesome video, I felt all my own emotions rise up that I’ve felt personally throughout my lifetime. I don’t know what else to say, other than…you two woman ROCK just like all the woman and all the men that are so totally in love with each other. And for all the Grandmas and people who just don’t get it and never will? We still love you. Just not your ignorance.

  • drewa24

    @chrissie riot: Thanks sweetie, just loaded it to my playlist. Reminds me of a distant train whistle in the middle of the night…don’t know why.

  • Rich Woods

    @chrissie riot: If either of these young women were our daughters we’d be beaming with pride. Just sayin’.

    “Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

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