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Sadie Daugherty

Views & Voices

An open letter to the anti-gay Home Depot employee: ‘This is a family’

Friday, June 8, 2012

This is a letter that I hope is seen by a Home Depot employee named Randy.

Randy was really nice… very chatty… when I came into Home Depot today to get the materials for a fort my girlfriend and I are going to be building with our kids this weekend. I love chatty employees. :)

Randy and another employee were talking about how America is going downhill because of the jobs being outsourced, etc. I chimed in, agreeing with most of what they said. The employee (not Randy) asked what I did for a job. I told him I was a blogger. Randy and the other employee asked what I blogged about, so I told them – a little of this, a little of that… recipes.. controversy – they asked for my blog address, and said it sounded like it would be fun to read.

Then the employee asked if I blogged about politics. I said no, because I’m not really passionate either way on most subjects to be able to debate them. Randy said he was! So I told him he should start a blog about politics. :) Then he said “Well, I was just raised differently. People don’t think like I do.” Sounds like a recipe for controversy to me!

What Randy said next made my jaw drop.

“Those gays… ya know… this country is in the crapper because of things like that. Them trying to take marriage and turn it into something different… I can’t stand it.”

There I am, just standing there, staring at him. Like, please tell me you did not just say that? At this point, I’m guessing his gaydar is broken – and I forgot to wear my big rainbow “I’M A LESBIAN” t-shirt. So, I just smile and nod.

The other employee is looking at Randy, not sure what to say. He didn’t seem to want to agree with him, but he probably didn’t want to start a war. I started to push my cart away, to pretend to look for something else in another aisle, when Randy started talking again.

“Family… man what ever happened to family? We can’t even have families anymore. Gay marriage should be banned in all 50 states! But you know that won’t happen cuz the GLB..whatever that gay organization is, they’d be marching downtown saying how they wanted marriage too!”

I just smiled, nodded, and walked away. He tried to ask me about a chicken recipe as I was walking out of the aisle. I wanted to scream at him.

Guess what? I’m a lesbian AND a vegetarian, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

But… I didn’t. I just walked away. I hope he finds my blog and I hope he reads the letter below.

This is a family, Randy.

Dear Randy,

It was really nice chatting with you today. You said your wife would love to read my blog, and you said you would, too. You thought that it was interesting that I blogged about controversy, even though most moms don’t like to. Then, our conversation got derailed. Just when I was about to mention my girlfriend and how she loves to cook, too, you started talking about politics and gay marriage. Why you had to ruin our nice conversation is beyond me, but I took it in stride. I listened to you with an open mind, and gave you the floor.

When you said gays were ruining marriage, I wanted to ask you to clarify. HOW are gays ruining YOUR marriage? Does your wife want to leave you for a woman? Are you going to leave her for a gay man? Are you addicted to gay porn or something? I mean, how exactly, is me being in love with my girlfriend, a bother – at all – to your marriage?

You’re my age, or maybe older, so I don’t think you can use the excuse of “how you were raised” any longer. It’s time you get your own thoughts together, and use your own brain. And if you still decide that gays are so horrible, then fine. But come to your own conclusion.

Why do you think it’s okay to tell someone that type of thing, anyway? My 5 year old was with me. Luckily she was distracted with her baby doll, but if she had heard you… she would have been upset. You were basically telling her that her parents are ruining this country. Really? Because I can think of 100 other things that would ruin this country before love would.

This country is being ruined because of close-minded bigots, and because of people like me that don’t open their mouths and educate people like you, like I should have today.. I should have stood up to you. I should have told you what I really thought and felt. I should have somehow tried to change your mind, but I didn’t want to be the “crazy lesbian woman” you saw at the store today. I just wanted to get my damn PVC pipe fittings and go home to my family – my girlfriend and kids- and build a fort. If that ruins your marriage, then your marriage wasn’t very strong to begin with.

a.k.a., the lesbian you insulted at the store today

P.S. I am not mad at Randy. I’m sad. I’m disappointed because he seemed like a great guy – and he might be a great guy, but I don’t even care to find out after the hurtful words he shared with me today.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. Too bad you didn’t say anything to Randy while in the store. That was a perfect teachable moment. Randy probably thinks that he’s never really met a real “gay” person. Because he probably has some stereotype fixed in his head of what a gay person really looks like.

    It’s his jaw instead of yours that would have dropped to the floor if you had educated him about your family.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:16pm
  2. *WOW*…I would STOOD UP FOR MY FAMILY! Me and my boyfriend encountered the same thing…an employee started asking us questions about me and my boyfriend…”ARE YA’LL A GAY COUPLE?” “WHY ARE YOU DESTROYING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE?” SMDH…At that point I went crazy and chewed every employee out. SMDH

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:19pm
  3. Randys dad was probably gay and he probably had an asshole for a grandfather.either way people ate asses. It’s no ones right to tell us who we should love.maybe all straight people should be prisoned for being straight lol. We deserve the same rights as everyone else

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:20pm
  4. I totally would be in jail right now.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:22pm
  5. Oops I ment people are asses

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:23pm
  6. Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:30pm
  7. Well i’m NOT violent nor do I condone it. Thanks :)

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:34pm
  8. Actually I think this way was better, because she’s right. He probably would have felt like the “crazy lez” was just proving his point. This classier way (assuming he read the blog) will have greater impact…if there is any hope for him at all. I am not gay, but I don’t need to be to see what a lovely family this is. Love is love. Wishing you love and happiness. As for feeling sad, I know what you mean, but just tell yourself that you only had to deal with Randy for a few excruciating minutes. He has to spend the rest of his life with himself.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:34pm
  9. Sadie needs to report that guy to his supervisor. He’s got no business voicing his politics to customers at his workplace.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:49pm
  10. I realize it was a teachable moment but at the time I had my daughter with me and I was teaching her that if you get upset you walk away from a situation and be the bigger person. I was hoping she wouldn’t hear what he was saying, and thankfully she was not paying attention. I didn’t have the confidence in myself to be nice when responding to him, so I just walked away. I did not need to show my ass in front of my kid, ya know? Who knows what would have spewed if I would have started educating that man. I hope Randy sees my letter (I’m fairly confident he will), and I hope he understands how hurtful his words are. I don’t want to report him, I don’t want him fired, I don’t want to hurt him. I just want him to realize how he hurts others with his words. Thank you LGBTQ Nation for publishing my article. :)

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:04pm
  11. How can people striving to marry ruin an institution that already has a fifty percent or higher failure rate?

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:09pm
  12. A very nice letter

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:19pm
  13. Sadie, it’s understandable that you didn’t say anything at the time–when you’re just doing some shopping at Home Depot, you don’t expect to be assaulted in this manner. The shock alone can render you speechless. But you do have to report the incident. It’s not up to you what happens to the guy–that’s up to the management of Home Depot. They have a duty to the company, to the other employees there, and to the customers. You’re depriving them of the opportunity to correct a situation that might harm any one or more of those entities. Randy will probably be reprimanded rather than fired, and you’ve helped stop this from happening to someone else (and helped Randy to grow as an employee). The management might see this issue as a red flag and feel the need to refresh *all* the employees on treating customers with dignity and respect, and that’s another potential positive outcome. So a lot of *good* can come from reporting the incident. And if it does turn out to be bad for Randy, that wasn’t your fault. It’s his own fault–he chose to assault you with his hateful message. You didn’t make him do that. Home Depot knows better than you what the appropriate response is–it may be the case that Randy has a history of this, and *should* be fired. Or maybe he’s a great guy who needs to be told to watch his mouth, lest the next peson he insult *not* just walk away, but put him through a plate glass window. Ya know? Let them decide, instead of deciding for them.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:20pm
  14. See icon at left

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:28pm
  15. *eyes rolls* I’m Tired of Homophobia have a lot problem! ugh!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:44pm
  16. YesYESYES they do not care about marrying they think of the sex

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 9:25pm
  17. Sadie, I agree with Jax; you handled the encounter with class. No need for you to look like the crazy woman in the store, and your daughter is the priority; no need to put her in an uncomfortable situation, unnecessarily. By mentioning him by name, and the company he works for, when he reads your blog–your intellectual bitch-slap, then realizes many others read it too, perhaps some who even know him, I’m sure his jaw will drop. Kudos!! If he responds (apologizes), or you see him again, please share. Speaking of sharing, how’d the fort turn out, any picss? Btw, great looking family. All the best.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 11:20pm
  18. John Bickford, great points.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 11:58pm
  19. En todos lados hay fanáticos que se aferran a grandes principios morales porque vivir en la realidad les aterra. Ellos se lo pierden.

    Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 2:00am
  20. Wendell, unfortunately the fort was kind of a fail lol. But Sapphire loves it and turned it into a “restaurant”, so I guess it wasn’t a total fail. :) I will have pics up soon but it’s nothing special! lol

    Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 5:23am
  21. I really wish people would keep their comments to themselves..

    Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 5:44am
  22. if they care about the santity of marriage…dont cheat on ur spouse…dont divorce… Respect ur OWN SPOUSE and family… those are the things that are breaking up the value of marriage…

    Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 7:20am
  23. Just thought I’d share this article my son wrote for a website him and his buddies share their thoughts on. Hope you like it.

    Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 7:29am
  24. stick to your guns Sadie

    Posted on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 3:28pm