Coming out to conservative family members can be hard for any member of the LGBT community. But when you decide to publically (and legally!) declare your love for your significant other by getting married, it's probably time to let your family in on your good news—no matter how they respond. That's what Katie Mathewson figured when she got engaged to her girlfriend, MacKenzie Hill. Though she had never come out to her grandparents, she figured that now was the best time to do it and sent them a letter announcing her engagement.
"I came out to my grandparents a couple weeks ago and was wholly convinced that they couldn't accept it," Mathewson posted on Imgur. "Not just because of their age or their lifestyle, but because, over the years, I've listened quietly and sadly as they talked about people who were different from them. I accepted the sad reality that that they'd never know the real me. But when I got engaged to my perfect and beautiful girlfriend, I felt like I had to tell them (regardless of the outcome)."
"I knew I'd still love my grandparents even if they weren't pleased with the news and that I'd forgive and understand their opinions either way," Mathewson told Buzzfeed. "My letter basically said that I was engaged, it was to a woman, and that I've never felt happier, safer, and more in love in my entire life."
So she was in for a surprise when she received a response a few weeks later from her grandmother that started, “Thank you for sharing your happy news with us Katie. The most important matter is your happiness with MacKenzie for the rest of your life."
Her grandmother's supportive words brought her to tears. "It's not perfect or poetic, but it's genuine and it's love and it surprised me in the best way possible," she wrote in her post to Imgur along with the full text of her grandmother's letter in hopes that it might inspire someone else to come out to their grandparents.
"The rest of the world will follow the ideas as time moves on," her grandmother continued.
Her grandmother also lamented the lack of engagement cards for lesbians, saying, "I have been looking for an engagement card just right for you but was not successful." (Here are a few gender neutral ones we like!)
She also expressed her hopes, despite her age, to be able to travel to the wedding next August. "Your grandfather and I are getting older each day—moods change as the aches and pains occurs and yet some days we feel energetic and ready to do anything so we will see by that time," she wrote.
"The words were so simple, but the message was powerful and overwhelming and beautiful," Mathewson told Buzzfeed.