Woman from Fox News’ accidental same-sex wedding picture speaks out

 

Yesterday the feminist internet collectively lol’d at Fox News when Jessica Valenti realized that the “wedding kiss” picture they’re using to accompany a piece about traditional gender roles is actually of a same sex couple.

Turns out, the two women whose love was mistakenly highlighted by the tirelessly homophobic news outlet are no strangers to the spotlight. Lela Mc Arthur and Stephanie Figarelle of Anchorage, Alaska won a contest last year to have their dream wedding in New York at the Empire State building, becoming the first same-sex couple to be married at the historic site (here’s a kickass video of them reciting their vows and defending their right to do so).  They are currently on their honeymoon (!) but Stephanie Fiagrelle gave us permission to publish her pitch perfect Facebook post about the recent, hilarious kerfluffle with Fox News (all emphasis mine):

Instead of answering salivating reporters, I’ll post here. Yes, I’m aware that I look like a dude. I have known this my entire life- I’ll prove it by sharing baby photos sometime. I’ve gotten bullied, hit on by gay dudes and hot “straight” girls, seen the inside of both male and female bathrooms. Gotten yelled at for going into the women’s restroom- but never the men’s. I’ve had to tell my parents, grandparents and the rest of my family that I am gay, ultimately facing their rejection. Luckily, since I’ve looked like a dude since birth, they all accepted me with open arms since they really weren’t surprised.

I’ve encountered much adversity in my life because of the way I look and who I’ve chosen to share my life with. Thankfully, I figured out who I was at a young age and I have cultivated a deep sense of self-trust and unshakeable confidence in the process. I am fortunate to have a wonderful, support and loving wife who I got to marry at the top of the Empire State building almost 1 year ago. I have loving parents who have always encouraged me to be myself (except when I went through my baggy pants stage, they hated that) and I have kick ass friends who love me for me.

I have made the decision to live my life authentically no matter who likes it, who’s confused by it, or who thinks I’m going to simmer in hell for eternity. I have many gay and transgender friends who suffer on a daily basis and to you I say, be who are with all of your heart. There’s a passionate fire to LIVE deep inside of each of us and the world will do all it can to snuff it out. Don’t let anyone take that passion from you. Don’t try to change yourself to please other people. You’ll lead a miserable, nightmare of an existence. Trust me, I know from personal experience.

For those who don’t like the way other people look or the choices they make in life (that are ultimately none of your business), here’s my advice: Take care of your own. Put all that energy and hate into bettering yourself, loving your kids and your wife/husband. Learn to open your heart and your mind and do your best to stop spewing your ignorance out into the universe.

Alright, end rant. I’m going to the beach!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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