Ashley Miller relates an astonishing, awful, anachronistic conversation she had with her stepmother:
I’m sorry to be doing this over the phone, your father has forbidden me from seeing you in person. I’m sorry, he just cannot support your lifestyle anymore, he will not be speaking to you again, he asked me to tell you.
That was my stepmother, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after she discovered I was dating someone. Someone who was not white. Someone who was black. Someone who was sitting in the next room and knew what the phone call was going to be about before it even started.
Your father wants you to know that he still loves you. But you’ve gone too far.
She won’t say the reason. She won’t acknowledge that it is a race thing. Like not saying “because he’s black” makes it not racist.
Your lifestyle is just not OK with him, he has bent as much as he will bend. He has bent so much and you haven’t bent at all.
I insist on clarification, “My lifestyle?”Yes. Your father is an old Southern man, he was raised like that, he was raised to believe that races just don’t mix. It was the final straw. He loves you, he just doesn’t like you.
“So, this is entirely because he’s black?”
I told him it didn’t matter to you, that all you cared about was that someone didn’t believe in God and nothing else. But he just can’t bend anymore. You knew this would be his reaction.
I was admittedly worried he’d disapprove, but then he’d meet the boyfriend and like him and it would be fine. Also, my boyfriend isn’t even atheist.
We’re not telling you what to do. If you love him, you should be with him. But I’m going to stand by my husband, just as you some day, if you get married, will stand by yours. We both love you, he’s just not going to talk to you. Maybe, in a long time, he might change his mind, but I don’t think so. I think it was too much.
Read Ashley’s whole heartbreaking account.