When a prospective client – a devout Christian – discovered that Houston-based photographer Alicia Verdier, above, was gay, she launched a vicious on-line campaign to aimed at destroying Verdier’s business.
But the bigot’s campaign spectacularly backfired when hundred took to social media in support of Verdier, who wrote on her business Facebook page:
Thank you all so much. I cannot express how touched I am by everyones’ messages and words of support. You all are so amazing. I wish I could thank each and every person who has reached out, in person.
Verdier, who owns Alicia Verdier Photography and is married to Erin Hanson, said she had agreed to photograph a birthday party for the client’s 5-year-old daughter. The client then went on Verdier’s personal Facebook page, noticed an LGBTQ Pride flag filter on her profile picture, and began bombarding the photographer with hateful massages. Here just one:
In another rant, the zealot wrote:
You lifestyle is unacceptable. May God have mercy on your soul. I will pray for you.
Verdier said she considered publicly identifying the client, but chose not to do so because she is trying to be a model for her kids.
I didn’t want to behave in any way similar to her. She named me all over the place to try to destroy my reputation, and turning around and doing something similar didn’t feel like the right response. And I didn’t feel like reacting in that way, by naming her, would do anything to change her mind.
While Verdier did lose a number of Facebook followers, it appears that her story, which has gone viral, has garnered her a great deal of support.
I live every day trying to model pride for my children, because I want them to always know that they should love themselves and others, as they are. But reading her [the Christian’s] words, I didn’t feel proud; I felt a little broken. That’s why I am so grateful for the people who continued to stand by me and endorse my photography. Their support for my business overwhelmed me with hope for the future of the LGBTQ community.
And on her business’s Facebook page Verdier stressed that she works “with people from all walks of life, without hesitation,” and doesn’t discriminate against any group.
If you have a problem with any of that, then I am not the right photographer for you.