As someone who’s been a bride (twice), I can understand the urge to try to control many elements of a wedding. As a generally levelheaded person, however, I can’t quite wrap my mind around how some brides try to control everything from a bridesmaid’s plastic surgery to a guest’s hair color to, most recently, her makeup artist’s sexual orientation.
On Wednesday, June 12, Texas-based makeup artist Kristian Cardenas posted screenshots to her Facebook profile in which a bride-to-be is seen showing interest in her services, only to then ask if she’s gay and derogatorily explain why she won’t be hiring her. “Openly sharing who I am with the world is my choice; a choice I will never apologize for. I love what I do and who I am. today I was taken back a little bit, and I doubted if I wanted to continue doing hair and makeup; if this is response I am going to get for being who I am,” Cardenas shared in the caption of the photo series. “homophobia is real, and with it being pride month I feel like the comments get worse. I’m sharing this today to say, please be kind to everyone. if someone doesn’t have the same views as you, opinions, or whatever it may be just respect them. don’t hate them for being different.”
The screenshots show the bride, whose name Cardenas has blocked out, introducing herself, saying that a friend had recommended Cardenas, and asking for prices. Cardenas replies with the price for a hair and makeup package and provided a link to her business’s Facebook page. The bride then says she has a few questions, the first one being, “Are you gay?”
Cardenas replies, “yes ma’am i am. i’m sorry, but what does that have to do with your wedding or my services?” — an understandable question to ask back.
“Oh i don’t want a gay person doing my wedding, I saw your FB and i couldn’t tell if you we’re or weren’t gay,” the bride replies, exhibiting a shocking level of discrimination and homophobia.
Cardenas replies, “okay that’s totally fine, you have a nice day!” And you’d think that’s where this already abominable conversation ends. But even though the bride has already stated she doesn’t want to work with a gay makeup artist, she apparently felt compelled to pry further and explain in judgmental, presumptuous detail why.
“I still have more questions. How can you be a latina woman and be gay? You do know being gay is a sin correct,” the bride says, apparently making assumptions about Cardenas’s beliefs. “I will pray for you my friend. I’m sorry that you’ve chosen a path that’s going to send you straight to hell. I think you do beautiful makeup but i just can’t have someone who’s gay being apart of my special day. The wedding is in a church and i don’t want you walking into my church.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, the bride ignorantly suggests that if Cardenas suddenly decides to stop being a lesbian, she’ll hire her, saying, “If you at any chance change your mind about being gay let me know please so i can book you.”
Words like this would be hurtful to anyone who doesn’t identify as straight, but they were especially painful to Cardenas, who told me she had only just recently come out. “I wanted to post [this conversation] for my friends and family because about a month and a half ago, I came out to everyone on social media. I was tired of hiding who I was. And when I had such a positive reaction to me sharing who I was I felt like everyone just needed a little taste of my reality,” she tells Allure, explaining that she’s struggled with facing acceptance in her small Texas town.
The response she’s gotten to the screenshots has been heartening — sympathy, support, love, and a new understanding. “So many friends and family or just strangers had no idea that people could actually be like this. I wanted to share to bring some light on the subject because it’s from someone they know and love,” Cardenas tells Allure. “I’ve been getting such a positive response, so much love and support, whether it be from potential clients, strangers, or someone who’s struggling with their own story. Of course, I have my fair share of awful things still being said to me. I have to brush that aside and focus on the positive.”
In fact, Cardenas tells Allure that even the bride-to-be has reached out after the conversation went viral. “She apologized, but told me it was her wedding and her choice to choose who she wanted doing makeup and hair, and that her beliefs shouldn’t have hurt my feelings,” Cardenas explains. And then, displaying the kind of tolerance Cardenas herself deserves, she says, “I understand where she’s coming from. I just wish she would have been a little nicer about it.”