It’s not uncommon for especially beautiful, cute, or awesome photos posted online to go viral. Still, when Meredith Hendrix-Jackson posted pictures of her wedding to fiancée Kat, she never expected over sixty thousand people to be so happy for the two brides—especially since her own parents had refused to attend.
On October 16, Hendrix-Jackson posted the photos, taken by Megan Clemence Photography, on her Tumblr with only a brief note: “In case you are a fan of same sex unions, weddings in general, or are just really itching to know what I look like (or my wife, as I haven’t posted a picture of her yet [she’s the adorable one in the suspenders]) here’s the promised wedding picture spam. Best day of my life.”
The photos ended up getting reposted all over Tumblr and beyond, racking up thousands of views, favorites, and comments. Three weeks later, on November 6, Hendrix-Jackson posted an update: “I posted these wedding photos because this was the most amazing day of my life. I’ve been married for about two months, and goddammit, it has been just the best, you know? […] It’s so simple to me, to us. But it’s so complicated to so much of the world.”
The couple lives in Arkansas, where the treatment they get for being lesbians is often less than kind: “She and I can’t walk into the grocery store holding hands. I get tight-lipped when someone compliments my ring at work because I can’t determine if they are going to be ‘cool’ with it or not. If they’ll report me for being ‘inappropriate’ in our online survey. Again. My wife was fired from a job as a driver for a children’s occupational therapist because her boss saw us kiss at the mall—because she couldn’t have ‘that kind of person’ around children. I walked myself down the aisle at my wedding because a church told my parents that it wasn’t possible for them to attend.”
Hendrix-Jackson added that the post she made was “to try to just share my little square of happiness with my little square of the internet.” When the pictures’ popularity exploded, there was no telling what kind of responses she would end up getting—but that was where her sudden internet fame resulted in a second surprise.
On the November 6 update, she writes, “not a single message I’ve received, not a single reblog that I have been able to find, has had anything to say but amazing, beautiful, kind words of congratulations. No bullying. No trolling. No inappropriate offers or lewd remarks. Out of tens of thousands.”
That’s not something I’m used to. It’s not something anyone in the LGBTQ community is used to.
Do you even get how amazing you are? You, the denizens of Tumblr. Do you understand that? I am so exceedingly proud of you, you wacky kids. You are all such incredible people, with such kind and open hearts, and I wish I could hug each and every one of your necks.
So if you are having any sort of rough day, please know that there is this tiny lesbian couple in northeast America who likes you just a whole lot, okay? You’ve overwhelmed us.
Thank you. We love you.
She also posted what she called a “blooper reel” of wedding photos on November 10, in which she wrote, “By request: this is how much I love you guys.”