Anonymous Hate Note Utterly Fails to Cast Pall on Joyful Gay Wedding

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday September 10, 2019

A letter declaring that it was the "consensus of the village" that a British man and his groom should celebrate their union elsewhere seems to have been the work of one "pathetic" individual - and it didn't sully the happy couple's day one bit.

British newspapers the Mirror reported on the anonymous letter, which was dropped through the mail slot of Janie Hodge, the mother of Callum, who was one of the grooms.

The family lives in Norton Malreward, which is a village of 246 in Somerset, England, the Mirror reported.

The unsigned letter was left four months before the happy day - and Janie kept quiet about it, except to inform the police, so as not to worry her son and his husband-to-be.

But Janie herself was worried sick, the Mirror reported.

"I didn't want to speak to anyone or acknowledge anyone in the village because I thought everyone was out to get us," Janie disclosed to the media.

She went on to say of the letter, "It is vile. It made me feel completely unwelcome in the village. The letter is so cruel and it made me very upset.

"I was so worried something would happen on the wedding day, like a protest or something. This person tried to ruin our day and it is so hateful."

The Mirror reported on the full content of the letter, which red a follows:

Callum should be ashamed of himself for putting his grandparents through this. He won't go to heaven.

You need to lead him down a new path in life. The wedding should take place far, far away from the village. This is the consensus of the village.

The wedding itself took place in a neighboring village, but the reception was always planned to take place on the Callum family's private property - and that's exactly the way the family celebrated the occasion.

Once Callum found out about the letter - about a week after a perfect celebration that disproved that the letter writer's hate in any way represented a community "consensus" - he was unsparing in his comments.

"It is evil," Callum told the media. "We are free to do whatever we want on our private land. It's a homophobic attack.

"I feel pity for that person," added the newlywed, who referred to the perpetrator as a "pathetic low life" in comments made to the media. "Why do they feel as though they have a right to do that, to try to ruin our day."

Added Callum, "I was more angry at how it made my mum feel."

Callum took to Facebook to make sure that the person who sent out the message from behind a cloak of anonymity would know exactly what he thought of their attempt to mar his wedding with hate.

"I'm not the sort of person that lets everyone know that I am gay, because of people like you I spent so many years in denial and lost and still struggle to open up, because of people like you so many people commit suicide all over the world because they can't face admitting who they are and that's because of bigoted people like you!" Callum posted.

Callum ended his post with: "Well here's a [flipping the bird emoticon] up to you and I guess I'll see you in hell."

Callum's grandmother adopted a more old-fashioned approach, writing an open letter to the author of the hate missive and posting it as a printed-out page:

"To the cowardly person who writes the vile anonymous letter to my family, saying that the consensus of the village was against us holding the reception of my grandson's wedding in the village on our own land," the letter began.

The letter listed the family's long history with the village, including the many family members buried in the churchyard.

"So, come on put your name to the letter so that we know who we are dealing with," the missive added, above Callum's grandmother's name.

Media reports indicated that the local police have reached their own consensus: They are investigating the anonymous letter as a hate crime.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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