Ellen DeGeneres surprised lesbian couple whose family won’t attend wedding
Kate Austin and Sarah Sulsenti got engaged in Paris, Francis, this October when Austin proposed to Sulsenti in front of the Eiffel Tower.
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"The night before, I obviously was SO nervous because like hello I was proposing in like 8 hours and Sarah sort of got an inkling but brushed it off (which is why she said she knew it). . I will never forget the feeling of getting down on my knee and watching Sarah become shocked! She first screamed, “SHUT THE FUCK UP! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!” She was so surprised because she always wanted to propose first! Beat her to it, I guess. . I have always pictured myself being proposed to. So has Sarah. It’s that simple. Why should either of us miss out on that experience because we’re both females? It seems so silly! . Every relationship is unique in its own way and following heteronormative rules in relationships to “normalize” my relationship seems absolutely out of this world. Most straight couples don’t even follow those rules anymore. " —@kateaustinn . Congratulations, Kate and Sarah! . [Two marriers, both in elegant BHLDN dresses, stand outside of the Eiffel Tower. One of them is down on one knee proposing to the other.] . Photographer: @flytographer Dresses: @bhldn Ring: @reedsjewelers @reedsdiamondconcierge Couple: @kateaustinn @sarsulsenti . . . . #equallywed #engayged #forusbyus #lgbt #lgbttravel #loveislove #travelblogger #femmetribe #girlswhokissgirls #theinvisiblefemme #philly #philadelphia #nyc #mrsandmrs #lgbtblogger #gaygirls #couplegoals #globalgaygirlgang #gaygirlgang #goodvibesonly #pride #parisproposal #mrsandmrs #twobridetribe #engagementphotos #lesbianwedding #twobrides
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In November, Austin tweeted an invitation to Ellen DeGeneres to their wedding. “hi @chrissyteigen & @TheEllenShow!! my parents aren’t going to attend my wedding because they don’t like that i’m gay! i need someone to walk me down the aisle and someone else for a “father/daughter” dance. plz come, my fiancée and i would cry,” Austin wrote on Twitter.
Austin has been out for five years but has experienced challenges with her family’s acceptance. “Owning it and growing over the last five years has been like the greatest gift,” she said. “I’m so thankful that I came out because it’s taught me like courage and owning who I am, and it allowed me to be my authentic self.”
In response, DeGeneres shared the tweet and invited the couple to be on her show. While on the air, their chosen family joined them on stage—and watched as Sulsenti proposed back to Austin!
It was an emotionally resonant moment. “I know you already proposed to me, but of course, you know I had to get my piece in there because you deserve it, and there’s no better way to do it than in front of our chosen family and, of course, our biggest role model,” Sulsenti said in her proposal. “The way that you feel today is the way that you make me feel every day.” Double proposals are common in the LGBTQ+ community and there’s nothing sweeter than watching one happen.
“Everybody deserves love, that’s all the matters in this life is love,” Ellen said to the couple. “And the fact that your family doesn’t accept it, I am so sorry.” She let them know that she wouldn’t be able to attend as a guest but gave them a cardboard cutout to stand in her place at the celebration. She also gifted them with a check for $25,000.
Austin thanked DeGeneres for being a role model to queer women everywhere. “If it wasn’t for someone like you, I wouldn’t have had the courage to go out in the public and propose to my fiancée,” she said.
“coming out isn’t the same for everyone. sometimes it’s exhilarating, sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s both at the exact same time. no matter where you are on your journey, know that it’s not wrong. all things in time,” Austin wrote on Instagram a few days after sharing the engagement news. “whether you’re out loud & proud, closeted or questioning – you are loved, you are valid and you are perfect exactly as you are. coming out isn’t always easy but it’s ALWAYS worth it.”