(LA Blade) Melissa Sheehan – a Wilbraham, Massachusetts, resident raising two children with her wife Kelly – was stunned when what she thought was a funny Christmas card turned out to be an anti-LGBT note from an “unequal neighbor."
But another neighbor stepped in to use the incident to raise money for LGBTQ+ youth organization the Trevor Project.
According to the fundraiser, the note read: “Sheehan’s – I drive by regularly and wanted to drop you a note about your signs and flags. I love your = and pride flag but if you are = why do you have to put it in everyone's face? Seems you want to be special. Any functioning adult??? How did that work out for you? Record inflation, record illegals crossing, record debt, record low favorability rating for Joe the rapist even with a media that kisses his you fill in the blank. I don’t understand you people you would believe CNN, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow if they told you the sky was red. Just remember… you wanted this.”
It was signed “your unequal neighbor” with no return address.
The Sheehans regularly displayed signage – including an “any functioning adult″ sign during the 2020 election cycle as a joke – outside of their home, but added a Pride, Black Lives Matter and transgender Pride flag last year, reported the MassLive.
“As I’m reading the note, I really wasn’t angered. It was more laughing just out of the closed-mindedness of individuals,” Sheehan told the newspaper.
Still, Sheehan and her wife took to the town’s private Facebook group to share photos of the note.
“I wanted to share the beautiful Xmas card we received from an anonymous person in town. What I find crazy though, is this person didn’t sign the card when so much love went into it. You would think they want to take credit,” Kelly Gray-Sheehan wrote, adding a laughing emoji, according to the paper.
Photo by Renee Considine
The post blew up within the group, receiving over 500 comments, according to Sheehan, the large majority of which were positive. “That says a lot about our community for the good,” Sheehan said.
Sheehan’s neighbor, Renee Considine, wanted to go a step further if she could post the incident to raise money for the Trevor Project.
“This is something hateful that happened to two of the kindest, helpful people that live in this community,” Considine told the publication. “I thought, ‘What a great way to send a message of love and support this through the Trevor Project,’ because that’s their mission.”
Sheehan added: “If anything, we can turn some of the hate in this into some donations for the Trevor Project. It’s kind of a win-win for everybody. It’s pretty nice to have such a good friend and ally living right next door.”
Considine said she set up a fundraiser and reached her goal of $500 in only 24 hours. It is now upwards of $1,400 and she added that the fundraiser is still open to those who want to donate.
“That sends a message that we don’t tolerate hate,” she said. “Every cent that is raised and goes to the Trevor Project just is a message of love and support.”