Natalie Woods is a normal woman from Dallas who would find herself in a not-so-normal situation as she became an overnight viral sensation. Natalie shares the story of how she defended not only herself but the entire LGBT community. While eating at a diner in Dallas, Natalie overheard an arrogant, smug family spewing hateful messages about their newly out family member. Sitting there in the booth next to them, she couldn’t simply sit there and do nothing, so she acted. When the waiter returned to this family's table, they found that someone from the booth next to them had paid for their entire meal; this person was Natalie. Not only did she pay for their meal in protest of their hate, she left a note for them on their receipt.
The note read, “Happy Holidays from the very gay, very liberal table sitting next to you. Jesus made me this way. P.S. Be accepting of your family.” Before she knew it, the note was shared across social media millions of times across the world — in the United States, Spain, Denmark, Nigeria, the U.K., and on and on.
As soon as I heard what Natalie did, I knew that I wanted to have her share her story on LGBT Stories. Anyone who so strongly stands up advocating for the LGBT community, in my opinion, deserves a gold metal for their bravery. If I can in the smallest way provide them with a platform to share their truth, that is what I will do.
She not only told this story of heroism but she her whole life story. This was something that no news outlet had asked of Natalie — oddly enough, it’s the most important part of why she did what she did. If not for the life Natalie has lived, all the ups and downs she has experienced, she may have left that diner not having done anything at all. As the world continues to listen to Natalie’s story, I hope that they are inspired to step up in their own way when they notice any sort of injustice. Whether or not you are LGBT or not, or whether the hate you are witnessing is directed toward the LGBT community or any other group of people, step up! Be sure to do it safely so as not to put yourself directly in harm’s way. However, if you can find it within you, speak up. The world is listening.
Click here to read the rest of our op-ed in The Advocate magazine!