When Philadelphia woman Kate Austin proposed to her now-fiancée in front of the Eiffel Tower, everything was picture-perfect. But there was one thing that Austin knew would be missing from her future wedding: her parents. They don’t accept that she’s a lesbian, and they refused to attend the nuptials.
So Austin turned to the one lesbian who could possibly cheer her up in her moment of need. Ellen DeGeneres!
Austin took to Twitter to make her plea to both DeGeneres and Chrissy Teigen. “I need someone to walk me down the aisle and someone else for a ‘father/daughter’ dance,” she wrote. The tweet went viral.
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 💕 #shootingmyshot pic.twitter.com/DGcH2KQq5f
— Kate Austin (@KateAustin_) November 5, 2019
Amazingly, it worked. DeGeneres couldn’t make it to the wedding, but she did invite Austin and fiancée Sarah Sulsenti to attend her show. She replied to the tweet on Monday, writing, “See you tomorrow.”
During the “Show Me Your Tweets” segment of Tuesday’s episode, DeGeneres invited Austin and Sulsenti from the audience onto the stage. Through tears, Austin thanked DeGeneres for being an inspirational lesbian icon. “If it wasn’t for someone like you, I would’ve never had the courage to just go out there in public and propose to my fiancée,” Austin said. “So many people don’t accept that, and you paved the way for queer women everywhere.”
Austin also explained that she came out five years ago, and her mom was “terrible” about it. As a surprise, DeGeneres invited the couple’s closest supportive family and friends to the show.
That’s when Sulsenti pulled her own surprise. She returned Austin’s proposal on live television. “The way that you feel today is the way you make me feel every day, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life feeling that way,” she said, getting down on one knee.
Austin said yes, of course!
Lastly, DeGeneres provided two major wedding gifts: a $25,000 check and a life-size cardboard cutout of herself to take her place. “For Kate and for all the people out there who are not accepted by their family, you are loved by so many people,” she said. “We love you for who you are exactly.”