A photographer from Texas has spoken out against a potential client who told her she wouldn’t hire her because she’s a lesbian.
Alicia Verdier from Houston recently penned an eye-opening think piece on Equality Texas’ website, a non-profit organisation that focuses on political advocacy to recall a time when she had been speaking to a new customer about shooting her daughter’s fifth birthday.
Verdier explained how the pair discussed potential dates for the party, as well as specific shots and what she could bring to the table.
Unexpectedly, the conversation suddenly ran dry.
After two days of silence, Verdier said that the client messaged her asking whether she was gay and if she’d ever photographed gay people.
“She said she’d seen my personal Facebook profile,” she wrote. “My first thought was that maybe she was a part of the LGBTQ community and wanted some reassurance. My second thought, though, was that things were about to get very unpleasant.”
Verdier told the client she was gay, highlight that the rainbow filter on her profile picture made it quite clear. She also told her that she’s worked with multiple LGBT+ people throughout her career and it’s something she’s particularly proud of.
“The messages I received from her after that were filled with vitriol and hatred,” she continued. “She let me know that there was no way she would hire me. She told me I had no business working with babies and children; she didn’t want my ‘lifestyle’ to give her daughter the idea that being gay was acceptable.”
According to Verdier, the woman then posted negative reviews of her business online and set out “warnings” about working with someone of her sexual orientation.
“I had the fake reviews removed, but it was still hard not to take them personally.”
“My work is intrinsically tied to who I am, so it affected me,” Verdier continued. “I do not hide the fact that I’m gay, but suddenly I was worried that it might prevent me from being successful as a photographer in Texas. I live every day trying to model pride for my children, because I want them to always know that they should love themselves and others, as they are. But reading her words, I didn’t feel proud; I felt a little broken.”
This isn’t the first time a photographer who identifies as a lesbian has lost work due to their sexual orientation.
Back in December 2017, Faith Grace from Mobile, Alabama took to Twitter to share that she had been fired from a job after her client discovered her sexuality on her Instagram profile.
The customer, who was a pregnant mother wanting to take part in a maternity photo shoot, claimed she didn’t want her child “to think that being gay is OK”.
Her tweet proved was shared countless times over the social media platform, to which Faith Grace responded: “OKAY HOLY WOW. I just woke up & my Twitter was flooded with nothing but love & support over that picture I posted yesterday.
“I wasn’t expecting it to go viral — to everyone that’s been supporting this & people who have dealt with hate & discrimination, THANK YOU!! Xoxo”