In November 2019, Kate Stanley and her partner Brooke Bishop wanted to make a significant announcement. To that end, Kate wrote an emotional message on Facebook, hoping to reach the relatives who frowned upon her relationship. But thanks to her touching words, Stanley’s social media post subsequently went viral.
As a young woman, Stanley grew up in Circleville, Ohio, alongside her siblings grew and their parents. From there, she went on to pursue a higher education — which would lead to a big moment. Stanley earned a spot at Ohio University, where she focused on her studies.
Following that spell at college, Stanley eventually made her way to Columbus, Ohio, ahead of another important period in her life. It was here that the 24-year-old was first introduced to Brooke Bishop, who was 11 years her senior. Regardless of the age-gap, though, the pair hit it off and became a couple.
As Stanley and Bishop’s relationship developed, they then looked to share an update on social media in November 2019. As we mentioned earlier, the former Circleville resident hoped that the message would be noticed by certain members of her family. However, no one could have foreseen what happened after the post hit Facebook.
On that note, you’re probably wondering what Stanley’s message entailed. But before we dive into the social media post, let’s shed a bit more light on her relationship with Bishop. Unlike a lot of other couples who might have first encountered each other at a bar or club, their paths crossed in a very different way.
You see, Stanley has a job at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, working within the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Bishop also holds a position in that department. The pair were eventually introduced during a shift at the medical facility, yet the former student didn’t imagine she was meeting a potential partner.
In fact, when they first met at the hospital, Stanley had a preconceived idea about Bishop’s personal life. To explain more, she was later interviewed by the website Bored Panda. Looking back on that pivotal period, it turned out Stanley was way off base in her initial assessment.
“When I first [saw Bishop], I thought she was married with kids,” Stanley said. “So it was a true surprise that she was not only single, without kids, but also a lesbian.” Following that discovery, the duo then began to form a romantic bond, but not in a traditional manner.
Indeed, while many couples would get to know each other on a night out, Bishop and Stanley didn’t follow that route. The latter revealed some additional information about that during her conversation with Bored Panda. She also reflected on her feelings as their relationship went from strength to strength.
Stanley continued, “It was like winning the lottery. When I was with [Bishop], there was always a sense of familiarity. Things fit so effortlessly and naturally. We didn’t go on dates, really. We simply just started existing together.” And her thoughts on the matter didn’t end there, as she went on to make another observation.
“There are so many moments of realization for me, but I think what makes [Bishop] ‘the one’ for me isn’t one moment but every morning,” Stanley said. “Waking up to the realization that I chose her. I choose her every day. I choose her over any and all things. I will keep choosing her and that’s the easiest decision of the day for me.”
With that in mind, Stanley and Bishop’s relationship took a significant turn in the latter part of 2019. It all started innocuously enough, as the lovebirds organized a “Friendsgiving” celebration. The event was held at their home, with friends and family joining the fun. However, Bishop wanted to ensure that two particular people were there.
Bishop invited Stanley’s mom and dad, ahead of planning her next move. Once the party got going, she tried to put her own spin on a popular Thanksgiving tradition. Her partner looked back on that night while talking to the PinkNews website in November 2019, and explained what happened next.
Stanley said, “Brooke curated a playlist composed of songs with meaning to her, meaning to us, and some filler songs that we enjoy. Everyone was given an envelope that had a card in it to give to me when their chosen song came on the playlist. Each card had a picture of us.”
Stanley continued, “[The cards also contained] lyrics from the song, and something [Bishop] is grateful for pertaining to me and our relationship.” So with the rules in place, everyone at the party played along and followed Bishop’s instructions. The playlist continued to tick over as the night went on, ahead of a touching moment.
One of the tracks was “Marry You” by music superstar Bruno Mars. When the song started playing, Stanley pulled her partner up from the table without looking at the card. From there, she “forced” Bishop to get into the groove of the music, something that wasn’t uncommon in their relationship.
After Stanley settled back down, she was then handed the card for that particular track. Incredibly, Bishop saw it all coming, as she wrote about her girlfriend’s penchant for pulling her up to the dance floor. However, as the evening towards its conclusion, the final envelope came into play.
“During the last song of the playlist which [Bishop] picked as ‘One Man Band’ by Old Dominion, she gave me an envelope that was empty and told me to just listen,” Stanley recalled. “She joked about how every time this song comes on the radio that I say, ‘Ugh! I love this song,’ and turn it up.”
“[Bishop] told me that she always lets me just so she can hear me sing the first verse,” Stanley said. “She told me that she couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else. She asked me to marry her. She was perfect, I was an absolute mess. I cried, hugged her, cried some more, hugged her harder.”
To give you a better idea of the timeline, Stanley had been open about her sexuality for six years prior to the “Friendsgiving” party. She was 18 years old when she told her folks, before informing her siblings. Thankfully for her, they all took the news very well, standing by her side.
Meanwhile, the relatives on Stanley’s mother’s side were much the same. Unfortunately, though, not everyone appeared to welcome the news. The issues stemmed from her father’s side, as his relatives went on to make niggling remarks around Stanley that felt “like paper cuts.” And to make matters worse, the individuals refused to talk to her beyond that.
However, despite their history, Stanley still wanted to inform those relatives of her engagement in November 2019. So following the party, the Columbus resident took to social media to share the news. However, this wasn’t going to be a traditional announcement, as she decided to get creative with it.
Instead of revealing the news outright, Stanley wrote up a thoughtful post that might have caught a few people off guard to begin with. The hospital worker began by discussing the color orange, talking about its significance to her. Then, she used that as a way to lead in to the big announcement.
“My favorite color has been orange for as long as I can remember,” Stanley wrote on Facebook. “Orange like the soft wave of the clouds in a sunrise. Orange like the leaves that cling desperately to the trees during autumn. Orange like the sweater I wore the night you asked me to marry you.”
Stanley continued, “Something I never expected when I first met you was the impact that you would have on me – in every way possible, it seems. You have impacted me from the way I clean the bathroom mirror to the way I hold a basket in the grocery store, just so I can make sure you are able to hold onto my arm.”
At that stage, Stanley admitted that Bishop’s “impact” went beyond those two examples. Indeed, she noted that her partner also made her an all-round better person too, giving her a chance to express her feelings. From there, the former college student then switched her focus back to the color orange.
Just like before, Stanley used that as a creative bridge to highlight her love for Bishop on the social media website. She wrote, “My favorite color is no longer orange. Sometimes, it’s green like your eyes in the sunlight. Sometimes, it’s pink like your cheeks after you’ve been smiling endlessly.”
“Sometimes, [my favorite color is] brown like the constellation of freckles on your body,” Stanley’s Facebook post continued. “Or brown like the waterfall of your hair that falls in your face when you throw your head back and laugh. Sometimes, it’s red like your lips after a glass or two of wine.”
Off the back of that touching passage, Stanley started to wrap the post up. In keeping with the color theme that was prevalent throughout, she credited Bishop for opening her eyes during their time together as a couple. And her words didn’t end there, as we’re about to discover.
Stanley concluded, “It amazes me the way you’ve brought so much into my world to make colors that I’ve seen my entire life hold so much more meaning and beauty. I am so excited to experience day after day with you until each and every color has a new meaning. And maybe by the end of it, I’ll have decided on a new favorite color.”
On that note, Stanley brought the message to an end. In addition to her words, she posted four different photographs as well, including a shot of the engagement ring. As for the other three images, they captured her and Bishop together, with the couple displaying their love for each other.
Since being posted on Facebook, Stanley’s message has generated a decent response, earning over 300 likes. It’s also garnered more than 70 comments on the social media website, with many users offering their congratulations to the pair. However, the post started to blow up on Twitter in a major way soon after.
You see, Stanley shared the message on her Twitter account as well. She took a screen capture of the original Facebook post and included it in a tweet. Alongside that, Bishop’s partner added another passage too, as she succinctly explained why she wanted to make the announcement this way.
Stanley’s tweet read, “I got engaged. I made a Facebook post about it to ensure all of my homophobic family members could congratulate my fiancée and I on our happy, healthy relationship.” Thanks to those sharp words, the hospital worker’s message quickly went viral, as Twitter users flocked to read it.
The tweet has subsequently earned just under 120,000 likes and more than 13,000 retweets. Not only that, but it’s generated in excess of 500 comments as well. Yet despite all of that attention, you may well be wondering if Stanley’s less supportive relatives responded to the original message on Facebook.
Stanley told Bored Panda, “Very honestly, I’ve heard absolutely nothing from my family members in regards to my engagement. It doesn’t surprise me much that I haven’t heard anything. I’ve been living my truth unapologetically for six years now, and I think most people are well aware of my tendency to be as bold and fearless as I am stubborn.”
Meanwhile, Stanley’s social media post also drew the attention of some international outlets, such as the U.K. newspaper Metro. The publication’s website ran a story about the viral post in December 2019, touching upon its impact online. The Columbus resident was also contacted to share her thoughts on the situation.
As it turned out, Stanley’s passionate Facebook post wasn’t just written as a response to her unwelcoming relatives. In fact, it was an attempt to repay Bishop for what she did at the “Friendsgiving” celebration. She told the paper’s website, “I wanted to share something I had been writing in my head for Brooke, along with the post about getting engaged.”
“Brooke did such an incredible job of creating a beautiful proposal,” Stanley continued. “And I wanted to be able to give her something as well. My intention of making it public and ensuring that ALL of my family could see it is because I very much advocate the idea that sharing blood does not make someone ‘family.’”
In addition to that powerful statement, Stanley made one last point while talking to the publication. As the couple prepare for their future, she added, “I will continue to express my love boldly and proudly, regardless of who disagrees. Love is beautiful, pure and rare. It should always be celebrated.”