YouTuber Hannah Hart on Why Her Dad Won’t Attend Her Wedding

"This is the most vulnerable I've ever felt online."

Hannah Hart has released an emotional new video explaining why her father has refused to attend her wedding. The 33-year-old YouTube star is set to marry her fiancée, Ella Mielniczenko, this spring.

“This is the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt online,” Hart tweeted.

“So my dad isn’t coming to my wedding because he’s a Jehovah’s Witness,” she reveals in the video. “They’re not even like a Christian denomination. They are more like the kind of organization that consumes your entire life and controls all your relationships.” She goes on to describe the religious group as “a cult.”

“You don’t protect families by keeping secrets,” she adds. “And I’ve been keeping secret my opinion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses out of fear of losing my relationship with my father.”

“I’m really surprised that I’m sad that my dad’s not coming to my wedding,” Hart says, explaining that she has always taken a backseat to her father’s religious beliefs. “I can’t believe I care. Why do I care?”

“I just need to say this so that I don’t internalize it and it doesn’t fester in me,” she concludes. “So now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, maybe… I’ll feel comfortable posting all the happy wedding content again, because I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Hart clarifies in the video’s description that her father and stepmom, who had been included on some wedding planning emails, told her in August that they would not attend the wedding; she had assumed the subject would not be broached.

“But they needed to remind me that my love was unnatural, immoral, and a crime within their organization,” she writes. “To remind me that Ella wasn’t worthy of being in a family photo. And lastly, to remind me that if I ever used my public platform to speak out against their organization that that ’would be it.’ It’s taken me six months to decide I am comfortable with that.”

Hart reminds her followers she was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and even preached door to door. “I was never officially baptized,” she continues, “and yet this organization has taken from me something I desperately wanted to carry through this life and into the next—the unconditional love and support of a parent.”

She also shares information on the Jehovah’s Witness documentary The Witnessses with this trigger warning: “basically all the worst things people can do.”

Hart, best known for her My Drunk Kitchen web series and New York Times best-selling cookbook of the same name, proposed to Mielniczenko in 2018.

“It’s so exciting to share our engagement story,” Hart told People. “There is just not enough positive queer representation out there of the realities of being in queer relationships.”

Hart, who has almost 2.5 million YouTube subscribers, was honored in 2016 with GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award, presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ community. That same year she released her memoir, Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded.

Watch “My Dad Isn’t Coming to Our Wedding” below.
 


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