What began as a spat with her local coffee shop has erupted into a viral war that is raging across the opera and piano playing communities.
Leesa Dahl, who has claimed to be a piano teacher at Aspen and Juilliard* (see UPDATE below) and is an opera accompanist, took against the gay-marriage sign on The Chipped Cup, her local sippery. So she posted on the shop’s Facebook page: ’You just lost two local customers with your political sandwich board… We were so happy when you joined the neighborhood and were faithful, but alienating the majority of the population is a really irritating and dumb move. We will encourage others not to patronize your business.’
On Twitter she added: It’s too bad @ChippedCupNY discriminates against 98% of their customer base by being H8ful!’
The shop hit back:
Hi Everyone, I’m the owner of a coffee shop in New York. Yesterday we put out our sandwich board with a message in support of Marriage Equality. This was one woman’s reaction:
And then the floodgates opened across all social media, with a range of comments far too violent and disproportionate to be included in a Slipped Disc report. Ms Dahl responded on a friend’s facebook page:
Leesa Dahl: “A lot of you are making tons of assumptions, and it’s not warranted. I am not religious and I am NOT anti-SSM. I choose to not spend my money somewhere pushing politics. That’s it. Basta. Everyone else is free to do as they choose, not my business. Just like marriage. I do love all the threats to my career, and they are well-noted…I’ve overcome the little opera-mafia hate several times before, and I am not worried. I’ve been literally beaten almost to death in the not too far past, so honestly all this giddy hate/schadenfreude is something I’ve experienced from the music community already. No need to get excited, it’s not as it seems, or as the Chipped Cup people wish it to be to push faux rage.”
That’s it, folks. The state of the virtual world, Good Friday 2013.
*UPDATE: Alan Fletcher, president of Aspen, reports that she was never a faculty member there. Likewise, Juilliard teachers say she was never on staff though she may have given frelance lessons and accompaniment.