Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Lesbian Bride-Inspired TV

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Lesbian Bride-Inspired TV

Salon owner Renee Vollmar with "What Would You Do?" host John Quinones.
Salon owner Renee Vollmar with "What Would You Do?" host John Quinones.

You know your personal drama has earned national cachet when it inspires a segment on "What Would You Do?" - the John Quinones-hosted ABC show that uses actors and hidden cameras to stage ethical dilemmas and record real-people responses to the scenarios.

So it is for Alex Genter, the lesbian bride-to-be whom I wrote about last year, who, because she is gay, was refused service from a Somers Point, NJ bridal salon owner.

Inspired by Genter's story, "What Would You DO?" staged a scenario at Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique, in Denville, N.J., in which a phony salon consultant refuses service to a phony lesbian bride.

The episode, taped last fall, airs Friday night (March 23) at 9pm. "We were very moved by Alix's story," show producer Mary Beth Lavender told me.

Even the phony version was "very emotional," says salon owner Renee Vollmar, who watched the staged scenarios unfold via a remote monitor.

"One mother and daughter were so upset at how the 'bride' was being treated, they were crying," Vollmar says. "Another bride left without saying a word. When the cameras caught up with her, she said she'd never shop in the store again. It was encouraging to see the support, because every bridal-salon owner I know was appalled by Alix's story."

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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