Some things pass us by and don’t change our lives at all. For people like Zach Wahls and myself, some of these “things” have a large effect on us. Zach and I have to live with labels that we did not choose in exchange for our happiness.
Sometimes I pray that things will change, other times I don’t feel as if I need to because I feel the sand shifting and changing underneath of my bare feet.
I dream of a day when there will be no secrets, no calculations of the worth of mentioning a certain pronoun when referring to one’s significant other. I dream of a day that there will be no worry with regards to choice of language in order to avoid divulging something that one is told by so many to be ashamed of. That day is so sweet that I literally taste it like raw honey on the tip of my tongue and it makes me smile outwardly. It has a special place that it resides in my mind in all of its glory and wonder–a place that I can retreat to and take refuge in when this world does not offer the same comforts.
It is for the same reason Zach put on a suit that morning, the same reason he got a nice haircut to make a good impression, and the same reason that he practiced that speech in front of the mirror that I catch myself thinking twice about kissing the woman that I love in public–yet under our roof I have no hesitation; in my heart I have no hesitation for those kisses, those moments of light affection. It is the same reason I almost blotted out my bright, young life with the drink.
I used to be deluded by those trying to control what they do not understand nor do they try and understand. This delusion has evolved into a hesitance and a wondering that I refuse and will refuse to ever indulge. A few people have done such a great job being so loud. However, their voices are wearing with age, weighed down by their antiquity and hate they tell themselves they do not have. Their lies add to their weight. Their hearts are good and love, too, I know. They can scream in my face and call me evil but I will love them, I will love them with all of my heart. They can whisper behind my back and separate me from other with words but I share their flesh and we always will share one flesh. I am human.
This is why I emerge from the shadows that sometimes fall over me. Love will prevail. Love will shine from every hill from which it stands. Love will cast away the hated veil that tries to control it, tries to own it, tries to bring it to a vote. I emerge from the shadows when I see time inevitably marching forward and more stones being overturned. Love will turn our hearts to understanding, and if they do not, I will know that I have tried.
Zach has. I will not settle to have a second-class citizenship when I have a full humanity. I will not settle for wordplay when it comes to a life-time commitment in the name of love. If they are foolish enough to vote down love, they will fail because I will fall to my knees and be married in the name of my God, who walks with me and lives and reigns over my life and our world and our flesh. Whether or not the state marries me or gives me a scrap of paper will not stop me from doing anything that is necessary to defend the presence of love in this world.
Zach is a child of love and acts accordingly. Zach reminds me to love my future children more than unconditionally so that I can only hope that they look as nice as he does so that we can continue the tireless work of being sparking examples so that we can change peoples’ minds. Zach reminds me why I go to work so clean and so sharp every morning, why I do not rest to walk as a living example of love, and why there are no limits to the sacrifices I would make in the name of that love.
Love is the only tool that can overcome our fear and love brings us to bravery to stand for what our hearts cry out for: truth and understanding. Love cannot be brought to a vote; we will not lose. We will keep walking, we will keep loving, we will move away from the shadows and delusions and all other things that try and overcome us but cannot. We will be brave and we will not give up. I know that we will do this because we love. Time marches on and the sand from the tops of our bare feet will wash away and we will all be clean together, in one flesh.
(c) Ada Vaskys