Tuesday, August 20, 2013
These days, I’m a big ol’ sook* at the best of times: Even TV commercials can make me teary-eyed. So, it’s not surprising that seeing all those happy couples yesterday often made me feel quite emotional. I was genuinely happy for them, but my emotion was different.
When I talked about the marriage equality bill passing Parliament, I described it as “Becoming real.” In that post, I talked about my expectations growing up and the convoluted schemes I came up with so I could try and “live happily ever after” in a world that didn’t want me to.
Yesterday, it suddenly hit me: For the first time in my life, I have exactly the same options as my heterosexual friends, siblings, in-laws and nieces and nephews. They grew up knowing that one day they could get married if they wanted to, where I grew up knowing that I’d never be allowed to. That is, I knew that until history lurched us all forward and now I, too, can choose to be married or not. It’s a lot to take in: Nearly 55 years of assuming the world is at least partly closed-off to me, only to find the door has been unbolted and thrown open, with a big, smiling crowd waving and welcoming me and all LGBT people to join them. It’s like finding myself falling from a great height—will there be anything to catch me?
Obviously I know that there’s plenty of hatred still in this world—hell, I write about some aspect of that hatred on this blog nearly every week. I know that in far too many places in this world, the new freedom we now know in New Zealand is a dream even farther away than it was for me as a young closeted teen. But if my life has shown me anything, it’s that one should never underestimate the power of love to triumph over all adversaries, no matter how strong or invincible they may seem.
When I was a Christian, the passage the spoke to me personally was this: “Faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). I’ve always believed that. My faith is no longer of the religious variety, but I nevertheless still believe that those three things—and especially love—are enough to defeat evil itself, given enough time.
So, I back love every time. And I feel, maybe for the first time in my life, really, that I’ve been right to do so. Love won in New Zealand. Eventually, it WILL win everywhere: “The greatest of these is love.”
*New Zealand/Australian slang for a crybaby.