I went for a walk this afternoon down to the ravine near my high-rise home. I followed a forest path to the open meadow. I wanted to walk barefoot on the grass in the sunshine. What I call a meadow is really a Toronto green space, but whatever you call it, it’s lovely! I connected directly with Mother Earth through my feet.
While walking back, a scene I saw briefly while driving through the city the day before returned to my mind. And I’d like to tell you a few stories.
Back in the 1990s, I went out one night with my boyfriend at the time and we ended up dancing in a gay club. They played a slow, romantic song at the end of the night and my boyfriend and I made the most of it, dancing closely together. It made no difference to the energy between us that the couples around us on the dance floor were gay. Then it occurred to me that if the situation were reversed, and we were a gay couple surrounded by hetero couples, we could be killed for what we were innocently doing. And that’s just so wrong.
In 2001, I visited an old friend living in New York. My time there and our conversations resulted in me writing this poem:
LOVERS they wake in the morning while their guest still sleeps, lie quietly together and talk of the previous night’s unfolding two friendly lovebirds one is strong, tall and unique, the other, beautiful and deep, for seven years they have loved and cared and stayed together through the best of times and impossible times, what began as a mutual spark still glowing within their hearts true to each other and true to themselves they follow the Law of Life, ignoring the glare from cold-hearted eyes that see love and would destroy it because they are two women
Back in Toronto after that, a different boyfriend and I were walking along the Lake Ontario boardwalk on a sunny afternoon. Up ahead of us I spied a lady I knew walking towards us, hand-in-hand with her girlfriend. But as soon as they recognised us, they immediately let go of each other’s hand. I thought how unfair it was to have to live like that. In fear of being judged.
In 2005 I apprenticed at The National Post daily newspaper for three or four months, as part of my print journalism course. Consequently, I got to meet the Reverend who performed the first gay marriage in Canada, four years prior in 2001, to interview him for a story about his neighbourhood.
In a side conversation, he told me that he had to wear a bulletproof vest for the ceremony because he had received threats on his life as well as threats to bomb his church. The presence of protesters on the street, body guards and police, and a woman trying to attack the Reverend during a service that morning, heightened the tension. But the ceremony took place, and history was made.
Love triumphed over hate. Thank goodness.
Contrast all this prejudice, and fear of prejudice, with the scene I witnessed briefly yesterday.
Three young people stood at a downtown intersection where traffic lights caused me to stop for a short time. A tall male with black hair and two slightly built, fairer and smaller girls.
What caught my eye as they crossed the street in front of my car was that the two girls were holding hands. And the young man clearly felt completely comfortable with this. And I thought, “This is the way it should be. People free to love as they choose, in the way that is natural to them. And nobody accusing them of wrongdoing.”
And by the way, both lesbian couples I’ve told you about have been happily married for many years now. ❤
It’s so simple, when we live and let love.