It’s official. We are free to love whomever we love! What a concept! Perhaps the human race is evolving…
In light of the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which declares that all couples have the right to be recognized and treated equally in the eyes of society, some personal impressions and memories come to mind.
I learned a lot at my first job out of high school, waiting tables. I learned a lot about humanity and even more about myself. I had never met any gay people before. Tim was a waiter. Len the manager. They were a couple. Growing up, my parents never talked about gay people one way or the other. Tim was kind and easy-going and helped me along in the world of waitressing. Len was a little more stressed as the manager; but I liked them both. I noticed as we all worked together that their relationship displayed the same smorgasbord of characteristics of any of the relationships I had witnessed up to that point in my young life.
Rewind to Early Childhood…
I am the product of a racially mixed union. My mother is from Germany, my father from Taiwan. As a young girl, I never felt fundamentally less than, different, or strange compared to anybody else. That is, until my young ears began to hear some things. As I grew up, I started to hear snippets about my parents’ courtship in the early 60’s. (The Supreme Court lifted bans on interracial marriage in 1967.)
They had both come to the Land of Opportunity for new lives and had met at the university, in the heart of the flat lands and big skies of Kansas. I listened curiously to the by-gone stories of reactions by their families to their unusual union at the time. Hearing those stories was the first inkling for me that there was anything “wrong” or “unusual” about any of it. Apparently, I learned, there had been some trepidation on both sides.
But the families got over it and got through it. My mom and dad got married. And my sister and I were born and raised in America.
I remember during a school vacation, the day my father took my grade school-age sister and me overseas to Asia, and onto a busy train. As he bought our tickets, he cleared his throat and casually warned us that people might think we looked strange because of our mixed look, our mixed heritage.
Some people might stare at you, he said.
What should we do? we asked, looking up at him.
Just stare right back at them, he said. And so we did.
The Reality of Love…
I distinctly remember the moment when I had my personal revelation, my epiphany, about my two restaurant colleagues, Tim and Len. I remember the depth and the strength of the feeling that came up from within me one day at the end of a waitressing shift.
I whole heartedly knew that their love and their union was just as true and valid as anyone else’s. This deep inner knowing felt joyous, as it rose from my core. It felt good and true, and I never forgot it.
Later in my adulthood when some friends asked me, “Why do you care?” about this issue of gay rights and marriage anyways, I could not find the perfect words to do my feelings justice.
I care because limitless Love is central to my core. Love cannot be bound. I care because limitless Love is central to the core of All human beings. Love knows no color, creed, preference, or orientation.
Our fire truck responded to an emergency call for a woman who fell on the walking trail. She had a few bumps and bruises. We helped get her back onto her feet and tended to her. She was a Russian immigrant, she explained.
She was grateful for our help and through the tears, she kept telling me, You are so lucky to be born here. You have rights. People really care about each other here. This country cares about its people. And the people care about each other. The people truly care about each other.
I believe we do. We truly, deeply do. Love knows no bounds.