Love Is Louder Than Fear

I had originally intended to write about something completely different today, until a short clip about a documentary came across my path, thanks to my cousin's Facebook page.

It's about two people, from the States who met, fell in love and just really wanted to be together. Only, they can't be. One of these poor souls dies, leaving the other alone. Tragically, this person is not only NOT permitted to the attend the funeral of the loved one, but is also denied access to information regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of the loved one. Friends of the couple are shocked at this. No doubt, most of us would be. Why should our partners be denied anything under the law? This couple was deeply in love, and committed to each other for 6 years. They had a house together, and even owned their own business.

But the outrage at the legal deniability that this couple wasn't officially recognized seems to be sort of ridiculous, doesn't it? Well, quite simply ... it SHOULD be something that we recognize as ridiculous. The whole issue is that because these two people, Tom and Steve, are gay and under state law in the United States, despite being together for 6 years, the law reduced their life together, their relationship, their status as individuals as pathetically understated "roommates."

The short clip is only ten minutes long, and by the end I was close to tears. Steve has found his voice, and began to lobby for change. EqualLoveEqualRights sprang forth from his devastating loss, and his journey has been turned in to a documentary called Bridegroom.

To say that life as heterosexuals isn't a life of privilege is an undeniable lie. Of course it's privileged. Dev and I are technically considered common-law (we meet the requirements, but we haven't actually filed for common-law status with the government). We are each other's beneficiaries if something were to happen to us. Simply because I am a woman, and he is a man we can rest easy knowing that under the law and Canadian government we are free to love one another. Thankfully, I am happy to say that my country has legally recognized gay marriage since 2005 - only one of four countries on the planet to do so. Britain voted today and recognizes equal marriage rights. Two more states in the US have also approved gay marriage over the last several months, bringing the grand total to 12. The State of California, where Tom and Steve lived, only recognizes gay marriage on a conditional basis, thanks to Propsition 8.

What sort of commentary is it on our current society that who we love as individuals is a problem? We have discriminated against each other because of the color of our skin, what social class we fall under, our sex, our country of origin, our chosen religion and place of worship, and now ... now we have to contend with being discriminated against because of who we love.

Love is beautiful. Love is powerful. Love heals us, makes us who we are as individuals, and makes us better human beings. Perhaps the sort of discrimination is the result of people not getting enough love. Love has never hurt any body. Love of another human being helps define who you are and how you relate to the world. Love engenders respect - not only of yourself, but respect of another individual. But because Steve loved Tom, they were insignificant under the law. Their life together was diminished and oversimplified and categorized in to one single word.


These two people were in love. They made each other laugh. They mattered to one another. To friends and family.

Near the end of his video clip, struggling against tears, Steve says that he has found his voice, but isn't sure if anyone will listen. But if he doesn't talk, then nobody will be able to hear.

We have each been given a voice. One voice can bring about so much change. Bob Marley used his voice and message of love to help end political strife between opposing leaders in his country. Love is powerful. Love is the most powerful element of our being, and we should not, can not, and will not just stand here and witness as others try to silence a voice and spread messages of fear and hate. We should rejoice that the queer community is fighting. The are soldiers of love and equality, and really ... isn't that the best reason to go to war? To fight for love? Nobody anywhere should be able to dictate who we love, or deny us the right to love them. You can toss Scripture around in defense of heterosexuality, or stand in protest at a queer individuals funeral, or rush to defend the "sanctity" of the heterosexual institution of marriage.

Go right ahead. I won't stop. You're entitled to you're opinion.

But all that you succeed in doing, is showing the world that underneath your bravado and empassioned speeches raging against marriage equality, is that you're scared of love. Of loving. Of being loved.

A friend of mine from University recently lost a former partner of hers to health issues. There was a memorial service for her, where she taught. And though I had never met this woman ... she was important to my friend. They had loved each other. Fiercely, from what I gather. There was a notice being circulated on Facebook about her memorial service, and I shared it. I thought it was right to do so. This woman had shared her love with my friend. Love had touched her life, and remembering the love that we had for someone, remembering how we feel when we bask in that love ... that is something you memorialize.

Bridegroom is Steve's memorial to Tom. It is a message of love. And while I haven't seen the documentary myself yet, I will.

"I dreamed of one day marrying the love of my life, Tom Bridegroom, but he tragically died in an accident before it was legally possible. It's too late for us, but it's not too late for America to live up to its symbol of freedom and to say 'I do' to marriage equality. There is no freedom until we are all equal."


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