They are a couple They sit across from me, their legs each crossed over their other one, their hands on their own laps, and their scarves wrapped tightly around their necks to avoid the winter dangers of cold, frost bite, and New York City wind. But their scarves cannot hide them or protect them from a cold heart—one that doesn’t understand their ways—doesn’t understand why they might want to be together—doesn’t understand what they are feeling for one another—doesn’t understand what love truly is.
He sits one row of seats down from them with a baseball cap and an oversized coat. His headphones hang around his neck, and he is thin. He mutters under his breath about the two men sitting across from me. His voice grows louder about how God has created life and the way we are supposed to live it. He is colder than the brisk air that is outside. A tear begins to fall away from my eye.
Cut to two subway rides earlier in the day.
She is in a rush. She is wearing ugg boots, a black jacket, and a bitter taste on a day that should highlight all the love in the world. An f-bomb flies out of her mouth that probably shouldn’t echo down the subway steps but it does. No-not that f-bomb. Another F-bomb—one that carries much more offense, at this point, one that would probably sting the two men who later sat across from me later in the day, more painfully than a bee who has just sharpened up.
I hear her yell. But I don’t see who she is yelling at. Too short, and the steps are too packed, I assume she is yelling at two men who are either holding hands, getting in her way, or who may be dressed in your less than stereotypical male way.
It is the first time, in New York City, I have witnessed such hate—such coldness—such awfulness twice in one day. It is the first time that I have ever truly wanted to yell at a stranger, slap them across their face, and knock some sense back into them.
Everyone has their preferences.
Everyone has their choice for love.
It is not up to us to decide who can love who and who will love who and who is supposed to love who. We are just supposed to love—and have enough of that love to go around for everyone who matters—everyone who needs love—and everything that deserves…love. We may not agree—and it may not be the way we choose our lives, but that doesn’t mean that our way has to be the way that someone else chooses to live theirs.
I often hear this saying thrown around.
“When did you decide to tell your parents you were straight?”
You probably never had to decide, because it’s always been the “accepted” form of living. You probably never had to say, “Hey Mom—I’m straight—hope you are okay with that.” “Hey Dad—Your baby boy grew up loving women…Is that okay?!”
But you DID have to decide how you treated other people your whole life. You DID have to decide what to say in public—and what to keep to yourself. You DID decide to judge.
And in my judgment—the haters, the ones who yell the harsh obscenities at the ones that live a life unlike their own—you need to be loved right now—to be loved for all the hate you have within you—to cure that hate—so you to can see that love can exist in every shape and form—between every gender—between man and woman—man and man—woman and woman—between a lover and a hater…You may not want to live your life like the gay man or woman sitting a cart seat away from you on the train—and you may not want to live your life like the men holding hands walking slowly in front of you on Valentine’s Day…but I can assure you, no one wants to live a life like you—full of hatred and misunderstanding.
At least the feeling is mutual.