September 26, 2020

Allanah

I don’t want to live in a world of hate.

Hate is an ugly and festering emotion that hinders a productive life. People say that to despise someone puts more of a burden on you than them, as it actively uses up both brainpower and energy that could be focused on good.

I disagree.

It takes almost no effort to hurl insults at someone; akin to tossing a paper cup onto a highway, you’re miles away and have moved on while some sorry sap is left to pick up the mess.

I’m that sap.

When I was a sticky-faced kid I had a friend. On the surface we were the same: two little girls with nothing better to do than throw rocks into ponds and giggle about boys. We both went to the same school, our families probably were in the same income bracket and we both loved each other’s company.

We spent hours, in typical little-girl fashion, playing imaginary games under blanket forts and dreaming of what our lives would bring: we’d grow up, meet a boy and get married.

Back then it was so simple.

Turns out, deep down we were very different. The boys we were whispering about held little sway over my mind and eventually I realized I was different. I grew up and fell in love with a woman. My life took me places I never thought it would.

Her life brought her the joys of motherhood and marriage.

Last week our paths crossed for the first time in almost 20 years. That encounter was a tempest of vile and depraving words. Derogative and anti-gay slurs hurled at me for simply extending my hand in friendship after years of radio silence.

I’d never experienced anything like it before.

This person, this stranger, changed me. Being straight isn’t normal. It’s not ‘right’ to my ‘wrong;’ it’s just more common.

I’m just a woman trying to live my life the way I was made, by God or by nature, and it’s a life that is no different than yours.

I’m ordinary: I buy groceries and do the dishes with my fiancée, we argue and sometimes one of us sleeps on the couch. We read the paper on the weekends over coffee and watch movies in our pyjamas and sometimes we slow dance in the living room. We live a normal life with the calming and wonderful monotony of committed love. I try my best to make my soon-to-be-wife happy because she is the most important part of my little, ordinary life.

We hope to have children soon and I wonder now what hate they may face? What will be taught to their future classmates by women like my former friend? How will I teach them that love, of any kind, is not only more powerful than animosity but also the only way to live a life fulfilled?

It is often said that there is a fine line between love and hate, but I’ll tell you right now that is not true. Hate, in its purest and most raw form, is a dark and seething thing that is nothing like the love I have in my life.