Love is Love

Michelle Stephens essays

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I remember asking my mom why two men were holding hands. Her answer was simple. “Because they love each other.” Later she would add that love is love and it is none of my business who people fall in love with. She raised me to see love and happiness and to not judge anyone. Ever.

When I got to high school it was the 90s. Popular television shows were writing in gay characters and celebrities were coming out. The world my mom had created for me was being reflected outside my tiny bubble of reality. Then, one day I heard the F word for the first time while walking the halls of my school. It shook me to my core. Why would being gay be an insult? Who cares who anyone loves or doesn’t love?

Soon after I joined a gay-straight alliance. We did outreach and offered a safe space for gay, straight, bisexual, and curious kids. It was amazing. I was surrounded by like minded people all working towards the same goal. I missed that group after graduation. I missed being around such caring and loving individuals.

A few years after graduation a very good friend of mine came out to me and I saw how nervous and afraid he was. I stood by him as family turned their backs and offered to send him away to be “straightened out”. It broke my heart. He should have been celebrating. I know so many others who finally come out only to be closed off from loved ones. Then, there are the absolutely heartbreaking scenarios where people are too afraid to be who they are. They are made to feel guilty, wrong, and less-than.

No one should ever be made to feel that way.

I try to raise my voice, step up on my soapbox, and tell any one who will listen, that love is love. I support equality for everyone. No exceptions, no special circumstances. Just simple, pure, wonderful, equality. Freedom to love whomever we want to. Freedom to be whoever we truly are.

Until all love is seen as love I will lend my voice. I will stand up for love. I will support love. I will scream and shout and cry and push for love. Whatever it takes for the discrimination and hate to end.

Whatever it takes to keep young gay folks from feeling fear because of whom they are attracted to. Whatever it takes to make falling in love an incredible experience for everyone, not just heterosexual people. Whatever it takes to create a world in which my girls can grow up to be who they truly are, without fear or scrutiny.

Whatever it takes.

“When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it”
–Macklemore “Same Love”

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About the Author

Michelle Stephens

Michelle writes from the home she shares with her husband and their two daughters. She is the authority on nothing and may just be the most outgoing shy person you will ever meet. Her family is convinced she is a super hero but most days she feels more like the bumbling sidekick. She can be found all over the web including on her own blog and as well as in the upcoming HerStories Project anthology, Mothering Through The Darkness.

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January 2015 – live & learn
Brought to you by – kids in the house
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