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Love is ________.

Section

How did it come to this?

On June 15, 2011, in West Michigan, five members of council in Holland, MI (USA) voted against an anti-discrimination ordinance that would've eliminated sexual orientation and gender identity as legal reasons to evict and fire residents and workers:

 

Kurt Dykstra (Mayor)

Brian Burch

Todd Whiteman

Nancy DeBoer

Myron Trethewey

 

On June 16, 2011, Until Love Is Ready (based in Grand Rapids and Holland) formed as a collective West Michigan response to this vote against the anti-discrimination ordinance. Our hope is to encourage conversation and engagement that leads to a peaceful, loving and just resolution to this break from personal liberty and freedom in West Michigan.

Year Two (video retrospective)

Colbear Rapport: West Michigan (PSA #3)

Where Are You? (PSA #2)

Dark Into Light (PSA #1)

"To Holland, With Love" (Rosa Parks Circle)

THE FEED

Very few things in life belong to us.
ArtPrize artist Lora Robertson created this work after reading a draft of "Love is" - based on her interpretation of the piece.

/Lora Robertson

ArtPrize artist Lora Robertson created this work after reading a draft of "Love is" - based on her interpretation of the piece.


Artist Michael Pfleghaar submitted this work from his portfolio, as his reaction to the narrative in "Love is."

Artist Michael Pfleghaar submitted this work from his portfolio, as his reaction to the narrative in "Love is." /Michael Pfleghaar

Artist Sarah Scott kindly submitted this work after reading "Love is" - thank you Sarah!

Artist Sarah Scott kindly submitted this work after reading "Love is" - thank you Sarah! /Sarah Scott

Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported

Give me love and bring no harm,
Keep me safe and warm.

"The Storm" (Rob Dickinson)

Very few things in life belong to us. But love is ours. The connection we humans can share with another person: that belongs to us. 

It crosses the room: an inside joke exchanged between you without a word, through a crowd.

It's the feeling of that familiar chin in the nape of your neck, after a long trip away from home. 

It's being home wherever you are, whenever you're together. 

Love is having a side of the bed, knowing where designated pillows go, waking up together on a day with no alarm clocks.

It's a beam of sunlight breaking across the room, illuminating flecks of weightless dust above the bed. 

Love is being handed a fresh cup of coffee. Craving the same takeout. Cooking a meal together. 

It's the moment you both realize you're fighting over nothing. The automatic forgiveness after sharp-edged words. The reset button, and making up. 

Love is more than "being in love," it's needing to be near each other. 

It's the voice that sometimes drives you crazy, that you could not live without. 

Love is having each other's back like a reflex. The arms around you when tragedy strikes. The person driving at top speed to wherever you are, if you're hurt.

Love is dancing in the kitchen for no reason at all. 

The steady soul when your mood has gone sideways.  

The first person you text or call when something happens.

Laughing uncontrollably. 

Intense, intellectual talks. 

Helping each other fold laundry. 

Watching a movie, whispering theories about what'll happen next.

Picking out presents together for the family holidays that you pretend to despise. 

The person who sees through you when you think you're elusive.

It's the connection that holds fast when the bottom falls out. Even when you lose your job, or the apartment you share. Love is the person who notices from another room, the change of inflection in your voice, as you get that phone call.

Love is the person who comes closer, as the voice on the other end of the line finishes the phone call. Click. Like bricks being thrown in every window at once, tied with a message, "You chose to live in our town."

It's the unspoken recognition: you got fired because of the connection you share, with this person.

Love is what lies in the small space between you. 

It's the familiar fingers that stay still on your forearm. 

It's the slow breathing: the only noise you hear. 

It's the unacknowledged awareness: your love is subject to someone's approval. It's the lie of omission that allowed you to get the job: you live with your best friend. It's knowing they can take your apartment, as well. 

It's the decision they make from a distance. It's the idea that everything you share with this person is counterfeit. It's the right they possess to get rid of you, with blessings from the people you elect to protect you.

It's the panic of realizing: you have no recourse, no relief from any laws.

It's that feeling again, of the earth falling out from beneath you. 

It's the hope that silence will make it all right again. It's the silence that makes it unbearable. 

It's the irony of them saying your love is not real, although your love is the reason you'll survive this.

It's the strength to live in a place where "all together" means altogether alone.

It's the virtue to suffer through them saying you're going to hell, for the fact that you use the same restroom at restaurants.

It's the ability to find hope in others, even as so few speak out or come to your defense.  

It's the moment when you understand, like a shot to the forehead, what they're saying to you. 

The connection we humans can share with another person, that belongs to them. 

Love is theirs.

It's the familiar fingers that stay still on your forearm.

It's the slow breathing: the only noise you hear.


Until Love Is Equal

Until Love Is Equal is a grassroots organization based in West Michigan, dedicated to the protection of personal liberty and full civil rights regardless of sexual orientation.

Reports on: Human Rights

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Comments

Stunning. Thank you.