I have a bumper sticker on the back of my car, for months now, that says, “I love love. I support gay marriage.” Simple message, yet loaded at the same time. In all of the months that I have had it on there, I have only seen two other cars with it on; and I have travelled a LOT of miles since that time. Not many persons seem to want to advertise what their thoughts are on this important issue.
However, every time that I get behind the wheel, I am acutely aware of what is on my bumper. And, I consider the car that is travelling behind me. I drive several miles to and from work; I travel from my office to other destinations; I sit in traffic a lot. So, there are many chances for other drivers behind me to get close enough and read the message.
I often wonder, I mean, I ALWAYS wonder, what kind of conversation does this muster in the front seats of the cars that are behind me? I mean, there are times that the driver behind me is alone in the car, and I have seen at least one driver who was actually mouthing the wording of my bumper sticker out loud in her car one day. It was kind of charming. Funny thing is, the sticker is actually “I heart heart. I support gay marriage.” There are two hearts for the words, love, yet, people know that. That day, the woman in the car was mouthing “I love love.” Cool.
When there is a driver and a passenger, or, more than one passenger, in the car behind me, I often am curious about what is being said about the sticker, presuming that they have seen it and read it. My guess is, most drivers that are close enough to my bumper to read it, DO. And, face it, everyone has an opinion about gay marriage. Gay rights. Gay, PERIOD. I wonder if the conversation is one of compassion, anger or hatred. I wonder if there exists understanding, or if the front seat conversation seeks understanding. I wonder if prayers are recited, or vile words are repeated. Or, if a person in a passenger seat heaves a huge sigh of relief, that there are people out in the world who are on their side. It kinda sucks that I have to feel appreciative when people stand up for gay persons, that aren’t gay themselves. Frankly, it doesn’t happen often enough, at least not up to this point.
I was at a holiday event with our daughter over the weekend, here in our little town, at the Fire Hall. A woman sitting next to me, whom I had met through our church, was inquiring as to whether or not I had written a letter to the editor of the local paper the week before, about the Equality March. She was sure that she had recognized my name, and, my town. Yep, I said. That was me.
She spent the next few minutes telling me how much she liked the letter; that she was so glad that someone was talking about it; that she thought it should not be such a big deal if gay persons wanted to marry; what was the harm? Why were so many people against it? I thanked her for her conversation, and her support. It felt so comforting to know, that it had been read, and that people do understand, care, and want justice.
I know, from my front seat to theirs, I have begun a dialogue, albeit silent in some ways; but minds are being at least challenged, ideas are being introduced; people are talking; and maybe, just maybe, the times are a changing.