It was a simple thing to do on a beautiful Sabbath morning, but few things in life could prepare me for feeling a love so strong I thought it would knock me off my feet. It took everything I had to continue to walk instead of stumbling in a heap of tears on the Salt Lake City Streets.
A hoard of four hundred plus of us walked together to cheers fit for returning war heroes. There may have been heroes amongst our Mormons Building Bridges group dressed not in soldier uniforms, but ordinary clothes: skirts, or shirts and ties, donning signs that declared love for all, Jesus said love everyone, Equality, and All are alike unto God. Rainbow flags, and banners with emphasis on family inclusion, were held high. The heroes may have been the family there to support their transgender son, who declared not only love for him, but for all like him. Telling news cameras that they wished each family had the blessings that they have had to be able to support their child, and their brother. The heroes may have been the gay couple who marched, arms around each other. It may have been the eighty-year-old grandmother, or the family that marched as four generations of love, or it may have been the man in the wheelchair waving his small rainbow flag. It may have been the many parents who set aside exclusionary doctrine to simply love, as Jesus would have them love. It was hard to pinpoint the heroes amongst us, we looked so much like anyone else, but then that’s the whole point. We are the “alike unto God.”
In a strange reversal of roles I suspect the true heroes were not the marchers, though there were some, the true heroes were the thousands lining the parade route, shouting their love for us, applauding, cheering, crying, hugging, and high-fiving in a way that showed forgiveness, love, and acceptance--to us. The heroes were those who have faced and continue to face day after day discrimination and yet press forward with faith for a better day. Dreaming for a time when “equality for all” actually means them. I will continue to dream along with them.