Sometimes things make so much sense in my head that I forget others feel challenged by certain ideas that I find very easily acceptable and natural. I live in this beautiful liberal land (yes, even in the midst of Utah) where people I talk to and see on a daily basis and give my attention to all have similar open minds. We recycle. We prefer fair trade over free trade most days. We know that women and men deserve equal pay, and that old fashion gender roles are something that do not define us. We love to vote and eat things like quinoa salad and shop locally. It's a happy place, this little land I've created. So, I find it funny that I had a very simple epiphany in the midst of Martha's Vineyard two weeks ago.
It started out by doing a photo shoot. I get into my groove during that creative time and it is one of my favorite ways to connect with people. My couple was Megan and Linda: the first lesbian couple I have ever photographed. It is funny because during similar shoots I've done of same sex couples, other photographers have asked me how I "pose" my couples. I always thought that was a funny question. One that I simply responded to with "I pose them the way I pose all my couples in love." Why should there be a difference? Both of these ladies were glowing and fabulous and happy and secure and completely in love. The love was deep and respectful and delightful and funny and kind and passionate. They have been together for four years and their wedding is scheduled for next October. They told me the story of their proposal and of their courtship and of the night they fell in love. That photo shoot was one of the most amazing and simple I have ever done. There was no bickering. There was no uncomfortableness. I said, "Be in love, kiss, hold each other." And that is exactly what they did without a hint of awkwardness that sometimes creeps up in straight males not used to being in front of the camera (though I love you boys).This was completely, utterly, without a doubt normal to me. I did not think it weird or different or threatening or against God. I did not think it awkward or uncomfortable or worry who would see the photos and not hire me because I am so "liberal". And my epiphany came when I realized that we have a whole world out there that does not feel the same way that I do. Most of this beautiful and blessed country that I live in will not acknowledge this marriage between these women. That is the reality and indeed a large percentage of the US population finds such a union threatening and ugly and wrong and perverted. And my epiphany kept going when I had the very simple thought of: "Well, if they could just see what I am seeing right now, then everyone would change their minds. They would see that Love is Love and that it isn't different when it is shared by people different from them. Love is the same." And this may seem simplistic. But it made sense. And so, that is what I will do. And it may be small. But the photos I post will show you, no matter what, that love is love.
And Utah, be prepared for change.