Walking with McKenzie
Saturday was my 12th canvas, and it was my favorite. It was the first one when I had someone walking up to each door with me. Joining me was a very bright 13 year old girl named McKenzie.
McKenzie lives on a farm outside Darlington with her parents, her younger brother, and a collection of goats, sheep and rabbits. Normally on Saturday mornings she would have been tending the animals, but she chose to spend this day walking door-to-door in Darlington, urging her neighbors to vote No. She did this in spite of a cast on her foot from a recent cross-country injury. Limp by limp, for three hours, she walked by my side up and down the hills and streets and porch steps of her hometown.
At one door, an older woman scornfully told us that “Jesus hates lesbians. Jesus said lesbians are going to hell.” McKenzie said she was surprised to hear such anger and fear coming from this woman. McKenzie knows that Jesus never said anything about lesbians, which made the woman’s comments all the more unsettling.
Another door opened to reveal four voters adamantly against the ban, profusely thanking us for what we were doing. Quite a few people simply wouldn’t tell us how they intended to vote. McKenzie was constantly surprised, as I continue to be, at the number of people who never heard of the proposed ban, or if they have heard of it, they don’t know about the second sentence.
At the end of the day we both felt good. McKenzie went off to play with her friends. I headed back home.
When I was her age, I already knew I was different, but there was nothing and no one in my world to tell me it was okay or that I wasn’t alone in my difference. McKenzie is so much smarter than I was at thirteen.
I have no reason to think that McKenzie is gay. I assume she is not. She just doesn’t think it should matter. She gives me hope.