#LoveTrumpsHate: My Experience in Dallas

How do you label love? Let me unravel the ways for love hath no labels as the video clearly shows.

Just after the tragic events in Dallas that killed 5 police officers and wounded fourteen others, my wife, family, and I went and visited my daughter Madison who recently moved to Dallas to work at the North Texas Food Bank, which distributes ~ 50 million meals to the needy each year and has a goal to reach 92 million by 2025. It was our first family trip to visit Madison in her new apartment and so we planned a weekend of fun filled activities including a night out on the town. Madison suggested we go to a drag show at the most popular gay club in Dallas. She had been there with her friends before and absolutely loved it. I wasn’t particularly excited about watching a group of men dressed up as woman or being thrown into the LGBT scene with very little notice. The truth is, given the recent events in a similar Orlando night club, I was a bit nervous. Nevertheless, it was Madison’s weekend and I agreed to go. I had no idea that this night out would be a profound and moving experience.

As we entered the club, the first thing I noticed was the four police officers guarding the streets; a caucasian man, a black man, a black woman, and a male latino. The next thing I noticed was the various racial and ethnic mix of police officers inside the club, all connected with a wireless communication device in their ear. The club filled up quickly with hundreds of people. There was a group of about fifteen all caucasian ladies celebrating a birthday. They ranged in age from early twenties to early fifties. I assumed they were all straight, one appeared out of sorts and perhaps out of place. Most were having the time of their life singing and dancing as they sat close to the stage. To my left was an effeminate man. To my right was a transgender man having the time of his life singing, dancing, and holding hands with his girlfriend. Boy could he dance. His smile, ear to ear. The police officer in the corner, a young healthy man who you didn’t want to mess with, was smiling and alert, his eyes moving across the room. People came up to him and patted him on the back. I imagined they were grateful for his presence, and he appeared the same. Meanwhile the bar tender was working the crowd, apparently greeting many loyal customers. He had a huge smile, was extremely witty, and told great jokes.

Drag queen after drag queen came out and danced and lip synched to popular songs. The music was fantastic. I glanced around, transfixed by young and old men holding hands with men, beautifully dressed women hugging other woman, and traditional straight couples enjoying the festivities. The crowd of girls celebrating a birthday were getting wilder by the minute, all except the nervous one. After an hour the loud noise was getting to me and I stood up and went outside to the second floor balcony and looked down upon the street at the four roaming police officers. They too were smiling. There was a black young man next to me, and I said, “I have a new found respect for the police officers after what just happened.” We looked at each other and he said, “I know. I feel the same way.” We started talking and I interjected that I was straight, he said he was as well. When asked what brought him here, he said he was a chef and just recently moved to Dallas and was just enjoying a night out. For a couple of minutes we both stared down at the people on the street as we listened to the music from inside. Finally I asked, “I don’t know any chefs. What’s it like? Why do you do it?” His calm and deep response was soothing to my ears.

“Love. It’s all about love. This is all about love.”

“Tell me more,” said I.

“When you put a plate down in front of someone, that tells you everything. It’s not just the food, but the colors, and design, the flow on the plate. It’s an art.”

Wow, I thought as images appeared in my mind making my mouth salivate. I felt it. “It is all about love isn’t it. I mean look inside! All these people after the terrible racial events and hate crimes, all colors, ages, and orientations, in there singing and dancing.” I stopped, hit by an emotion that stirs me now, nearly ten days later. My heart was expanding, like the Grinch who stole Christmas by Dr. Suess in Whoville.

Now watch the video above and perhaps you will begin to understand the profound impact I felt that night.

Love has no age.     Love has no religion.     Love has no race.     Love has no disability.

Love has no gender.   Love has no party.

Love is color blind, ageless, and independent of ideology or theology.

Love is kind, diverse, patient, generous and compassionate.

Love is universal.

Love is when we open our heart, expressing none of the labels and all of the virtues.

Please vote from your heart.

I can hear a Beatles song playing inside my head, influencing my thoughts.


“All You Need Is Love”
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can say, but you can learn
How to play the game
It’s easy.
Nothing you can make that can’t be made.
No one you can save that can’t be saved.
Nothing you can do, but you can learn
How to be you in time
It’s easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where
You’re meant to be
It’s easy.
Thank you for being my teacher Madi,
Love Dad.

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