(Published in Island Writer Magazine: The Literary Journal of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, Volume 14, Issue 1, Summer 2016)

Yes, yes, I said yes.

To move away.

To be free.

Whatever the cost, the strife, the resistance.

Never will I ever forget the magic, the power of this assent.

Yes to my future.

Yes to my present.

Yes because I would not accept no.

Even if this meant the loss of my parents’ support and love.

I hope, I truly sense that I would have made the same choices.

Then, the yesses that followed me into the life I was actually living.

All the yesses even amidst the vocal and militant noes:

“No more wars”

“Stop the killings”

“Never again”

“Not in my name”

It was the yesses that propelled these movements

for change and complete transformation.

The yesses that fueled the visions of true equality, of peace,

of new ways to live and love and even work.

The yesses that underlie the heart of these struggles of ours.