I was debating with myself how best to describe the gut feeling this video instilled in me. I instantly went to the iconic image of the protester Tienanmen Square standing in front of a tank. Then I thought ‘pffft, isn’t that a little melodramatic?’, to which I replied ‘No’, followed by ‘Shall we go make a sammitch?’ to which I retorted ‘NO! You eat too much!’
She may not be a young man standing before an oncoming tank, but she is a seven year old, holding a symbol of unity and love out to a man frothing at the mouth with anger as he spits forth his well rehearsed anti-gay rhetoric. But in a way that is the same thing; He has come with all the power and authority of what he believes to be a divine being, and yet she stands silent and dignified as he writhes and squirms like a vampire shown a crucifix.
What we see is a clash of ideology that defines love. To the preacher, love is obedience, whereas to Zea love is acceptance.
Zea has become quite the internet celebrity, with collections started so that she and her family may make a donation to a non-profit LGBT charity of their choosing.
Of course, like most things that matter (and many that don’t), this has polarised the internet. To many, like myself, Zea is an amazing person, standing up to hate with dignity and stoicism. To others, she is obviously the product of sick indoctrination and is being used shamelessly by activists to promote their political agenda. Just read the comments on the Daily Mail coverage to see what I mean.
Not that the Daily Mail is famous for bringing out the best in humanity, of course.
People will look at Zea vs the Preacher and take from it what they want in order to match their world view. For some , there will forever be that bogus link between LGBT people and child abuse, grooming and indocrination of the young that has been spread about through the ages, most recently by right-wing religious and political groups such as the American Tea Party, or our BNP and UKIP’s Christian Soldiers. No amount of inspirational imagery will change those stone etched prejudices. But you know what? Those people are dying out.
Zea’s generation is the future of humanity, not the Preacher’s. My generation are bringing up their children with a different definition of love than the one’s that came before. The image of Zea armed only with a rainbow flag against a looming hunk of beefy bible-trumpet deserves a place in history. If all the might of bronze age theology and dire warnings of the misery that our definition of love will bring her wasn’t enough to make her back down, then what authority does he carry? He has only the power of physical might… Zea has the power of love.
And in the spirit of the power of love, let’s all have some Huey Lewis in Zea’s honour.