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Reverend Nirvana and Debbie Gayle

The Gayles are activists in the best sense of the word. They met the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated. They lives are dedicated to the well-being of their community through the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles. Their relationship has transformed over the years. "We were like these two very strong willed people who had our ideas about how we thought things were supposed to be. And neither one of us was going to give in and bend to the other's will. We were legendary for our arguments" says Rev. Nirvana, laughing at the memory. Their transformation came about twenty years into their relationship. They both were considering divorce. "That was very interesting because actually, up until that point, love had always been enough. Love had really been the foundation and the glue that got us through everything. But now it reached a point where love wasn't enough. We really had to go to the next level. And what the next level was God". Deborah Gayle agrees. "I had to give up the idea I had of what marriage was. I had to give up my idea of society's idea of marriage. I had to give up the idea that it's supposed to look a certain way. I now feel that marriage is what two people make it. There are two completely different individuals coming together and their creating something new. There is nothing that is going to be like that for anyone, so you can't base it on anything else that's ever gone before." The Gayles have been together for over 34 years. They have two children.