I hang out in a number of places where diversity is discussed. Differences in weight, cultural standards, socioeconomic status, religious practices, age, physical ability, skin color, sexual preference, gender identity, sexual practices, communication styles–either everybody’s grappling with them or I’m only interested in the people who are. And yet, there’s one thing I run across in almost all these places that would drive me away if I were any less stubborn.
One little word, it almost looks helpless sitting alone like that. Nothing about it warns of the headache that I get every time someone uses it.
“We should work to increase tolerance of _________.”
“________ is tolerated much better than it used to be.”
“I’ve always thought of this community as so tolerant.”
Could we be more exclusionary as we seek inclusion? Could we find a word to more clearly state that power lies where it has always lain? Could we use one to make it more obvious that membership of the outsider is temporary and conditional? Could we draw the line between us and them any deeper?
It’s a big, weird world out there, people. In here too, for that matter. Wake up and embrace it. If you hold back and tolerate it, you’re missing half the point and all the fun.