On a recent air trip, these were the folks sitting in seats next to me or close by… a gay African-American couple, a man with repetitive tics and movements, a stylish Asian couple and a young woman with spiky pink hair. Serving us was an overweight, middle aged male flight attendant. My thought was to celebrate the diversity of color, size and condition of human beings in our world today, humans who defy stereotypes and categories. And then I arrived home to read in this newspaper that there were a few folks in Oak Harbor complaining about the photograph of a bearded man in drag as part of an art display at the library.
It seems that those complainers and many others like them would have us go back to “the good old days” when our population looked more monochrome and uniform. Gosh folks, it just isn’t like that any more, much as you might wish it were. The stereotype of white, heterosexual, nuclear families with a working father, a mother in an apron planning menus, and the two kids obediently eating their vegetables and going to church on Sundays is a vanishing species. We are a true melting pot of skin color, inclinations, religions and passions.
And the argument about not wanting to expose children to this sort of thing doesn’t hold water. Children these days are fully aware of our diverse world, and usually comfortable with differences in sexual orientation, skin color, religion and lots of other issues that some adults believe they should be protected from. What concerns them more is global climate change and the divisive state of our world. Come on adults, get a grip and move on to embrace all of the wonderful diversity and potential in our world. Your kids will be happier if you do.