As a small child in a tiny mountain town, I remember going to the Horsemen’s Riding Club for festivities. Everywhere I turned, the majority of party-goers were White, straight, Christian folks. Business owners were, with few exceptions, male. Over the years, more Latinos, Blacks, and Asians began populating my circle of friends and community members. Women were making their presence known in the business community. Diversity was becoming more obvious.
As time moved forward, I began to meet more people who celebrated Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Native religious traditions. As it was with my growing ethnic awareness, this, too, became my new normal. I watched the upheaval in the country as each of these changes brought forth more obvious bigotry, animosity, and ugliness. Ultimately, though, we saw more change for the better. For me, and many more like me, this has become the norm as well.
Now, we see Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender folk integrating into the national picture as neighbors, coworkers, family members, and leaders. Pockets of groups are trying to maintain the status quo in the country; however, it’s not working any better than when the ethnic and religious groups began claiming their rightful place as Americans.
We are awakening to the fact that what was once perceived as a White, Straight, Christian nation, is not so anymore, no matter how loudly some people yell about it. We are a tapestry of beauty, intelligence, creativity, leadership, and dynamic spirituality. America is slowly moving toward full awareness of our diversity, and accepting it in greater numbers every year. We have White, Straight, Christians wearing t-shirts claiming their positions that they are Christian and believe in equality. Our legislators include in their ranks, women, Asians, Gays, disabled people, Muslims, and others who reflect our growing diversity. We recognize the importance of placing people in leadership positions that insist on adapting to our current culture and sense of fairness for all people. We understand that until America celebrates, not tolerates, all its citizens, we still have work to do. After all, this is what America really looks like.