Favorite Word – Monday Blog Game
Reading the prompt today on Susan’s blog and the subsequent guest post threw me for a loop. I have refrained from comment about the shooting in Connecticut and I don’t really want to think about it. When I first heard the news, I was shocked. I started to think something was wrong with me. Then today my emotions turned into Mike Tyson and clobbered me. Cheap shot, emotions. Gutshots should be illegal.
Outside of that, selecting a favorite word is kind of a challenge. I can’t say I really have a favorite, although I do drop the f-bomb a lot. I don’t have a catchphrase or repeatable word I use anymore. I know I had two or three in high school and when I’d catch myself doing it all the time, I would force myself to stop using it.
I’ve always prided myself on having an expansive vocabulary and not using a thesaurus in my writing. It seems, though, as I’ve gotten older, my vocabulary is condensed, forgotten, relegated to a shelf in the back of the pantry behind the pickled herring we got in a gift basket one year and beside the packet of instant pudding that tastes like the box. I can’t come up with half a dozen words for another like I used to. When we would edit in high school, I was always the one to catch repetition and suggest a fix. Now I’m lucky if I can come up with a substitute for something simple. Like “he” or “blue”, although my most colorful word substitutions now come through on the interstate during heavy traffic.
I suppose my favorite word would be diversity: both in written word and in life.
When I first transitioned to Columbus, diversity was the biggest selling point. In my little hometown, it was normal to see white, straight, Christian cispeople. Gays and lesbians didn’t happen. Transgendered people were something you heard about in big cities. I only met ONE transperson and he was in my sister’s class. My sister is eleven years younger than me. She went to a bigger high school than I did. Black people were a rare commodity. I only knew ONE black family in our town. There were two Mexican families and they were related. There were no other cultures there other than in the university and most of them stuck to themselves and stayed on campus. Any religious diversity was allowed by ignoring the problem so it would go away.
When I worked at the coffeehouse, I thought I worked in a diverse environment. All the people we hired were white except for one very spunky lady from England whose mother, I believe, was Japanese. She, unfortunately, was as diverse as the staff got.
Then I came to Columbus.
People here are of all races, cultures and countries. There are people of many different faith, practice and religion. They have Unitarian churches here. I walk down the street, awash in a sea of diversity. We are a gay friendly city. One of the gay friendliest cities in the United States. And the best part about all these things?
That’s right. Nobody cares when I walk down the street with my girlfriend, holding hands and singing a silly song. Nobody cares if I dress in baggy jeans and an old tee shirt with a ratty ponytail to keep my hair out of my face. Nobody gives a shit that the guy next to them on the bus is black or Mexican or Indian. We’re all one big city and everyone here is doing their own thing.
I’m spoiled. And I know it. Every time I read the news and a Transperson is incorrectly gendered, each time I hear of a gay or lesbian youth being beaten for their sexual preference. Even in my diverse city, black and Mexican workers are turned down for jobs based on the color of their skin because they’re not “permanent”. Because they’re “lazy” or “don’t speak good English”. Even in my diverse city where a young woman with tan skin and black hair is sent back to get another manager because the complaining customer “wants someone who speaks English”.
We have a long way to go to be as diverse as I would like to see us, but at least some places are making progress.
The “rules” for the Monday Blog Game are simple – Everyone is invited to play along, and I hope you do! Here’s how: Write something about the weekly topic, either in the comments or on your blog (if you write on your own blog, link back or comment to Susan’s blog so they know how to find you!)
Posted on December 17, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged cisgender, diverse, diversity, english, gay, lesbian, monday blog game, narrative, prejudice, transgender, word, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.