(A parody, for the uninitiated)
As diversity coordinator at Diversity Today, the magazine for professionals in the diversity industry, I pride myself on my inclusiveness. But I have to admit, it’s not easy for me to hang out with straight people.
So I hesitated when some straight, mostly Caucasian-American colleagues invited me to join them for karaoke last Saturday night. Against my better judgment, I decided to join (ya’ll know how I loves me some karaoke). With Xander off portraying a jester at a Renaissance festival in some redneck county, I didn’t have anything else to do.
At first everything was great. We were all laughing, singing our songs. I stuck to the classics, of course: Kelly, Xtina, Brit Brit …
Then I heard the beginning of “I’ve Been to Paradise,” which is a very special song to me. It’s easily Charlene’s best. It deserves respect.
I jumped to my feet, grabbing the mic from one of the breeders. I was the only one qualified to sing the song. She resisted at first, but I was insistent.
The room got a little tense, but I knew the combination of my voice with those beautiful lyrics would calm everyone.
I bravely sang my little heart out. It was so emotional. My eyes welled with tears as I thought about all of the tragedies I’ve endured. And how I’ve bravely overcome them all.
Hey, you know what paradise is?
It’s a lie, a fantasy we create about people and places as we’d like them to be
But you know what truth is?
It’s that little baby you’re holding, it’s that man you fought with this morning
The same one you’re going to make love with tonight
That’s truth, that’s love …
And how did they respond? By laughing. It like being shot. I felt so alone, like a person from Palestinia living in Isreal.
I was really, really offended.
The next few moments were kind of fuzzy. I remember throwing down the microphone, calling them all bastard people and storming out of the room. I wasn’t going to let them see me cry. They weren’t worthy of my tears.
It’s taken some time to recover. Xander has tried to be understanding, but actors can be so selfish. It’s never about me with him. But he’s trying. We both are.
I’ve received some e-mails from the people who were at the karaoke party. They apologized, but they still don’t get it. Why are straight people so insensitive?
Maybe I can change them. As diversity coordinator at Diversity Today, the magazine for professionals in the diversity industry, maybe I can speak truth to power.
I know this much: they’re all going to have some seminars in their future. I’ll see to that when I return to work tomorrow. Because of their hateful treatment I had to use my 24th mental health day of the year.
In the meantime, no more outings with straight people (get it — I still have my sense of humor, ya’lls!)