I am not a special snowflake. I have no desire to be honored for my uniqueness. At least, not for all the wrong reasons. Whenever my school’s Diversity Week rolls around, the idea seems to appear in a lot of people’s minds that anyone who isn’t a straight white guy is somehow different and unique and needs to have their individuality celebrated. This is simply not the case.
I’m openly bisexual. That’s not individuality. Individuality is walking around with a bright green mohawk. Individual is something you decide to be. Me telling you I’m bi is about as amazing and self-expressive as telling you I have brown eyes. It’s not an accomplishment. I don’t want to be lifted up for things I have no choice in. Nobody does. I don’t want to be considered special or unique or different. I want to be accepted and included.
I realize that the intentions are good. I realize that you’re trying. But at heart, this whole idea is reinforcing a horrible feeling of abnormality, of otherness. And the irony of it is that you’re alienating the same groups you think you’re supporting, by telling us how remarkable we are for things we can’t control. Things we never chose in the first place. No matter how accepting you think you may be, treating anyone differently because of who they are isn’t what acceptance looks like. It’s the exact opposite.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.