Today was Diversity Fair Day at our elementary school. On this day, over 200 people, old and young, tall and short, well mannered and delinquent celebrated the many ethnicities, cultures and family designs our student body represents.
I represented and pushed the gay agenda for the 3rd year. You can read about the Diversity Fair in 2011 HERE and 2010 HERE. Sure there were others who wanted to do it, wished they could do it, prayed to their higher power of choice to do it. The competition to be the face of gay was stiff (ahem).
There was a lengthy vetting process. Applications. References. Headshots. (ahem again) All the candidates had to meet with the Diversity Fair Board members and prepare a presentation outlining qualifications; experience and a mission statement identifying proposed strategy to best represent the LGBTQ community. After the presentation, the panel interviewed the candidates to determine how we would field such questions and comments from the public such as, “What IS this table?” or “You know, I was a lesbian in college.” or “Do you know Connie Lingus?”
I’m not gonna lie. I had a leg up on the competition being the incumbent resident gay. And when I say leg up, I may or may not be referring to a casting couch situation. Whatever it takes, I say. I also have a crackerjack PR team that campaigned on my behalf throughout the selection process. I had to dip into the boys’ college funds to meet their fees, but it was money well spent, clearly. I mean, what an honor it is to sit in the cafeteria all afternoon on a sunny Saturday in spring and hand out anything I can find with a rainbow on it to greedy children who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the kind of families I’m representing while my own children are making scratch art bookmarks completely uninterested in visiting other tables. That’s not entirely true. The boys found the tables serving the best treats and hurried back to their own rainbow table where they could create an abundance of bookmarks.
Fact is, no one else volunteered, and the organizer happens to be a friend of mine. So I confess that there was no panel or interviews or casting couch (sadly) – just a supply of rainbow peace necklaces from last year and my inability to think of an excuse to get out of it.
Of course, it was a worthy event, and I was happy to be a part of it. There were maps and books and food and games and all sorts of ways to learn about different countries like Turkey, Morocco, Ecuador and Mexico just to name a few. The Korea table gave everyone a nametag with their name in Korean. The Norway table scored with lefse bread covered in butter and cinnamon sugar.
There was a table exhibiting photos of bi-racial families and a table decorated with hearts representing families created via adoption. The adoption table completely out-crafted us as children decorated felt hearts with beads and markers and love.
Our visitors were just as diverse as our table reps, which didn’t surprise me and always makes me proud of our little school in our happy hamlet in our uber diverse district.
When we got home and unloaded the car, Gabriella and I spent a few minutes with our New York Times. She claimed the Magazine, and I skimmed the Real Estate section before diving into Arts & Leisure. Short Hills was the hot spot of the week – our neighbors here in New Jersey where wealthy white people go to give their kids the best public school education.
“It’s kind of a melting pot,” Short Hills resident Mr. Grossman said. “It’s not as diverse as New York City, but it’s pretty diverse.” Is that a fact, Mr. Grossman? How diverse is a town where no house sells for less than $500,000 and where 36 were listed above $2 million? Not exactly economically diverse. And as far as racially diverse, the town is proud of the fact that, according to the article, 3.6 percent of its population speaks Mandarin and 2 percent speaks Korean. I’m not feeling the diversity. I’m not dogging Short Hills. The schools are fantastic, and the Short Hills Mall offers the very best in upscale shopping. I’m just saying be proud of what you are and don’t pretend to be what you are not.
Maybe we’ll take all the bookmarks the boys made and gather some of the giveaways from the other tables and donate them to the Short Hills schools. It sounds like they’re in need, and we do love giving to the needy.