Do you know what it’s like to be often the Only One?
If not, then consider yourself privileged.
You don’t constantly find yourself walking into a room and noticing people noticing you, wondering why you’re there and if you belong. You don’t what it’s like to look around and realize that you’re the only _______ in the room. That sinking stomach feeling of being exposed as a token _______, representative of all _______s in the world.
You don’t know the feeling of anger and hurt and fatigue when you hear people making jokes or comments about _______s and you realize they don’t even know or care that you are a _______ person and you are there listening to them.
Or if they do look up and notice you standing there, you don’t know the feeling of anger and hurt and fatigue when they turn to you and say, “Oh, but not you. We don’t consider you to be a _______ person. You’re not like the other _______s.”
Or maybe the room is filled with more “progressive, liberal-minded” folk and they’re talking about issues affecting _______s, full of their own authority and knowledge and big-heartedness. And randomly someone turns to you and says, “Hey, you’re _______! What do you think? How do you feel? Bare a bit of your soul, willya?”
They mean well and you know they mean well, but your _______ soul is tired and you just can’t deal.
Even when you do call them out on their wrong-headedness, so full of kindness and sweet notes and milk-and-honey to avoid hurt feelings, you are met with tears and defensiveness and anger. “My best friend is _______! How dare you correct me!” You look around for support, but rarely do you find it. And why would you? You’re the Only One.
You want to be able to retreat to a land of other _______s and compare notes and resentments and shed tears, but you can’t. You’re the Only One.
It can be a lonely feeling. Being _______ in a world of non-_______s, of anti-_______-ness.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are well and truly privileged. May you never know what it’s like to be the Only One.