Diversity: we see it everywhere globally, the streets we walk down, the neighborhoods we live in, and even in our families and ourselves. It helps bring differences, interests, and experiences from all walks of life together. Diversity should be an inclusive entity that uplifts communities and helps people understand each other more. It should bring communities together, and we should embrace it all.

My experience with diversity is that I am adopted from India, I was raised in a multiracial and multi-religious family, and I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I have had a fortunate opportunity to live with an extreme amount of diversity in my life. I grew up in a small rural town in Vermont, which also happens to be the second whitest state in the country. Both of my parents are white, and I have two siblings that are Indian, and the other two are African American.

My parents raised us by embracing our cultural backgrounds and their religious backgrounds; Judaism and Christianity. We celebrated all of the different holidays together and learned about everyone’s differences in my family. As I became an adult, I came out as a lesbian and started another diverse chapter.

As a woman, a person of color, and now a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have always been different. I dealt with racism in my life because of my skin color, and my siblings have also experienced it. As a lesbian, I now have to worry about always coming out to new people, the fear of introducing my girlfriend to strangers, and people judging us before they get to know us. Having to deal with all of these unnecessary fears has brought anxiety and difficulty to my life. Not knowing how someone will react to hearing who my partner is, or even judging me on my skin color, has impacted my life. I understand that this has affected other people’s lives, and not everyone is fortunate enough to have a support system as I do. I am grateful that I have my family, friends, and partner who support and inspire me to live life to the fullest.

We live in a country where people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ are marginalized every day because of their diversity. In the past couple of years, we have seen the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement and more demand for more inclusivity among the LGBTQ+ community. How our country has responded to most of these events has been disheartening, and we have only just seen justice served. I am fortunate enough to have a robust support system and a partner who is willing to listen and learn with me.

Diversity is such a wonderful thing to have in your life. Yes, it can bring struggles and vibrantly show that you’re “different” than other people. But diversity brings people together from all walks of life and shows that being “different” by societal norms is a good thing. Younger generations today are embracing their uniqueness and their creativity. It brings diversity and inclusivity to our society and makes it an acceptable norm to choose who and what you want to be.

Whats your experiences with diversity?

This article originally published on GREY Journal.