DEAR MISS MANNERS: I changed my mind about moving into a local seniors' nonprofit housing group, and they have returned my down payment, as expected.
I am an LGBTQ adult, and with the exception of one gay couple, the other members all seemed to be heterosexual. After I agreed to join the group, they treated me coolly at social events. I tried to talk with them about my experiences (using “I” statements), but they bristled and said I was being negative, so I just decided to cut ties.
Other LGBTQ adults also visit this group, then leave; I just got more involved than most.
Now, in the exit paperwork, they keep writing about how they miss me and hope I will visit often. I came to the conclusion that they value diversity on paper but not in person.
I’ve tried to take the high road, as I now focus on friendlier organizations. Is there any written message I could share with this group about the mismatch between what they say and what they do, in terms of diversity?
GENTLE READER: “While I appreciate your values and mission to attract a wide range of residents, I hope that you will continue to strive not just for diversity, but also inclusivity and equity, where all members feel welcomed and that they belong. I am afraid that my personal experience fell short.”
If nothing else, Miss Manners hopes that you will have given them an education on what their own buzzwords really mean.