Perpetuating the Stereotype

So a friend and I were on the much-hated topic of networking the other day, and he said something about trying to network with the gay partners at our firm, but failing because a lot of them are jerks (please note that I don’t think the gay partners are jerks, and I didn’t follow up on his comment), and the following conversation ensued:

Me: Yeah, I hear you. I ate lunch with the Mormons last week. Not that the Mormons are jerks…

Friend, laughing: But I’m guessing you don’t have a lot in common with them.

Me: Actually, one of them was a Democrat. And a man! That never happens!

Friend: You know, I think I have a skewed perspective of the Mormon church. Because all the Mormons I know are really cool and open-minded.

Hooray, right? I take his observation less as a compliment toward me and more as a compliment to all the LDS people who’ve encountered my friend and left him with a positive impression of the church. To the girl who told him he could bring a partner to her wedding reception: thanks for being a decent person. I also had to chide myself a bit, though. I try to show people that Mormons are different than they think, but then I perpetuate stereotypes by insulting other members of my faith. I try so hard to be different that it ends up reflecting badly on the church, I fear. Because why would I need to separate myself from something that’s such an integral part of my life?

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1 Response to Perpetuating the Stereotype

  1. Melanie Carbine says:

    I just insist that what they’ve experienced is the stereotype and that the norm is actually more like me. Is that because I just want to think I’m in the norm and not the margins? No, I’m believe that there are lots of people like me who are just afraid to come to church or speak out because they’d be “different.”

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