Sometimes in London one wonders where the heart is, where it’s gone, what happened to it? After a particularly hectic big smoke day I headed out to the Natural History Museum to accompany my starry cousin as her plus one at the European Diversity Awards.
Wandering inside to join dinosaurs and all things crusty, I wondered if everyone else felt as I did – ready to slump in the first available chair. Sort of, one’s arrived, now one can rest up, take a chill pill and just hang.
Of course it’s never like that at a black tie awards event. Usually there are meets and greets required, handshakes and schmoozing, congratulatory kisses. It’s impossible to relax.
But, tonight was different. Really different. Celebrating diversity in all its forms, Sandi Toksvig reminded us that on the very ceiling we craned our necks to check out were images of plants from all over the world – a diverse selection. She also reminded us that the dinosaur we sat beside at white rose and hydrangea decorated tables was unidentifiable as a male or female. Why? Because apparently the genitalia disappear over time making it impossible to tell.
There’s a theme in here somewhere, and it struck me again. Just like when I viewed Trans Scripts at the Edinburgh Fringe. I commented to my cousin afterwards that the message resonated with me, and would do with any human individual being in this world: That you must believe in who you are and follow your path no matter what.
So, diversity – not so diverse in a manner of speaking, but rather acceptance, tolerance and compassion for ones fellow planet dwellers.
Awards were given out, glasses chinked. Standing O’s reverberated amongst fossils and time forgotten kingdoms. People chatted easily, photobombed each other, updated their Instagram feeds but kept their eyes on the main prize – the recognition and continued challenge for acceptance among society for the individual individual.
The table next to us showed rapt attention to the stage. Coca Cola and water were their drinks of choice, phones were at the ready spreading the news. I chatted to Oli from Made in Chelsea. “I’ve already tweeted twice this evening” he told me. I went to brush his collar “You’ve got lipstick on there I think” I said.
“No, fake tan – I’ve got so much of the stuff on, it’s a nightmare.”
Fake tan, lipstick, male, female, black, white, gay, trans: We’re all different but at the same time so very similar.