I’m Diversifying My Groomsmen


As you know, Jenna and I are tying the knot in less than a year. I had a list of groomsmen all set, but then I came to a shocking realization: of the four friends I’d chosen, all were straight white males. This is problematic. I hate to say it, but unless you can take a good look at yourself and determine you’re actually one-eighth Cherokee, you can’t be one of my groomsmen.

I’m sending similar letters to Brad, Aiden, and Fred, so this is nothing personal. It’s just important that the people who join me on the altar all come from different walks of life. I need to represent the totality of post-aughts America, and I’m not sure “The Boom Crew” ticks off the right boxes.

Everyone from the crew will be at the wedding, of course. They wouldn’t miss it for the world! At the reception you’ll be at the same table as Fred, though you’ll probably be sitting at a strange angle that will strain conversation and force you to talk primarily to my Egyptian friend Mahmoud (he’s an accountant) and Jenna’s co-worker Gerel (who is Mongolian, I hope).

My best man is going to be Braxton. Do you remember Braxton? Think back to our freshman year of college. On the other side of our dorm, there was a room with two guys, and for the first two months we’d go there and play Mario Kart every few days. Anyway, Braxton lived across the hall from them. I think he was a chemistry major. He definitely had a girlfriend. I wonder if they’re still dating. Anyway, his mother is black and his father is Jewish, two demographics that I’d love to cover in my wedding party.

If this wedding were happening back in the olden days, my best man would be Fred. That’s obvious. We’ve been friends since second grade, made sure to catch up almost weekly during college, and took it upon ourselves to move to the same city after graduation, even though neither of us had a job yet. And we made it work! But as close as we are, Fred is an Anglo-Saxon male from Greenwich, Connecticut, so he will be sitting in the audience while I read my vows.

So there are three more slots to fill. First one goes to my most recent landlord, April. I understand April is a woman, but that’s just the thing — in 2015, why should all of my groomsmen be men? Totally unfair. You might think “groomspeople” would be a better descriptor, but you’d be wrong. You can’t just assume like that. Calling them “groomspeople” implies that they’re the groom’s people, and I don’t own a single one of them. They’re their own people with their own hopes, dreams, and ideas for my bachelor party. I’m going to call them “people who work with the groom, collaboratively, toward a common goal.”

The penultimate slot will be left empty, leaving a person-sized hole between April and Braxton on the dais. This slot represents a person of all backgrounds, especially the ones I couldn’t actually fit in the party. This person contains multitudes. He or she will remain nameless, so our wedding guests will be able to imprint their own inclusive ideals on a blank canvas. If Braxton and April represent the modern day, this person (or people, or animal, or inanimate object with sentimental value) represents the future. It’s very important for Jenna and me to stay ahead of the curve.

That leaves me room for just one more person who works with the groom, collaboratively, toward a common goal. Now that I think of it, don’t you have a brother who your parents adopted from China?