Naperville has become accustomed to being ranked in Top-Ten lists, from schools, to libraries, to restaurants, to best places to live, etc. My personal favorite is Naperville ranking as “One of the top 30 Best Beach Towns in which to live in the U.S.” Who would have guessed that one. Frankly that ranking makes the others suspect, but anybody can rank anything in any order they want.
It happened again just recently when the Human Rights Campaign Foundation ranked Naperville dead last in creating a friendly environment for LGBTQ inclusion (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer). Naperville scored a first by coming in last place for something. Coming in last place is not an easy accomplishment. Fortunately for Naperville it wasn’t all Illinois communities, just large ones. Chicago scored the highest in Illinois for LGBTQ inclusion, followed by Aurora and Champaign.
Chicago scored 100 points out of a possible 100, which means it doesn’t get any better than Chicago for LGBTQ inclusion. Naperville scored 42 (apparently a lot of opportunity for improvement) with the national average being 57 points. I say ‘apparently’ because what’s the problem?
Naperville resident Eva-Genevieve Scarborough, (active in the LGBTQ community) said she is not surprised by the ranking even though she has never had an issue in the city. She did clarify that by saying she doesn’t always feel accepted. Does anybody ‘always feel accepted’; it’s rather doubtful. I don’t always feel accepted. As a member of the OGWWH community (Old Guys With White Hair), I accept that I’m not always accepted. I’m OK with it, that’s life.
Naperville got dinged in the rankings for not having an LGBTQ police liaison or task force for reporting ‘hate crime’ statistics in 2015 to the FBI. Is this another classic example of a ‘solution’ looking for a problem? Apparently the fact that Naperville provides an environment of equality (being treated with dignity and respect) and inclusion works against Naperville in this ranking. If only we had some problems, we could rank higher. That’s a lofty goal.
Let’s hope that city officials don’t do with this ranking what they did with the one resident who was upset about a few bees in her birdbath, when the the city council felt compelled to pass an ordinance placing restrictions on beehives. Sometimes doing nothing this the best course of action. If it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it.