I bite my tongue on this one.
I've always been adamantly opposed to prejudice, racism or any form of bigotry. Don't even get me started on women's rights (although that implies a certain amount of bias, ironically). What i never realized was the inherent prejudice I'd been carrying with me for longer than I care to admit. I would love to point the finger at some element as being the root of my bias - upbringing, education system, religion, etc. - but at the end of the day, it's up to me to form my own principles.
At the Eidi Adha gathering we had last night, I encountered some individuals whom I casually dismissed as those whose company I don't really favor i.e. 'not my type'. Due to the usual mingling principle of mingling at a party, I ended up sitting next to said individuals and found myself pressed to initiate a conversation, which I promptly did (I've discovered from experience that the longer you let the initial awkwardness linger, the harder it is to start chatting, thus the more awkward it gets). After the first few exchanges I inwardly admitted that these individuals weren't too bad. As the conversation progressed, I found them to be quite engaging and we ended up talking for quite a while.
The final straw that won me over was the discovery that not only did we share the same passion for reading, but that we've also read the great literary works I labeled as my all-time-favorites. Rarely do I find people I can easily talk to about my book-dependency, even rarer do I find people who've read the books I have.
The night ended with the exchange of hugs and contacts and promises to keep in touch. Sounds a bit corny but I think we were all under the sweet ephemeral effect of new alliances so cut me some slack, please. I'm sure the effect will run off in a few days. In the mean time, I'm enjoying the absence of ludicrous stares when I mentioned 'Beloved' with my eyes wide as golf balls. That and I'm biting my tongue still, of course.