Happy Spring Diversity Weekend 2023
Chadwick Moore, a writer with Advocate Magazine once said the following about Eureka Springs...
"...this community is booming, running counter to the idea that in order to have a fulfilling life, gays have to run to the coasts and be competitive, wealthy, superficial, and sometimes nasty to one another."
Nasty! Ew! No way ...
The phrase, now made quite famous by Taylor Swift, "shade never made anybody less gay" is a powerful statement that encourages us to embrace and celebrate our differences, rather than judging or criticizing others based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This phrase has become increasingly popular in recent years, (thank you, Taylor!) particularly as the LGBTQIA+ community has gained greater visibility and acceptance in mainstream society.
At its core, this phrase suggests that telling someone to "tone down" their personality or behavior in order to fit in with societal norms is not only unfair, but it also goes against the values of inclusion and diversity that we should all strive to uphold. It implies that being different is not something to be ashamed of, and that trying to change who you are to conform to others' expectations is ultimately futile.
As an HR Professional, I have also learned that this phrase "shade never made anybody less gay" is not only used in the context of the LGBTQIA+ community, it can also apply to other marginalized groups, such as people of color, women, and those with disabilities. In each of these cases, individuals may feel pressure to conform to certain societal ideals in order to be accepted, which can lead to feelings of shame, self-doubt, and even depression.
However, this phrase provides a powerful counterpoint to these negative messages, reminding us that being true to ourselves is ultimately the most important thing we can do. It encourages us to embrace our authentic selves, regardless of what others may think, and to take pride in our differences rather than trying to hide them.
Of course, this is easier said than done. It can be challenging to stand out from the crowd and be different, especially when you feel like you're going against the grain. However, the phrase "shade never made anybody less gay" reminds us that we have the power to define our own identities, and that nobody else can take that away from us.
In other words, if somebody tries to "throw shade" your way - whether that's through ridicule, criticism, or outright discrimination - remember that their opinions do not define you. You are the only one who gets to decide who you are, and nobody can take that away from you.
At the same time, it's important to remember that the phrase "shade never made anybody less gay" does not mean that we should ignore or brush off the hurtful comments that other people make. It's natural to feel angry or upset when somebody makes fun of your sexual orientation, race, or gender identity, and it's important to stand up for yourself and others who may be marginalized.
However, the phrase does encourage us to respond with positivity, love and pride, rather than with anger and defensiveness.
By embracing our differences and celebrating the things that make us unique, we can create a more inclusive and accepting world for everyone.
This is why we, the community of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, decide to celebrate our diversity and embrace our differences every day, but most especially during specifically themed Diversity Themed Weekends; one each Spring, Summer and Fall.
Ultimately, the phrase "shade never made anybody less gay" is a powerful reminder that we are all deserving of love and respect, regardless of our who we are, where we came from and who we love. It encourages us to be confident in ourselves, to celebrate our authentic selves, and to reject the limitations that others may try to impose on us.
So, the next time somebody tries to throw shade your way, remember this:
You are strong, resilient, loved and deserving of love and respect just as you are. Embrace your differences, celebrate your uniqueness, love yourself and never let anybody make you feel less than who you truly are. ❤️