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IS DIVERSITY REALLY OUR STRENGTH? 

A fitting post right after Thanksgiving.

You know, as someone who’s both transgender and has a culinary degree, I’ve often thought about diversity in a way that feels close to home: comparing it to spice in food. 

Shall we dive in… 

In the kitchen, we use spices to enhance flavors, and it’s a careful balance – too much or too little can throw off the entire dish. I see diversity in much the same light. In a society, diversity brings richness, just like spices do in cooking. 

Having people from different backgrounds, with varied experiences, and beliefs can lead to creativity and innovation. It’s like making a dish more interesting and appealing by layering flavors, colors and textures. 

TOO MUCH SPICE RUINED THE DISH 

But here’s the thing: just like in cooking, balance is key. If the spices – or diverse elements – are too overpowering, it can lead to a dish, or a society, losing its core essence. 

I’ve done this plenty of times in the creative process. If we focus too much on our differences and not enough on what brings us together, we risk losing sight of our common values and what unites us as a people. 

We become splintered and lose what’s made us great. I’ve sometimes felt that diversity is perceived as trying to be the star of the show, kind of like a spice that thinks it’s the main ingredient. In both cooking and society, every element should complement each other, not compete for attention. 

THE FINAL PRESENTATION 

So, in my view, diversity is neither purely our strength nor our downfall. In cooking, as you “plate” the food, you entice the eyes and tastebuds to further anticipate what’s to come. 

Thus, I think it’s all about how we embrace and integrate diversity. When done right, it’s like a perfectly seasoned dish – diverse, harmonious, and undeniably enriching and pleasing to the senses. 

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2 Responses

  1. Gwen,
    As a professional photographer I realised it was impossible to please everyone , the food preparation industry is very similar , ” One man’s meat is another man’s poison !” I don’t enjoy over spicy food others just love it , neither of us are right or wrong just diverse in our food needs .
    When we consider the transgender community we have differences of opinion or a diversity if you like .

    Perhaps we should view this situation from a different perspective , we are the only species that understands and acknowledges diversity and we also have the ability to know how to compromise . Humans need diversity , to think outside the box , if we raise objections we should also be prepared to offer suitable alternatives . We should rejoice in accepting humans have the brain power to continue to evolve but the big problem with that is we also have the power to destroy , that is the diverse sector we have come to terms with .

  2. Excellent and to the point essay, Gwen! In the end, we are all human beings and being trans is just one of the array of things that make an individual different.

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