How to be an LGBTQ2S+ Ally Part 2

What is intersectionality?

We touched on several points earlier in the month surrounding how to be a good ally. We now want to pull the focus to the term “intersectionality.” We’ve spoken about it briefly, but we think it’s important to expand on the word for those who may be more unfamiliar.

Womankind Worldwide sums it up best:

Intersectionality [is] “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” 

Intersectionality acknowledges that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression. We must consider everything and anything that can marginalize people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.”

What are some examples of intersectionality?

Intersectionality is used as a lens to understand the different layers of privilege or discrimination associated with someone’s identity.

We’re borrowing some ideas from the Equality Network to help break down instances of intersectionality: For example, a straight, white woman might experience misogyny, while a lesbian Muslim will deal with racism, Islamophobia, sexism and homophobia. 

The Equality Network describes the complexities of discrimination through intersectional identities akin to “being hit by cars on all sides.” While the straight, white woman described earlier might experience issues in health care or equal pay, the lesbian Muslim might find herself isolated in the LGBTQ+ community due to Islamophobia or experience homophobia in the Muslim community, on top of the misogyny the white woman may face.

Our tip for allies working to involve intersectionality in daily practice comes from the Opportunity Agenda: acknowledge that people face multiple, complex struggles.  When analyzing new policies, think about how different groups of people may be affected by them. It’s essential to pull the focus off of the individual and think about the broader community!

Can you think of some examples of intersectionality? Share your ideas with us. Follow us on Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook. Check in weekly for a new blog post.  If you are interested in more information or have more questions you can always Ask Pam. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for instructional videos. Sign up for our newsletter to receive tips, sale notifications and product features.


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