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  • Writer's pictureJoe

Pride and Intersectionality

Today, I decided that I wanted to talk about intersectionality what the term means where it came from and why it’s a key point in any form of activism. The term intersectionality was coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics intersect with one another and overlap. Intersectionality has gone viral over the past five years.

I wanted to talk about how intersectionality affects me personally and why intersectionality is vital to activism. Disability was the first marginalised group I fit into and so it’s been the marginalised identity I’ve always been the most comfortable in. Then a few years later I realised that I also fell into the lgbtq+ community and over the past four years I’ve worked really hard to actively and consciously accept those parts of myself. My sexuality was the first part of my other identities to consciously intersect with my disability. This meant that often times I was rejected by girls I was interested in because when I would tell them about my disability their response would be “I don’t know how to deal with that”. Which didn’t affect me massively in the moment, but it did make my existence feel like a constant string of come outs either I was coming out as disabled or coming out as LGBT.

My gender soon came into question and what I realised was that my disabled experience had medicalised my body so much that I no longer felt a connection to it or my gender and so I came out as non-binary specifically agender.

Constantly existing in these three intersections simultaneously can be exhausting, but there’s something about it that feels very powerful at the same time. It’s an odd dichotomy of identities but one I’m keen to showcase and be visible in from now on.

This brings me to the point of this piece. When I began looking for other disability activists on social media, I noticed that although they may have the rainbow flag in their bios as well as the disability symbol. The content was still very much just focused on disability justice issues which is needed. However, we need to make sure that our activism is intersectional (i.e., The activism includes gay, non-binary disabled people, disabled people of colour etc.)

From this point forward want to talk about all the factors that affect my existence in my content in order to actively document my intersectionality. We must make all our activism intersectional because If we fail to do so then our activism will be ineffective because it will no longer be a fight for liberation, it will be a fight for privilege which in itself is inherently divisive.

This is why intersectionality is vital to activism!

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