Intersectionality: LGBT & Black History Month
By Stephen Frost
It’s LGBT history month in the UK and Black history month in the US. Rather than seeing these as two separate events, how might we see them as related, whoever and wherever we might be?
There’s been a lot more talk recently about intersectionality, the idea that we have multiple identities, not just sexual orientation, gender identity and race as individual and complete labels. There are multiple patterns of discrimination. So for example, women of colour experience disproportionate amounts of discrimination compared with white women.
However, when identities are pitted against each other, we all lose out. People aren’t just one thing, tokens, single issues. To be included, we have to be able to bring all that we are to the table.
We were really happy last year to support one of our global pharma clients in their Pride month celebrations where we curated an intersectional Pride. LGBT celebrations focussed on race issues within the LGBT community and some key Black pioneers that were instrumental in the gay rights movement, not least Marsha Johnson who was a leading figure in the 1969 Stonewall riots. Similarly, studies of black history increasingly focus on landmark gay Black figures including Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin.
Photo by Jiroe on Unsplash
Adopting an intersectional approach to LGBT history month in the UK and Black history month in the US doesn’t just make for more inclusive events and more accurate history, it’s more effective at building the ally base. Making sure we’re intersectional in whatever we’re doing to celebrate these months, wherever we are, simply includes more people and builds the platform for positive cultural change.
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