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Intersectionality Panel

This week, we had the amazing privilege to host a panel on intersectionality! Intersectionality refers to the ways social identities are interconnected and the unique challenges faced by individuals who belong to multiple marginalized groups. It emphasizes the need to consider the intersections of factors like sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and more to better understand the complexity of discrimination and oppression.

This panel was conducted by Thea, chair of the Intersectionality Committee. Four individuals participated in the panel: Carolyn, a Catawba Indigenous lesbian woman, Maeve, a non-binary trans woman, Dr. Draper, a Yurok Indigenous bisexual woman who is a professor of Education Intersectionality at UVU, and Mica, a bisexual woman from Peru. Together, they discussed intersectionality and how their identities have informed their lived experiences, covering everything from immigration to indigenous rights and queer identities.

Carolyn described intersectionality as stacking levels of marginalization and oppression. Despite all of it, she said, “Being a woman, being indigenous–these are parts of my identity that I wouldn’t change for the world.”

Maeve expressed similar sentiments about her identity. “My transness is both positively and negatively inescapable,” she began, and went on to describe an experience both interesting and ambivalent. She described the way her identity developed, the social experiences she had at different stages, and how she eventually settled on her preferred pronouns of she/it. “Finding my pronouns was like walking around in a dark room and waving my hands around,” she said. “There aren’t any structures for trans people to work in.”

The event was a blast, both informative and horizon-expanding. The LGBTQ+ community, being so diverse, greatly benefits from a recognition of the ways marginalization is layered through our intersecting identities and life experiences. Whether you’re queer or not, being willing to share and listen helps make sure everyone is seen and uplifted.



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