Understanding Our Intersectionalities: Embracing Multiple Identities Within the LGBT+ Community

Jun 17, 2019 12:30 PM ET

Originally posted on bloomberg.com.

The LGBT+ community is intersectional, diverse, and ever-evolving, encompassing members with a wide range of other identities, from race and ethnicity to religion and age. For example, a disabled lesbian Muslim woman will belong to multiple cultural groups and may identify with a variety of traditions. She will benefit from all of those different connections and their sense of community, while also potentially facing ableism, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and sexism.

Often, attention is paid only to someone’s most visible or easily categorized traits. Having an intersectional identity can exacerbate discrimination and the feeling of “otherness.” The unique combinations and representations of identities in the LGBT+ community are as varied as the people themselves. It’s important to acknowledge, encourage, give voice to and embrace these differences. It is only by working together that all LGBT+ people will be accepted without exception.

As Bloomberg celebrates Pride Month and considers the contributions and challenges facing the LGBT+ community, we are exploring the spectrum of identity through a deconstruction of the classic rainbow flag. By blending the colors and lines found in the original flag to create a new spectrum, it’s possible to bring awareness to the non-linear identities that we all have, while breaking down boundaries that deter true inclusion. 

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