Pride 2020 and Black Lives Matter: The Importance of Intersectionality

Sarah Cable, ACCP

Content Manager

Fifty-one years ago, the Stonewall Riots laid the path for the Gay Liberation Movement, marriage equality, and identity acceptance. As the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates Pride Month, we remember that the riots were the steppingstone of equality. The beginning of Pride Month 2020 coincides with protests, riots, and a nationwide movement surrounding civil rights and the Black Lives Matter cause. As we remember the Stonewall Riots, we must also take into consideration the importance of the intersectionality between sexuality, race, and identity as we work to build a world of equity both in our work and personal lives.

In her book So You Want to Talk About Race, black and queer author Ijeoma Oluo defines intersectionality as “the belief that our social justice movements must consider all of the intersections of identity, privilege, and oppression that people face in order to be just and effective.”

Oluo teaches us that when thinking about or discussing LGBTQIA+, we must also think of those members of the community who are minorities, differently abled, neurodiverse, or otherwise experience the world differently, and the same is true when discussing race. According to the Human Rights Campaign, black people who identify as LGBTQIA+ are significantly more prone to acts of violence and bias. Black transgender women face the highest levels of fatal violence within the LGBTQIA+ community. Including the May 27th murder of Tony McDade, a black transgender man, 11 transgender or non-gender conforming have been killed since the beginning of 2020 (in comparison to 20 in all of 2019). As GLAAD states, “there can be no Pride if it is not intersectional.”

Oluo urges all people to keep intersectionality top of mind when advocating for a group of people, whether individually or on behalf of your company. She says, “Intersectionality helps ensure that fewer people are left behind and that our efforts to do better for some do not make things far worse for others.”

Visit the resources below for more information on the intersectionality of LGBTQIA+ identities and race:

GLAAD – LGBTQIA+ organization

Human Rights Campaign  – LGBTQIA+ organization

Center for Black Equity – Black LGBTQIA+ organization

National Black Justice Coalition – Black LGBTQIA+ organization