You may have heard of the term “intersectionality” in your workplace or during your education. The Oxford English dictionary has this definition:
“the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage”

When attempting to create an inclusive or “safe” space within your community, understanding the challenges of intersectionality is key. People do not hold only one identity label, we all carry many. When it comes to LGBTQ+ young people, we have to consider how other aspects of their lives are affecting them in order to reveal what they need from us.

Here is a quick overview of the idea. Keep in mind that queer kids who also belong to other minorities face unique challenges.

Here is a deeper look at the story of where this term came from the woman who coined it, Kimberle Crenshaw. I love how she uses language that can be understood by people outside of academia, and lays out a situation that we can vividly picture. When we don’t understand the needs of a group, and we fail to listen to how their identities overlap, we let them down and leave them out.