Intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ Community

At ICM Partners, we believe that education is power and that conversation can lead to positive change. Guided by that belief, ICM InQlusion, our internal initiative to promote a supportive environment for the LGBTQ+ community, recently held a virtual panel to discuss Intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ community.

Intersectionality, as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary, is the complex and cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination – such as racism, sexism, and classism – combine, overlap, or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.

The panel was moderated by our client Dylan Marron, host of the popular podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me. Panelists included clients Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Thai Nguyen (Say I Do), and Bob the Drag Queen (RuPaul’s Drag Race).

Marron opened the discussion by offering his own definition of intersectionality. He defined it as “all about acknowledging the complexity and beauty and difficulty that comes with existing in and embodying multiple marginalized identities.” He then established the panel’s open and inclusive tone by asking each of the panelists to describe how they choose to identify.

Ngyuen, who was raised in Vietnam and Washington, self-identified as an Asian American refugee gay man. Beatriz, born in Argentina and raised in Texas, identified herself as a woman, as an immigrant, and a Latina. And Bob, a Georgian native, self-identified as Black, queer, pansexual, and nonbinary.

After acknowledging the complex intersections each one personally exists within, the panelists discussed how their outward appearances and accents had affected their careers. Much of the conversation revolved around the critical imbalance in representation and the challenges minorities, specifically those from LGBTQ+ and Bipoc communities, face in having opportunities and finding their own space outside of forecasted stereotypes.

It was an insightful and moving conversation that cast a harsh light on the limitations and prejudices that pervade our industry. We must keep talking and educating each other. We must get better at providing space and opportunities for everyone to speak their truths because each one has its own story to tell.