By Sydney Elaine Butler, Founder of Accessible Creates
What are Intersectional Identities?
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. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalize people. Examples of Intersectional Identities are included in Diagram 1.0. It is important to understand the importance of people’s intersectional identities to understand how someone views themselves and how others view them in the world. How we choose to view ourselves is critical in understanding in how we are connected to those around us and the world.
Importance of Communities:
Understanding our Intersectional Identities allows us to find the communities we are apart of and have a better sense of connection to other people. While our intersectional identities are unique to us and our experiences, they have overlap with other people. For example, people who are part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, people are the same age or close in age, educational background and much more allows us to create a sense of community because we all feel a sense of belonging for having similarities. However, even with the similarities there are still differences and that is beautiful so that within these communities you can also share the differences. Our workplaces are a sense of community and the departments we work in often have similarities for being in similar positions, however, we are also bringing our unique lived experiences into the workplaces and these should be celebrated, and seen as an advantage and not a negative.
My Intersectional Identities:
As a person on this planet, I have a lot of intersectional identities which include but are not limited to being apart of the LGBTQ2S+ community as a bisexual non-binary person. I love being apart of this community. I am in my mid 20s. I am a HR, Accessibility and Neurodiversity consultant. I am biracial. I am Neurodivergent and Disabled. I am outgoing and like to meet new people. I have long curly brown hair. I love to read and hang out with my dog. I have a degree in Business Administration-Human Resources. By knowing my intersectional identities, I know who I am and what I want people to know, and how I fit into this complex world, and what unique experiences I have that make me, well me.
My Communities I apart of:
Community has been very important to me as since as a child I did not feel like I fit in and this led my mental health to struggle. So, I joined the Girl Guides of Canada Community, and this is the first time I truly felt like I belonged. As a neurodivergent biracial young girl, I did have friends at school, but it felt forced sometimes and only because we were in the same class. I am now part of the HR Community, and DEI Community for work and volunteering with the HRPA. I am so happy to be volunteering and working within this community and has created a sense of purpose and connection for me during the pandemic. Recently, I have also founded my own company called Accessible Creates to give workshops and consulting services on the importance of supporting Accessibility, Neurodiversity and Disability in the Workplace, and other areas of DEI. I have joined a founder’s community, where I actually met Pete and I am so grateful.
Why I believe in The GenWell Project:
Although, I only recently met the founder of The GenWell Project recently, I am so grateful to have met him and to know about the work of the movement. Human connection is very important, and I know in my darkest moments, that is what helped the most. Having people be there for you, and being there for other people, is the most beautiful thing as it is love in its purest form. Everyone is struggling with something, and has unique experiences, so it is important to treat everyone with compassion. Everything that this project stands for is what I have believed in my whole life, because I have had people treat me with the utmost compassion and on the other end, I have also seen the worst of humanity, so I understand the importance of being kind for our own well-being and others well-being. A message that I pass on to you from Maya Angelou, who inspires me and helped me remember the importance of being kind in my worst moments. “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.” – Maya Angelou. Never forget the power of human connection, as possibly, the most powerful act of kindness.