The power of intersectionality in the LGBTQ+ community

This is the first of a series of articles exploring and discussing intersectionality in the LGBTQ+ community and are written by our Manager of Programs & Partnerships, Jane Barry-Moran.

A new generation of LGBTQ+ individuals are beginning to learn about the story and struggle of Marsha P Johnson and other historic intersectional LGBTQ+ leaders. These leaders were not only at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ movement but were individuals who had many intersectional identities that compounded their struggle. The global reawakening to systemic racial injustice in our societies and organizations has moved leaders to ask, what is the call to senior leaders and organizations as a whole?

Original research conducted by Out Leadership has found that individuals who are black and identify as LGBTQ+ are 30% less likely to be out in the workplace than their white counterparts. We know from our most recent research, AllyUP, covering this identity saps productivity.

Research leaders on the topic talk about “multiple stressors” for LGBTQ+ People of Color. Biracial, indigious People of Color make up 42% (Williams Institute) of the LGBTQ+ population and yet are profoundly under represented in the highest levels of leadership. There is no denying the impact that has on young LGBTQ+ biracial, indiginous people of color entering the workforce. Our talent study with member firm PWC, Out to Succeed, found that over 90% of LGBTQ+ emerging leaders see board representation as an indicator of an inclusive culture.

This leaves many unanswered questions in the research. What compounding experiences of oppression do biracial, indigenous, people of color experience in accessing certain workplaces and accessing leadership positions in these organizations? This series will also explore additional intersections around faith communities, individuals with disabilities, mental health and other identities that, of course, LGBTQ+ individuals hold.