I’m often asked—confronted—about gay pride parades when I speak at colleges and universities. Usually it’s a conservative student, typically someone who isn’t happy about my being invited to campus in the first place. We gay people like to pretend that we’re all about love and marriage, the conservative student will insist, but look at your pride parades! Look at those guys in assless chaps and all those bare-chested lesbians dancing! Just look! The exchange almost always ends with this:
Conservative student: “Straight people don’t flaunt our sexuality like that. We don’t have straight ‘pride’ parades.”
Me: “You should.”
And it seems clearer with every passing Halloween that straight people do.
In one of my sections of Introduction to Sociology yesterday, we were talking about the intersection of race and gender, which was discussed in one of the articles we read for class. It so happens that this is being discussed over at This Week in Sociology (blog).
Intersectionality was first introduced by Kimberly Crenshaw as a way to study how multiple identities (i.e. gender, race, class, etc.) are interrelated and are affected by systemic inequalities. In this regard, individuals uniquely experience a system of oppression because of how their intersecting identities come to matter in society.