Structures of oppression do not work in isolation. Whatever white supremacy touches, it structures. So too, with queerphobia, misogyny and ableism: wherever they exist, they are at work structuring our relationships with each other and with the world. There is no space safe or free from them. This means, that for those of us at the intersections, the communities that are essential to our survival are also capable of causing great pain and doing great harm.
Our anti-racist organising will be nothing, unless we are actively trying to understand and organise against the many ways queerphobia manifests in our communities and our work. Our queer organising is nothing if our queer spaces are almost totally inhospitable to First Nations peoples and people of colour.
Our organising will be nothing if it is not always scrutinising the insidious nature of power.
‘Intersectionality’ is not a buzzword; it was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw as she deconstructed the way Black women experience marginalisation along multiple axes to show the way this affects their physical, and emotional safety and survival. So it is not a buzzword to be used for credit in our activist spaces; it is a framework of liberation that centres Black women, and it has given us a way to conceptualise a liberation that leaves no one behind.
We can start by making our communities safer: what economies of power circulate in our spaces? What norms are structuring how we live with and love each other?
Our goals should ultimately be bigger, but unless the communities we are working within are made safer, we are merely reinscribing oppression into the fabric of our activism. I want my queer community, anti-racist and decolonial; and I want my anti-racism decolonial and queer.