As we continue the celebrations and remembrances of Pride Month 2022, we want to highlight the concept of intersectionality, and how various aspects of one’s identity can influence so much of their lives and experiences.
Identity is a big part of who you are, and it's important to understand how your identity intersects with other identities in society.
Identity can be defined as the combination of different elements that make up who you are. Sometimes these elements can be social categories like race, gender, class, or sexuality. When these categories overlap and intersect with each other, they create unique dynamics that affect how we experience the world around us.
This is called intersectionality—the way in which one’s identity is not experienced as a whole but as a combination of different identities that bring about unique situations and situations.
The following stories from employees in both the wider Multicultural and LGBTQ+ community highlight how their identities intersect and can cause both challenges and growth in navigating two different worlds.
Historically, QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) voices and perspectives have been de-prioritized, ignored or silenced in and out of the larger LGBTQ+ community. We hope that by sharing the stories of individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds and experiences we can increase understanding, compassion, and inclusion within our larger LGBTQ+ community and the wider world.
Jordan Sagisi, Sr. Director, Retail Media at Merkle
I am proudly Filipino-American, and I am also proudly gay. Coming from a conservative Asian-American family, my ethnic & cultural identity as an adult conflicted with also being a gay man—I was soft-spoken and hardworking with family, yet with friends, I was wild and fabulous—neither of which was fully me.
In the various agencies I’ve been at over the course of my career, I have never felt like I had to choose between my Asian or LGBTQ+ identities and both of my identities have been able to show up at the workplace. What I enjoy about our industry is working with people of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
In the last few years, we've seen a lot of progress in making our workplace more inclusive. But there's still much work to be done. I have had the privilege to work with other diverse individuals, and since joining Merkle, dentsu’s DEI groups have helped me to remember just how diverse our industry is now that we are mostly working from home. These groups have been brave enough to take on this mission of creating a more inclusive environment for us all. They are the ones who create space for conversation around issues of race, gender identity, sexuality, class--and they do so without making anyone feel uncomfortable or unsafe. This workplace community is what keeps me invested —the ones who can see me for who I am and accept me for it.
Kimberly Cordero, Associate Director, Planning, at dentsuX
My name is Kimberly Cordero, and I am a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. My journey began many years ago when I was about 8 years old. I knew I was “different” because as my childhood friends had crushes on boys, my crushes included more than boys. At that young age, I did not have an understanding that individuals that were seen as different were not accepted. I was always told ‘girls and boys belong together’ and I honestly did not understand the issue and being “corrected” all the time did not make a difference in how I felt.
The years continued to go by, and my feelings never changed. I had both boyfriends and girlfriends and for a long while classified myself as bi-sexual. Being both bi-sexual and a female, I always felt the need to keep my guard up as I was not fully accepted or understood.
Not only am I female but Hispanic as well; this made life extra complicated. In a Hispanic household, you need to be strong and being LGBTQ+ is viewed as a weakness. Life was difficult and I often felt lonely and lost and just so unwanted. I was never able to express my feelings to my family, and when I needed someone to talk to, no family member wanted to listen. This was extremely damaging and took a toll on many of my familial relationships but was a lesson in my life and led me to acceptance.
In my adult life, I had a mental shift. This was largely due to starting to see a number of people openly being themselves. For years, I was afraid to show who I truly am because of my family. I was beyond excited to be in the presence of such openness. The confidence, self-assurance and outright awesomeness was so refreshing. I truly began to feel more confident in myself and knew I was never different. For someone to be different, there must be a base of sameness. No one is the same which means no one can be different. Living your truth while adding your uniqueness to those around you is what makes you, you.
Today, I am an Omnisexual Hispanic Woman, living my truth, and adding awesomeness to wherever I go.