How Sexuality Is Crucial For Intersectionality: An Introduction
Ask Cam is not going to be a sexuality column that you’re used to – it is a space where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together.
As intersectionality becomes more of a buzzword and an opportunity for mainstream (*ahem* white feminism) to co-opt Black-specific labor, I can’t help but see similarities between social justice activism and how we explore, talk about, and navigate issues of sexuality.
I’ve written before about how sexuality affects how we view our identities and navigate the larger world. But in my time exploring how social justice affects marginalized people, I find that we rarely have space to talk about how sexuality plays into all of this. And not just the basics of the act of sex – the where, how, or how long? How does social justice and intersectional spaces make space for us to navigate the nuances of this, the cracks of sexuality where identity, internalized oppression, and individual awkwardness spill together to create something new?
As both a Black queer femme and a sexuality educator, I want to work at better filling this gap. And that is where this new column was born.
Ask Cam is not going to be a sexuality column that you’re used to – it is a space where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together. The questions asked here will be less about the technicalities of sex and more about the messy, human nuances that fall in between – from navigating consent, the evolution of sexual experiences, exploring kink and play parties without sacrificing safety as a BIPOC, and so much more.
This is a column where the questions, concerns, and experiences of BIPOC are centered and prioritized. This is not to discourage or deter readers from all backgrounds from finding value in these responses, but to reshape exactly how we look at sexuality. So much of it fails to engage or even consider the experiences of marginalized people and BIPOC; in order to change that, direct action must be taken.
Not all of the topics covered will be fun and lighthearted. Complicated, possibly triggering content will be explored as well, because this is part of the greater conversation of sexuality as well. But with so much of us have experienced some sort of violence or oppression in our sex lives, it would be a disservice to negate that here.
Ultimately, I am excited to create this column because this is the kind of content that I would have liked to see for myself when I was beginning to understand and explore my identity. For too long, my identity, my politics within social justice, and my curiosity about sexuality topics were severely separated and rarely allowed to mingle and interconnect. But human experiences are messy, complicated, and often spill over to each other.
I became drawn to sexuality education because beyond there being an overwhelming whiteness within the field, there is still so much work to be done when it comes to properly prioritizing and centering the experiences that BIPOC and other marginalized people experience in this field.
Marginalized people deserve more from sexuality than to feel consistently tokenized, devalued, and othered. Instead, we deserve to feel celebrated and welcomed, just like anyone else. Sexuality is for everyone to experience and define for themselves as they see fit.
So what happens now? Ask Cam will roll out questions every two weeks, where I will be giving my own responses on a range of sexuality-focused questions submitted by readers like you. There will be opportunities for you to submit your own as well – so keep an eye out if there’s something that you would like to see featured in this space as well.
Intersectionality is not a buzzword, but a living theory and practice that affects so much of the lives of Black people. So why not have a sexuality column that centered these experiences as well?
Have fun, learn something new, and hopefully, reclaim the power to define your sexuality for yourself in this space.
Featured Image: Uwe Paulat
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