Whether festivities are virtual or in-person this month, Pride month remains a time for us to celebrate the contributions and milestones that helped us get to where we are today while reflecting on the challenges of the LGBTQ+ community. There is more that must be done to further advance diversity and inclusion in San Diego, which includes focusing on the intersectionality of race in the LGBTQ+ community.
Coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectionality recognizes the overlap among identities and personal factors such as race, gender, sexuality, religion, income and more. It’s a key element in driving social equality and addressing pervasive disparities and impacts that have been accelerated due to the pandemic.
Many marginalized communities of color including Black and Hispanic-Latino individuals within the LGBTQ+ community have been disproportionately impacted from the pandemic. Research from the Human Right Campaign and PSB Research found people of color within the LGBTQ+ community faced significant economic and workforce challenges including higher rates of unemployment due to the pandemic and reduced work hours. In fact, Latinx LGBTQ respondents reported higher on these challenges compared to other respondents.
While there is still work to be done to reach greater equality, prioritizing diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives have become a more central part of how companies and agencies support the community.
History has shown that the private sector has been a key driver in forwarding equitable opportunities, workplace protections and benefits at times when public policy was deficient. Back in 1997, for example, Bank of America was the first financial services company to announce it would provide comprehensive domestic partner benefits. In 2007, we were one of the first financial firms to offer medically necessary treatments for employees embarking on a gender transition process.
As we continue to build momentum and address long-standing issues of inclusion and equity for the LGBTQ+ community, intersectionality must be a central focus of this push forward.
Here in San Diego, we’re supporting LGBTQ+ nonprofits that advocate for greater social justice and address the gaps in services and economic opportunities for minorities within the LGBTQ+ community. Our LGBTQ+ Pride Employee Network does more with our Hispanic-Latino, Black and Asian American employee networks than ever before and works to ensure more diverse representation on panels, for example.
From building a diverse company to promoting equality and inclusion in our communities, we can elevate different voices and perspectives by supporting the intersectionality of race within the LGBTQ+ community. As we all enjoy various Pride events this month, let’s take the time to celebrate, embrace and learn from personal stories of courage and work together toward greater diversity, inclusion and understanding.
— David Selby (He/Him/His) is a Vice President/Consumer Banking Market Leader in San Diego and Co-Chair for Bank of America’s Local LGBTQ+ Employee Network. David has a passion for his LGBTQ+ community representing Bank of America in San Diego LGBTQ+ Business Association as well as supporting financial literacy through Bank of America’s Better Money Habits Program.