Intersectionality is a topic that is coming up a lot lately every where I go. But what isn’t coming up as often, is a discussion about what it is exactly and why it is important. Here I talk about that, plus my own intersecting identities, as well as why I think coaching caters to intersecting identities so well.





What Is Intersectionality?

According to Syracuse University, Intersectionality is the “study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. The theory suggests that – and seeks to examine how – various biological, social and cultural categories such as gender, race,  class, ability, sexual orientation, religion, caste, age, nationality and other sectarian axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels.”

Basically it theorizes that people are often disadvantaged by more than one source of oppression depending on their various self-identifiers. This may look like multiple layers of oppression based on their gender, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their religion, or other identities of self. It recognizes the intricacies of dealing with multiple intersecting identities and the complex oppression that occurs.




Why Does Intersectionality Matter?

Recognizing and acknowledging that people claim multiple social and self identities, and that these identities intersect is one of the keys to understanding the complicated social identities, experiences, and perspectives that people bring to the world around them.


Intersectionality examines how different forms of discrimination overlap and mingle together, which leads to unique experiences with oppression. It often drives the changes that are needed in order to create more effective and inclusive social justice movements and policies.


Understanding and exploring intersectionality helps foster personal empowerment, deepen your sense of empathy for others, and strengthen your ability to effectively advocate for others.    

My Personal Intersectionality

As I grow and learn about my own intersecting identities, my self awareness, self acceptance, and self love have grown as well. Some of the intersecting identities that I claim are: 

  • Woman
  • Cisgender
  • Queer (pansexual/greysexual?)
  • Polyamorous
  • Disabled
  • Neurodivergent
  • White
  • Plus Size
  • Gen Xer
  • Religiously/Spiritually Exploring

As I was making the list above, it occurred to me that those are all the intersecting identities that people think of when they think of “Identity”.  And also ones I’ve most often experienced discrimination regarding.


However, there’s a bunch of other ways I identify – so just for fun I thought I’d list some.  I’m not claiming these are ones I’ve been discriminated about, just having fun!

  • Coach
  • Entrepreneur
  • Advocate
  • Educator
  • Blogger
  • Mom
  • Sister, Aunt, Daughter
  • Dog Mom, Cat Mom, Fish Mom, Mice Mom
  • Kid at heart
  • Irish
  • Ambidextrous-forced-to-righty
  • Cancer Survivor
  • Mental Health Warrior
  • ADHD Mom of ADHD Kids
  • Adult Child of Alcoholics

As you can see, people have a ginormous potential for intersecting identities. This is what makes every person so wonderfully and delightfully unique. No matter how close or alike two people may be, they can’t possibly share every identity that each other claims. 


Biological twins who were raised by the same parents may share MANY of their intersecting identities, but it’s unlikely they share them all. One is generally older than the other. One may be heterosexual and one may be queer. One may be neurotypical and one neurodivergent. The possibilities for unique combinations of identities is endless.




Why am I talking about this today instead of ADHD?


Good question.  The cheeky answer is, because I have a lot of intersectional identities and I know that you do, too. 


The more authentic answer is that I think that working with a coach is one of the best ways to recognize your intersectionality.  You may notice I’m often offering tips and tricks, but also always saying that these may or may not work for you, this may or may not resonate with you.


This is because I know that while many of us who have ADHD share similar qualities, challenges, or gifts – we are also all incredibly and beautifully complex people. No one way of anything will work for every person because of our intersecting identities, along with our varied experiences.


Beware of people, including ADHD coaches, who insist they have “the way.” If anyone had the way that worked for everyone, the struggle wouldn’t be a struggle any more.


When you work with me, you get individualized and personalized sessions where we strategize what works for you, your brain, and your family. Book a free 20 minute session with me today to talk about how we can partner together to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.


Book A Time To Talk Today


I love to hear from you, please feel free to email me with any questions, thoughts, or ideas you may have. I hope that you have a wonderful day today full of nothing but peace and love.

Kat Sweeney, MCLC


🌻Don’t Delay Joy🌻

Kat Sweeney, MCLC


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