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As we near the end of Pride Month, Woosh Raza, NCVO’s director of people, culture and inclusion, and Shani Newbold, managing partner for Cadence Partners, share their thoughts on intersectionality.

Last week I was asked at a panel event when was the last time I felt truly seen. I recalled earlier this year when I broke fast with my work colleagues during Ramadan. I distinctly remember wearing my shalwar kameez and the pride I felt sharing my Iftar with work colleagues. I loved being able to recall this example whilst wearing a fabulous sequin purple suit to mark the start of pride month.

Some may call this a juxtaposition. I call it my identity.

Sacrificing parts of my identity

The notion of holding multiple truths is liberating in and of itself. We are conditioned in society to apply either/or thinking to uphold institutional ideologies which are rooted in white supremacy. Either I’m Gay or I’m Muslim. Either I’m ambitious or kind. Either I’m an Executive or I am learning.

For the longest time I have struggled to find a sense of belonging because of this very predicament. ‘Too queer to be brown and too brown to be queer’ is a phrase I often use when describing my identity.

I eventually landed on emphasising my queerness in work to assimilate at the cost of my race and religion.

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