As a black woman, a lesbian, a feminist and an activist, I have little difficulty seeing how the systems of oppression interconnect, if for no other reason than that their meanings so frequently affect my life.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s political lesbians of color have often been the most astute about the necessity for developing understandings of the connections between oppressions. They have also opposed the building of hierarchies and challenged the “easy way out” of choosing a “primary oppression” and downplaying those messy inconsistencies that occur whenever race, class, sex and sexual identity actually mix.
Ironically, for the forces on the right, hating lesbians and gay men, people of color, jews, and women go hand in hand. They make connections between oppressions in the most negative ways with horrifying results. Supposedly progressive people, on the other hand, who oppose oppression on any other level, balk at acknowledging the societally sanctioned abuse of lesbians and gay men as a serious problem. Their tacit attitude is
“Homophobia, why bring it up?”