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On this page we talk about

People might treat you differently because of more than one thing about who you are.

For example, because you:

  • are a First Nations person


  • have a disability.

We call this intersectionality.

Understanding intersectionality

Intersectionality affects the way you experience:

  • life
  • Discrimination is when people or services treat you unfairly because of a part of who you are.

There are many different things that:

  • make up who you are
  • can be important to who you are.

The different parts of who you are:

  • overlap
  • affect each other
  • affect your experiences.

Some people are more likely to experience discrimination.

For example:

  • people with disability
  • women and people.

    A gender diverse person is someone:

    • who feels like they do not fit the idea of being a man or a woman
    • whose gender given to them when they were born does not match the gender they are.

People who are part of the community are also more likely to experience discrimination.

The letters LGBTQIA stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual.

The ‘+’ is for people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community but do not talk about themselves using a word from this list.

People who are more likely to experience discrimination also include:

  • First Nations people
  • people who speak languages other than English
  • people who come from different and backgrounds.

    Your culture is:

    • your way of life
    • how you think or act now because of how you grew up
    • your beliefs
    • what is important to you.

You might be part of more than one of these groups.

And you might experience discrimination in a different way to people who are only part of one of these groups.

For example, you might experience worse discrimination.

How understanding intersectionality can help the community

When you understand intersectionality, it can help you better understand the community.

This includes the parts of yourself that:

  • you share with other people in the community
  • make you different to other people in the community.

When you understand intersectionality, you might learn more about:

  • why people should treat each other fairly
  • what it can be like when people do not treat each other fairly.

You might also learn to care more about:

  • other people’s experiences
  • the challenges other people face.

When you understand intersectionality, you might learn about the ways some groups:

  • have better experiences than other groups
  • face discrimination.

You might learn to speak up for yourself more.

And listen to other people when they speak up about their experiences.

Experiencing discrimination

You have the to not experience discrimination.

Rights are rules about how people must treat you:

  • fairly
  • equally.

Discrimination is never your fault.

You also have the right to speak up about:

  • your experiences
  • what you need.

Example story

We wrote a story to show an example of intersectionality.

The story we wrote is about a person called Cal.

The story and the people in it are not real.

We made them up to explain intersectionality.

Cal’s story

Cal is a woman with disability.

Her disability affects how she:

  • moves
  • uses her body.

Cal has a friend who:

  • comes from a white background
  • does not live with disability.

Cal and her friend are both part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

They like to go to events together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.

These events are called ‘pride parades’.

Cal comes from an Asian background.

Cal’s family does not like that she is part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

When Cal goes to pride parades, she:

  • gets tired quickly
  • needs time to rest.

This means Cal misses out on lots of activities at pride parades.

Cal’s friend does not need to rest.

So they get to go to all the activities.

Because of intersectionality, Cal and her friend experience discrimination in different ways.

Cal experiences a different kind of discrimination to her friend, because she:

  • comes from an Asian background
  • has a disability.