It is also important to highlight Kimberly Crenshaw’s work on Intersectionality, which confirms that we all live with multiple identities that overlap and influence each other within social and cultural systems such as patriarchy and race. If we’re in dire financial straits, perceptions about other aspects of ourselves—such as class, gender, and race—may increase during this time, forcing us to confront many parts of our identity at once.
Sometimes a perception about an aspect of our identity — such as our gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity — can itself lead to what is called an “identity crisis.” For example, if your conservative parents raised you with traditional gender roles and you realize that you may, in fact, be trans, your inner world may begin to have a strong desire to change its outer world accordingly. However, we may hesitate due to the many implications it may have on our lives, and we may not feel safe to express ourselves yet – leading to an inner feeling of confusion or crisis.
“For many of us who have multiple marginalized identities or people who are systemically divided, this can actually happen frequently while navigating systems that weren’t made for us,” says Tuazon.