#CampPride15 Day Two: Intersecting Identities, Going Beyond Binaries and Being FEARLESS

Campus Pride welcomes 120+ students, faculty and staff for the 9th annual Camp Pride & 4th annual Advisor Bootcamp on July 14, 2015. Throughout this week, Campus Pride will be sharing the camp experience through blogs and social media with the hashtags #CampPride15 and #AdvisorBootcamp.

The second day of Camp Pride began with a lesson in valuing identities, where students were asked to evaluate the different identities the hold and consider the ways identity may be more or less visible, or seem to take priority over other identities at different time.

Tim’m West, Managing Director of LGBTQ Strategic Initiatives at Teach For America, taught campers about intersectionality through an activity requiring campers to “cross out” aspects of each others identities, highlighting the everyday struggle people face when dealing with microaggressions and erasure based on marginalized identities and life experiences.


Tim’m West kicks off “What is Intersectionality Anyways?” #camppride15 #advisorbootcamp

A photo posted by Campus Pride (@campuspride) on

The proclaimed Goddess of Sexual Fluidity Robyn Ochs then challenged campers to go beyond binaries, teaching students the different “scales” used to describe sexuality. Then, through an anonymous survey and interactive activity, campers say just how complicated various attractions and gender can be.  An important skill anyone working for social justice must have is the ability to practice healthy self-care. Within activist communities, it is hard to take time for oneself, as it sometimes requires an activist to take a break from work that seems to important to stop. This can lead to “burnout,” which can take people out of a movement permanently. Campers learned how to define self-care for themselves, finding the benefits in self care, and creating plans for self-care.

Jeff Sheng shared his life story with the campers, highlighting his time spent closeted as a high school athlete, and finding the strength to come out during college despite hardships. These events inspired his work in FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes, weaving together his story with photos of openly LGBTQ athletes. He then described the reception to his book, including issues surrounding the intersections of his race and sexuality in the media.


Allison Marie Turner is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and mass communication and women’s and gender studies. She is a 2015 Summer Fellow for Campus Pride. Follow her on Twitter@amturner1993.

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