How our communities are impacted by mass criminalization

We stand incredulous that even today, without the right legal protections through a union contract or laws in place, LGBTQ individuals can still be fired from their jobs or even denied housing, a bank account, or even a pizza, simply based on their sexual orientation. This is an absolute shame.

What’s even more frustrating is the double (and sometimes triple) marginalization of LGBTQ individuals – especially those who identify as transgender – who are also people of color. In case after case, the lack of dignity, respect, and understanding for the intersectionality of our communities only protects those in positions of power and privilege.

And while our experiences of marginalization and violence differ for various communities, they are all rooted in the same structural racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia and transphobia that continue to marginalize, demonize, exclude, and divide us.

As our bodies and our identities are routinely discriminated against and criminalized at the hands of those with power, we can no longer talk about these issues separately. Rather, we need to talk about the cross sections, find commonalities in our experiences, and harness the power in our intersectional, collective and resilient communities.

The constituency groups are dedicated to lifting up the voices of people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, the currently and formerly incarcerated, immigrants, and all who deserve a fair chance at work. As we wrap of Pride Month, Ramadan, and Immigrant Heritage Month, we invite you to help ensure that all diverse people have a fair chance at work by becoming a member today.

This op-ed was jointly written by Gregory Cendana, the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, and Executive Committee member of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, and Jerame Davis, the Executive Director of [email protected], AFL-CIO. 

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