Many people with a history of being marginalised report that they experience health care access barriers and inequities.
Research into these experiences is often limited to a single identity category. This overlooks the needs of people who experience health care access barriers and inequities as a result of multiple intersecting axes of marginalisation (e.g., disability, gender identity, sexuality, etc.).
Through our Intersections Project, we talked to people who fall through the cracks. Participants were people with at least two, or more, marginalised or excluded lived experiences. We conducted interviews in 2018 and 2019 to learn more about the problems they faced when seeking appropriate healthcare.
What makes the project different?
We took the time to meet people in the format and time frame that met their cognitive, mobility, and trauma-related needs. As a result, we spoke to people with a diverse range of community memberships and/or lived experiences.
This included people with two or more lived experiences as Aboriginal people, people from culturally and linguistically marginalised communities, people with intersex characteristics, autistic people, people of transgender and/or non-binary experience and/or identity, people with disability labels and/or impairments, consensually non-monogamous/ polyamorous and multi-partnered people, people in BDSM/kink relationships, parents, carers, and people with stigmatised lived experiences such as sex work, incarceration, homelessness, poverty, and/or substance addiction.
We talked to people whose voices haven’t been heard, not just people who are considered ‘leaders’ within their communities. We know that each person’s needs, and experiences will be different from other people who might check the same boxes.
How are we using the stories?
We are now elevating the voices of people with intersectional needs who contributed to this project by sharing their wisdom and insights to educate health providers and health system authorities about current gaps and problems with healthcare. The goal is to improve health services and to help other people with similar needs to get better healthcare.
What are intersectional needs?
Many people have been treated badly or excluded when they seek healthcare. They might be subjected to this treatment based on their faith, their gender, their sexuality, their disability, or another marginalised aspect of their lived experience.
Some people are part of more than one lived experience group that has not had their needs met. The word intersectional refers to someone who is part of more than one of these groups.
Some people have intersectional needs—needs due to having more than one of these lived experiences.
The following are some descriptive terms (adjectives) people with intersectional needs have used to describe aspects of their lived experiences:
(Note that some of these terms are considered offensive if used as nouns rather than adjectives. Please also note the importance of using the terms people use about themselves, instead of imposing labels.)
Special Thanks To
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
The project was funded by the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
This project was organised by the UTS Shopfront at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion and Alter Design Studios, the student Visual Communication team from the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney – Gennalie Espino, Maria Esquivel, Jesse Hall, Yufei Pan and Holly Roulstone, who were supervised by Ryan Curtis.