Thank you Melanie for your comments and insights. Like you, my life has been privileged because of my skin color, much of which I did not recognize or think about until recently. This is a new awakening for me or at least one I took for granted. I have become more sensitive to how much harder people of color work to get as far.
You say “it is a crucial part of my identity to recognize all the ways that my life has been privileged because of my skin color” rather than not focusing on your lack of privilege “as a female and as a lesbian”. I applaud this. Does a lack of privilege as a female and a lesbian inform you to the lack of privilege other people might experience? McIntosh says, “Since racism, sexism, and heterosexism are not the same, the advantages associated with them should not be the same.” I struggle a bit with what she means by “the advantages with them should not be the same.” Maybe what they have in common is that they are at a disadvantage because of race, color etc. What I find interesting is that people who experience disadvantages due to color, race, etc. may have their own ingrained “privileged” identity. For instance, I have experienced people of color who express a “privileged” attitude over people who are gay or lesbian. This seems to me, in a way, they are falling into the trap of what is happening to them because of their color or race. I would think it would bind them in a similar cause toward eliminating a “privileged” attitude. Maybe this is what McIntosh is meaning by the difference in advantages????. I hope you can make sense of this.