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Intersectionality 101: To be Seen or Not to be Seen in the Public Square

Photos are by photographer and filmmaker CJ Ormita // 

Spacemakers is a collective of people of color coming together monthly to have conversations & create meaningful connections through real-life interaction in public spaces.


Los Angeles, CA., June 18, 2019 — This summer, the Line Hotel is teaming up with the founders of Spacemakers, Victor Go and Ly Tran, to highlight experiences of people of color and LGBT folk, experiences which, some say, are different from those of their white counterparts, beginning June 29 from 2 to 5 pm as part of the social group’s first residency program.

Founders of SPCMKRS
Left: American-Mexican, Victor Go. Right: American-Vietnamese, Ly Tran founded Spacemakers on Feb. 2019 and now continue their work as part of a summer-long residency with the Line Hotel in Koreatown one of the county’s more diverse district.

“Previous research and case studies suggest that the physical environment has a positive or negative role in perceptions of everyday life,” said Robin Stillwater, Intern Minister at UU Santa Monica.

“It is argued that public spaces have a symbolic dimension, and aspects of landscapes can be recognized as familiar or alien, welcoming or excluding,” Stillwater said.

There is a need for public square architects and managers to be aware of how places may be interpreted in different ways by different ethnic minority groups, and to advocate work towards inclusive design.

Poor inclusive and social design in the public strata in Los Angeles — other than night clubs—led Victor and Ly to create Spacemakers, a monthly meetup of queer folk helping reclaim public spaces regardless of inclusive design or not.

In June, Victor and Ly discussed the intersectionality of being a queer, Asian, and an immigrant all at once by inviting members to celebrate Vietnamese artist Phuc Le for Asian Pacific Heritage month.

Victor says eurocentric-whiteness, heteronormative-ideals, and gender-constructs oppress human rights, political protections, cultural acceptance, and valid representation of people of color.

The overlapping of identities, identities which are oppressed in society causing the idea of intersectional rights to mean encompassing of sub categories or more than one issue. Victor Go

Intersectionality originally stemmed from the feminist movement in the 1960s but did not always incorporate the black, trans, disabled nor immigrant women until the latest wave of feminism in the 2000s. Almost a century after women first obtained the right to vote.

The norm and standards are defined by white culture, cis-gendered, heterosexual and patriarchal systems are often overlooked by those who are most marginalized and in disadvantaged communities.

We fail to recognize a lot of us benefit from the privileges we inherited, so our current activism needs to encompass everyone on every side, not just people who share our same exact cultural or sexual identities. Victor Go

Intersectionality introduces diverse bodies to cis-gendered and able-bodied groups in public, Victor added.

If you or anyone you know will benefit from this gathering, Spacemakers is pleased to announce its kickoff residency event with the Line Hotel June 29 from 2-5pm, at the pool deck. Contact Victor for more information visit the website.

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