Each person in our society falls into multiple categories defined by class, race, ability, gender, orientation, education and others. As we move through different environments, our multiple forms of "membership" are perceived as positive or negative. This class gets attacked for X but has an easy time doing Y. This race is accepted here but not there. Navigating the different currents can be treacherous, especially when several factors come into play at once.
A piece in the Huffington Post called Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person looks at the defensiveness certain people have when confronting the concept of white privilege. The author, who has the benefits of race but the challenges of gender and race, points out that white privilege (or male privilege or American privilege or cisgender privilege) isn't a magic wand anyone can use to erase all the other obstacles in their lives. It suggests most of us are dealing with a complex tapestry of issues which are only becoming more intricate as our subgroups grow.
I read the piece thinking about both my own complex relationship to the world around me as well as the multiple layers I want to build into my characters. I'm sharing it because if more of us saw each other beyond a singular two dimensional image we can turn our privilege into something positive.