We Are Allies Too
The conversations surrounding what it means to be an ally are becoming more and more common. Whether it be demonstrated through the slew of “It Gets Better” videos, supportive tweets from celebrities after Frank Ocean revealed a story about a man he once loved, or President Obama’s declaration in support of gay marriage. These shows of support are all important and needed. But being an ally is not just the job of straight supporters, friends, family, and gay rights activists. As members of the LGBT community we must also serve in the capacity of allies to one another.
Being an LGBT-identified person who is also an ally means…
Not forgetting about the T in LGBT and speaking out against transphobia and discrimination against gender nonconformity. Trans men and women, as well as gender nonconforming men and women, endure several forms of micro and macro discrimination that most cisgender individuals won’t face. We are all in this together. Every voice must be heard and every issue addressed. No queer left behind!
Not suggesting that a person that is bi is actually either gay or straight. You can’t determine someone’s sexuality for them no more than someone can determine yours for you. Love is love, no matter what form it comes in. It cannot be placed in a box.
Not assuming that your experiences as a queer person, or even a queer person of color, mirror the experiences of all other queer people, or people of color. No group of people is monolithic.
Checking any internalized homophobia and working to rid it.
Not making closeted queer women and men feel bad about not being out. Respect their decision, respect their process, and support them. Everyone’s coming out journey is something that is personal for them.
Mentoring and giving back to queer youth. You have experiences that young people need to hear. Let them know they aren’t alone.
Fighting notions of heteronomativity and checking yourself if you give into those notions. Femme-femme and boi-boi love is beautiful.
Be proud of who you are. You unknowingly send messages to others to be proud too.
What ways are you an ally?
- Silver Moore
Silver is a 20-year-old Detroit native and journalism student at Michigan State University. She loves listening to music and is a blog junkie.