(An open letter to all the well-meaning allies)
“You’re gay? Oh my god I looooooove gay people, and gay people always love me. We should go out twerking!” -well-meaning ally
“Listen, I can make that joke; I have tons of gay friends, I’m an ally.” -well-meaning ally
*eye roll*- every queer person in earshot
The LGBTQIA community needs allies. We make up a remarkably small part of the global community and without allies little would be accomplished in the way of queer rights.
However, theres more to being an ally then watching Drag Race or showing up to gay clubs with your girlfriends... or showing up with your straight bros cause you think it’ll be easier to pick up chicks (looking at you flannel boy.)
Being queer, while wonderful; is an immensely difficult task. Filled with hardships, tough conversations, discrimination, and sometimes danger. Being an ally, while wonderful, is also a difficult task. Filled with hardships, tough conversations, discrimination, and sometimes danger.
Queer people often flock together, creating our own chosen pocket families because it empowers us to be around those who understand what we have been through. Some people in our makeshift families understand through first hand experience and some, understand because they have listened.
If I could give one piece of advice to well meaning allies, it would be to listen. Listen to your queer friends: their stories, their pet peeves, their frustrations. Remember that when you are in queer spaces, you are guest and act accordingly. Make yourself at home, make friends, and try to follow the house rules, whatever they may be: I.E. address those around you with their correct pronouns.
Lastly, I would remind you that if you decide to take up the mantle of ally, you have a responsibility to your queer siblings. Use your privilege to help. Have those tough conversations, call out discrimination, police the spaces you work live and play in so that they can be safe for the queer people in your life.
Thanking you in advance,