Today’s post has been delayed for quite some time because I have been having a hard time finding the right words to use and how I want this message to come across. I am not here to preach, I am here to share my free thoughts on the proceedings of the world and my personal life. Today, I will be talking about the world. And you are going to listen.
There are no words to describe how recent events have made me feel. There are no words to describe how disappointed I am to even have to say what I have to say. But, someone has to stand up, and my blog is the best way I know how.
I am an ally. I am proud to be an ally. I am someone who will risk myself to protect the rights of those who are oppressed and not heard. I am not saying this because I need praise, I am saying this because it is a part of my identity. Straight white people should not need to be uplifted and acknowledged for being an ally. Just be one because it is right.
Becoming an ally is tough, I am not going to lie. There are going to be times where you are going to want to scream “but that was not me” or “well, it is not happening here, so I am good.” There are going to be times where your friends who are POC or LGBTQ+ are going to be mad at you because of something another straight white person said/did to them. And that is okay. Becoming an ally is not easy, but it is the only right way to be. Period.
I will admit, I used to be the kind of person who would say, “why can’t we have a white parade?” I used to be the kind of person who did not know that POC need different hair products…and that they are in such short supply in stores (and hella expensive). I did not realize the privilege I lived with, because I am straight and I am white. And yes, women have their struggles, but white women do not struggle as much as LGBTQ+ women or women who are POC.
But I stand here before you today as an ally for those who are constantly oppressed in this country. I stand here before you to tell you that I am livid, reeling, and fuming about the recent actions that have taken place in this country. I cannot believe that there are Nazis on our soil and our President will not condemn them. I am disappointed in the white community for not standing up for what is right. POC cannot do this on their own; the LGBTQ+ community cannot do this on their own. They need people with privilege to rise up and take a stand against what is wrong.
They are not asking us to fight. They are not asking us to put ourselves in danger. But, we must also understand that they are in danger almost every day because of how they were born. We are not. We are lucky, we are privileged, and we need to take a stand. Call people out when they offensive things (I should not have to clarify what those are). Protect the people that you love regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or skin color (or ANYTHING ELSE). The more we stand united, the harder it is to fall.
I will repeat this again: the minorities in this country cannot do this alone. There are still too many privileged straight white people who will not acknowledge their privilege. There are too many people who give up on trying to understand because it is easier to be ignorant. The country is already being run by ignorance. The only way to change that is from the ground up.
It starts with us. It has to start with us.
But you cannot use allyship as an excuse to be a racist. You cannot use allyship to receive praise. Becoming an ally was something I worked hard for because I knew it was the only way to be. And I stand here today, proud of who I am. I do not need recognition. I do not need my friends to validate the fact that I am an ally and I stand for what is right. I stand here today to help inspire others to become allies as well. I am writing this post because more people need to understand that these issues go beyond “I have a black friend so I’m not racist” or “I do not see color, we are all equal.” This is the future of entire groups of people that straight white people still hold in their hands. POC and the LGBTQ+ community deserve to hold their own lives in their hands. Everyone deserves to hold their own life in their hands.
Another thing: stop saying you do not see color. POC are damn proud of who they are. Anybody who is LGBTQ+ is damn proud of who they are. Acknowledge the difference and learn from your friends. Acknowledge the difference and appreciate the different cultures and interests.
The biggest point here is that you need to LEARN so that you can help. The best way to grow as a person (and yes, becoming an ally means you grew as a person) is by listening and understanding. You do not get to say “I did not mean to.” You get to say “I am sorry. What can I do to fix it and improve for the future?”
I am sure this post will receive some backlash, and I am prepared for it. I will not sit idly by and watch our country burn to the ground and my friends struggle under the thumb of white supremacy. I will rise up, and if you have not already done so, you need to as well.