I was talking to a friend the other night about being an ally. I’ve always been comfortable with lesbian/gay/bi folks, but if I’m being honest trans/genderqueer and other alternate identities make me nervous. Not because I have issues with those identities but because I’m not sure I know enough about them to even have a conversation and I don’t want to be insensitive or stick my foot in my mouth.
My friend called me out (he’s awesome, and genderqueer) and suggested I learn more because it would be helpful for me and for other people too. He’s got a point, and it’s something I think about a lot in regards to being an ally. By challenging ourselves and our perceptions we are also challenging the dominant cultural structures that exist within us. Part of why I like being an LGB (and now TQ) ally is because not only do I get to support people who deserve to have a voice, but I also get to challenge the expression of culture in myself.
I call this being an H ally. Meaning I am an ally for humans, who come in an incredibly diverse array of thoughts, feelings, preferences, and identities.
I recommend everyone try it. I’m not saying it’ll be easy (quite the contrary, it’ll be incredibly hard) but it’s another way to work on becoming a better person.