also the other thing about “a is not for ally” (as opposed to “a is for asexual too” or the like) is
above and beyond the idea that when some people say “i am an ally” they mean “i haven’t sorted out whether i’m queer or not” or “it’s not safe for me to be out” or “i’d really like to do this trans thing quietly dammit and you can start noticing once the hormones are working”
is that it makes this weird assumption i don’t grok that “queer space” is somehow finite. that in order for you to come in you have to shove others out. like only 100 people can come in and because tons of people are allies you’re fretting about pushing out like 50 otherwise you fear you can’t come in
and i don’t understand that assumption at all
why is queer space bounded like that, in your eyes
like… are you gonna be the one to tell the pflag parents they’ve outlived their usefulness or are you hoping i’ll do that because as a queer person with supportive het parents, fuck that, hell no, you do it your damn self
especially if the parents you’ve just unilaterally decided are no longer useful to you are parents who stuck by queer, gnc, and/or trans kids long before everybody knew that conversion therapy was harmful and knew it isn’t somehow “healthier” to be straight or cis
also… i get that sometimes when you’re excluded from a space you make your way in by not taking no for an answer, but please think a sec about context
like, if you’re in hs or college trying to get into a little club for queerfolk your age, cool
but be respectful of what elders need if you are in a space with them
like, if they are just being prejudiced jerky curmudgeons, sure, tell them to go fuck themselves
but if they need a space to discuss their wounds and remember their lost loved ones from the aids epidemic and lament reagan’s response, and you’re a sex-repulsed ace who wasn’t born poz and has never and will never fuck
maybe some deep breaths are in order?
allies can be part of a movement without being in the acronym. if A is for Ally then saying “LGBTQA people can be fired from their job for their identity!” becomes factually incorrect because allies are not getting fired from their jobs for not thinking gay ppl are the worst.
Also, PFLAG is literally different from the A in LGBTQA because PFLAG is literally formed FOR allies, parents and friends of queer people to find resources and networking with other allies to help their queer family/friends.
Same goes for GSA, where it IS good that kids can say “its a gay-STRAIGHT alliance” so they’re not outing themselves by being members.
Also, 2 things: Questioning people already have a letter and it’s not A, its Q for Questioning. so LGBTQ (Queer/Questioning) or LGBTQQ already covers questioning people who MIGHT/WILL be affected by the problems faced by the LGBT community.
2nd, no one asks you when entering a queer space which letter you identify with and then get branded with a sign like a scarlet letter. YOu can be an ally or questioning your identity and enter a space even if there isn’t an A or a Q in the title. There’s no force field that pushes allies back if the A suddenly stands for Asexual.
You don’t wear an “I survived breast cancer” t-shirt if you didn’t survive breast cancer. It’s an insult to all the people who did.
It’s that simple.
An ally is someone who recognizes that someone else’s situation is more dire than their own, and prioritizes that person/community accordingly. An ally is a privileged person who fights for the rights of the oppressed. An ally is a person whose identity is recognized and respected, who brings visibility to identities that are erased and trivialized.
If an ally insists that they deserve membership into a marginalized community, that ally is essentially trying to claim that being an ally makes them marginalized. That being an ally makes them oppressed. That they by being an ally, their rights are being denied. At that point, the ally is no longer recognizing that someone else’s situation is more dire than their own. At that point, the ally is trying to claim that their situation is equally dire, and worthy of equal recognition.
At that point, the ally is NO LONGER AN ALLY.
The OP to refers to people who do not want A to stand for Ally “prejudiced.”
This is exactly the same as white people referring to affirmative action as “reverse racism.”
In other words, it reflects a fundamental failure to understand how prejudice and oppression function in the real world. It is predicated on fundamentally false logic – that humanity exists on an even playing field, and therefore members of a marginalized community who are ““““mean”””” to allies are “just as bad” as their oppressors.
You don’t call yourself a member of the QUILTBAG/LGBTQIA/MOGAI community if you’ve never experienced the systemic oppression that we experience.
I can’t believe I had to read this nonsense with my own two eyes.
Thanks very much for the SJ 101! It’s pretty in-depth.
I don’t disagree with you because of ignorance, though. I have some pretty deep disagreements with that model in itself.
(Mostly that I don’t think binaries are useful any more really – I believe they always hurt the people who don’t clearly fit classifications, and while I used to think this was an acceptable minor harm in the pursuit of just goals, I since changed my mind.)
Plus, I hate to say it, but… there are still places in the US of fucking A where you are going to be legitimately persecuted for being an ally.
Small towns in the deep south. Super Mormon communities. Kids whose bigoted parents think anyone who supports gay people must secretly be gay. The list is getting shorter, but it still goes on for a depressing length.
And in places like that- yes. You can lose your job for being an ally. You can get beaten up or kicked out of your community for being an ally. It’s fucking terrible. But that’s the world we live in.
I got harassed into quitting a volunteer position for being a trans ally. Specifically, right after I started saying “hey, maybe we shouldn’t use she/her pronouns for the trans boy”, the program coordinators starting scrutinizing my behaviour and criticising anything I could remotely be criticized for even when others were doing the same thing without criticism, and I had to quit for mental health reasons. (I’m not cishet, but my personal gender and orientation had nothing to do with this apart from potentially making me more sympathetic to the trans kid.)
So yeah, allies can become targets. Either because an ally can be mistaken for the group they’re supporting, or because people who hate a group of people usually also directly hate people who like that group, too.