“A little primer on how to be a good ally: First, DON'T demand that those you are supporting produce proof of the inequality they are working to resist. DO recognize that the shield of your privilege may blind you to the experience of others' injustice. DON'T offer up your relationship with a member of the marginalized group as evidence of your understanding. DO be open to learning and expanding your consciousness by listening more and talking less. DON'T see yourself as the Kevin Costner in "Dances with Wolves" or the Tom Cruise in "The Last Samurai." You are NOT the savior riding to the rescue on a white horse. DO notice that you are joining a group of people who are already working to save themselves. DO realize that the only requirement you need to enter ally-ship is a commitment to justice and human equality.”—Melissa Harris-Perry (The MHP Show for March 30, 2013)
BEING AN ALLY IS INHERENTLY NOT ABOUT YOU. IF YOU THINK BEING AN ALLY IS ABOUT YOU, YOU’RE FUCKING UP. IF YOU THINK THAT BEING CALLED OUT ON THE SHITTY THINGS YOU DO AS AN ALLY IS ABOUT YOU, YOU’RE FUCKING UP. BEING AN ALLY IS ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU CLAIM TO ALLY YOURSELF WITH. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.
I hate the new liberal/ally push to downplay someone’s coming out (“They said ‘I’m gay’ and I said ‘cool, wanna play cod?’”)
Put yourself in their shoes. They just shared a huge part of their identity with you, a part that is marginalized and oppressed. They know that sharing that information with just anyone is extremely dangerous, but they trust you enough to let you know. There could be a million things running through their heads. They might be scared. They might want to feel relief. They might feel joyous. Either way, it is a huge event to them. It is important. Don’t play it off, fucking listen and acknowledge it like you would any other important news.
You’re not a better friend or supporter for trying to downplay something like that. It actually just makes you an asshole.