like seriously though one of my biggest pet peeves is cis people overusing the word “-identified” (in terms of gender), since it is almost always wrong. like, why are people so eager to say “female-identified” instead of woman? because it makes it a lot easier to accidentally (or intentionally) imply that trans women aren’t real women, they just “identify” as women. like, this whole shit where cis people get genders and we just get identities.
like yes. all gender is a social construct. I get it. believe me. but when you awkwardly stumble and try to add “-identified” to make things “more inclusive,” what are you actually saying?
and if you EVER say “women and female-identified people” you are literally implying that there is some sort of difference.
so please. cis people. I know you are just trying to help. but you are really just making things worse.
Don’t try to make the movement about you (ex: comparing my experiences as a POC at Vassar to your experiences of feeling left out as a goth white girl. I ain’t here for it.) Prefacing shit with “I know this isn’t the same, but…” also does not make it okay. This movement is not about you. So don’t speak for the people in that marginalized group. Do not talk over them, do not take over their spaces.
Be aware of your privilege, work to understand what that means, and be aware of how much space you are taking up in a dialogue, room, etc. Understand that your sense of entitlement to speak and have your opinion heard and valued is connected with your privilege. Learn to step back and allow other individuals- individuals who actually identify with that marginalized group- to speak.
Learn to handle being called out. When a POC (or someone of a marginalized group for which you’re trying to be an ally) calls you out on your racism, sit down and shut up. Listen. Learn from it. Do not argue; our experiences as POC are not up for debate and not for you to challenge.
Call out other people in your dominant group. Being an ally is not just being an ally when working within movements led by POC activists. It is also being an ally when in white spaces (or other dominant group centered spaces). Call white people out on their racist bullshit. Call cis people out on their transphobic bullshit. Call people out on their xenophobic bullshit. Consistently. Even if it’s your roommate, your friend, or your classmate. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Lean into that discomfort, be an ally, and call them out.
Educate yourself. That means: go out and seek education, instead of asking people from that marginalized group to explain things to you. We have our own lives and we sure as hell ain’t receiving checks from the government to educate anybody.
Don’t use slurs. Even if people in that marginalized group use them. Even if you think you’re best friends or an honorary member of that group because y’all are just that tight. Do not use slurs (ex: white allies trying to use the n word because they got some black friends and think they’re now part of the club. Stop.)
Understand that being an ally is not just: I like queer people. I have a black friend. I once knew a transwoman in college. Being an ally is work. It is understanding your privilege. It is actively doing something about it. It is actively working to interrupt and combat injustice. It is active.