Being an ally to the LGBTQ community can be a complex situation. The word “ally” has the synonyms of “associate,” “colleague,” “friend, “ “confederate,” “partner,” and “supporter.” Being a friend is a good thing, yes? Friends are always welcome! Well, not always, and for good reason. When you have privilege (me) and you’re trying to be a colleague or friend to someone who doesn’t have privilege (anyone in a marginalized community), you can automatically look like an enemy, no matter your intentions. And you can do stupid stuff that reflects your privilege, even when you’re trying not to be an idiot.
Some LGBTQ folks like having allies in their community, which is great fun. I get to meet new people, learn new things, and hang out with the cool kids. Some folks really hate allies and think we’re just cookie-seeking jerks, looking for a pat on the head. I understand that position, too, and I have met people who claim to be allies only to make themselves look good. Some folks are neutral about us, some don’t know what to think, and some are a mix of all the feels.~ read more ~