Social Justice Ally :
A person of one social identity group who stands up in support of members of another group; typically a member of a dominant group standing beside member(s) of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly regardless of identity benefit when [they] take steps toward eliminating prejudice and discrimination in our society. (source)
When stepping into the role of Allyship we must realize that there are things we might not know or understand. There are complexities and nuances within the Black community, the deeper we go into the intersectionalities of our community the need for more empathy and understanding we will find.
Here are some steps that can be taken to become a better ally:
Acknowledge your biases and privileges, as a non-member of the LGBTQ+ community whether conscious or not you have perpetuated in some way rhetorics and ideologies that are harmful to the community. Realize this as a reality and begin to form habits in which to deconstruct those biases.
A great way to deconstruct and educate yourself is to listen directly to that community. Black LGBTQ+ people know what they want and they are and will tell you if you listen.
Remember the role of an ally is not to take charge of the change for a marginalized community, but to take the feedback we are given from members of the community and find ways to expand that feedback out to the rest of our peers.
3. Educate yourself
No one community is monolithic in nature and not every member of a community is an expert in their community. Be mindful that people are often only experts in their own experiences. So take what you’ve learned from listening to those experiences and apply it to real self-education.
Here are a list of Readings and Podcast suggestions from us to you
Bloodflowers: Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Photography, and the 1980s by W. Ian Bourland
Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women by E. Patrick Johnson
When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History by Hugh Ryan
& more black by t’ai freedom ford
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval by Saidiya Hartman
Black Girl Dangerous Podcast hosted by Raquel Willis
The Read hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle
The Friend Zone hosted by Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey & Assante
What’s The Tea? hosted by Nic and Reg
Let’s Get Back To Queer hosted by Brandon Nick
4. Follow Through
The last big step is to follow through. Take the information you’ve gained and continue to gain and act on it. Hold your peers accountable, Practice understanding, empathy and inclusivity, and realize that this is a continuous process. Allyship is not an identity but a practice to continue to be an ally. You must hold yourself to these standards and develop the habits needed to relearn, readjust, react.
By Bree D.