An Open Reply to The Ally Coalition
I’ll confess, I’m a Tumblr user. It’s a purely personal piece of social networking, and sometimes I post opinions on there. A couple of lines of text if I’m happy or not. What I’m going to post here can also be found on my account there, because I think this is something worth being addressed. A apologise in advance for only using LGBTQ+ in reply; it seemed right with regards to who the ally coalition supports, but I understand it’s not in tone with what I use normally.
If you want to have a look and see who Rachel Antonoff is, she’s part of The Ally Coalition. As far as I can tell it’s some kind of organisation between her and the band fun., furthering their careers by knowing a very minimal amount of LGBTQ+ history and issues. They also use “gay” and “LGBTQ+” interchangeably. To be blunt? People wanting recognition for having a basic level of respect for other people.
After posting something similar to that on my Tumblr account I recieved this message this morning:
Needless to say, I wasn’t amused at all. I’m a queer person being told to shut up by a person who is supposed to be helping me stand up for my rights. After angry ranting to friends, I worded a reply. I feel like sharing it here is appropriate.
I do not owe you, or any other ally (organisation or person), positivity. I live in a world where your voice is going to be heard over mine, due to other people’s prejudices or simply because allies have a habit of talking for queer people. If I see someone, especially someone who will be percieved as trying to
Do you know how difficult it is to live as an LGBTQ+ person in our society? Yes, rights have moved on in the past couple of decades. Yes, places are approving of same-sex marriage (reffered to as “gay marriage” by TAC, helpfully ignoring the existence of LBT+ people) but that doesn’t mean the end to homophobia/biphobia/transphobia. People are still discriminated and assaulted for their sexualities and gender identities. It’s not all about getting married or how love is love. There are high rates of mental illness among LGBTQ+ people, LGBTQ+ young people are at a higher risk of homelessness than straight people their age.
You are an ally. You don’t understand that. You may simply have an idea but you don’t have to live with it. You can choose to ignore this kind of stuff whenever you want because it doesn’t affect you. You’ll never have to face coming out to a homophobic parent, being told you’re a bad person for something that’s part of you or risking your safety by going out in public not “looking like your gender”. You may get a few nasty words, but you can walk away from that. You are not in danger. You are not at risk.
I get that you want to further your own career. Using queer people to do that is despicable. I would believe you genuinely cared about the rights of LGBTQ+ people if your website seemed to have any information beyond “YAY GAYS ARE COOL”, and wasn’t by allies for allies. Labelling yourself an ally is incredibly self-important and wanting praise for having a basic level of respect for people slightly different to you.
As an ally, you do not have the right to talk over people like me. It is not about you. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who do help towards LGBTQ+ equality. They join in protests, they sign forms, they donate money. Do you know why they’re not heard of or don’t make a big deal out of it? It’s a basic level of decency towards other people. They don’t expect recognition for . They take a back seat and acknowledge they want to help but that the important voices to be heard are those of the people struggling for the equality. Not take bad Instagram’d photos of themselves holding signs about how important they are.
You say you’ve educated yourself. I’m telling you that you haven’t and that you’re trying to speak over people who don’t need your misguided attempts at help. Instead of creating something new, lend your support to one of the many other under-represented charities that directly help L, G, B, T, Q and + people. You look and sound insincere.
I do not speak for every single queer person. However, just one look at blog posts about The Ally Coalition will let you see that there are many of us who feel the same way.
I’m curious to see if I will get any further replies. I certainly can’t stand The Ally Coalition, that’s for sure.