Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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Most of the posts I’ve written so far have gotten really great responses. I love reading what other people have to say or think about the situations I talk about. However, every once in a while, I’ll read a comment that makes me think ‘What did YOU just read?’
That was the reason for me telling you about my Grandmother.
Sometimes, if I can tell you something about my life, it will give you a better understanding of where my view point is coming from. If you’ve read the post about my grandmother, you know why I have such hate when (and intern believe a person is racist if) a person uses a PoC as a reference to them NOT being racist. I have actual proof that it is complete bullshit.
Something else I want you to know is that I am trying to be a good ally too.
I am working to be a good ally in the LGBT community. I have a long way to go. The reason that I am often so blunt about things is because I have (almost always) personally experienced whatever I am talking about.
When I wrote the “Good ally” post, some people felt like I was being mean to allys. If that is what you got from it, you misread my intent for the post. I am an ally too. I just have a different community that I am an ally for.
I tell you all this to say, I know that being an ally is difficult at times. I have to check myself on a regular basis. You know why? It’s because my thinking that being LGB or T is perfectly normal and should be seen as such, isn’t enough. I can’t really pat myself on the back for thinking that human being should be treated like human beings. I can’t pat myself on the back for thinking gay marriage should be legal. The reason I can’t pat myself on the back is because as much as I would love to think that I am the greatest ally in the world, I know that I am not. I am still fighting against my own ingrained thinking.
I am one of the lucky ones though. I grew up being a sex positive person so the idea that “Gay” was wrong never actually occurred to me. However, not thinking that gay people are weird isn’t good enough. I can talk all day about what I have known or seen with my own eyes. Things I’ve done that (in the heads of some) would win me an ally award. You know why I don’t and won’t? With anything that I may or may not have done to be a good ally for the LGBT community, I am positive that most of my thinking is about “Gay & Lesbian.” I have such little knowledge about the Trans community. The material I read has been far more of an all encompassing “Gay” theme and the fact is that there is more to it then that.
This is why I am such an advocate for getting your own education. I am working on mine. Yes, I could likely find someone to ask questions to but why do they owe me that? It would be different if I lived in an area that had a LGBT center. In that location, I feel like asking questions would be ideal. I don’t have access to that. I do have books. Books that I haven’t read. I can tell you so little about the Trans struggle and it is my own fault. I am ashamed.
I am and always have been an ally but being a “good” ally? I need work. Maybe you do to. It’s okay that I need work. I acknowledge it and am not just talking about the fact that I need it, I am actively doing research to further my own education.
That’s all I’m saying about being a good ally.
It’s an ongoing thing. Your belief in the cause is not enough. You have to not only act and speak out but LEARN as much as you can. It’s up to you, to us to do that. No one, I repeat, NO ONE should feel obligated to do that for us.