Don’t @ Me: A Isn’t for Ally

Being an Ally Shouldn’t Be Your Fashion Statement

Graphic Jessica Lee

Everyone, I have good news: The straights are going to be OK.

Karen will finally get the recognition she deserves for loudly throwing her bachelorette party in the Village and awkwardly calling Tom from accounting “one of the girls.” True justice.

Some people that have been ignored and underappreciated for too long are finally about to be justly recognized.

We’ve hit a point now where the most oppressed group in the LGBTQIA+ community is finally being recognized.
That’s right, I’m talking about straight allies.

What? Where are they in that community? Well, in the A of course. You thought that stood for asexual? But then what letters will straight people have?

It’s kind of mind-boggling that some people, and companies like American Apparel, have decided to actually rework the acronym, or simply don’t know how it works.

For some people, the breakdown is not lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and +. Instead, they throw the A in for people that don’t really need the letter.

Why do we need a whole letter for allies? Who does it actually help?

Look, I love allies and recognize the need for them. I respect the work so many do to push back against unfair laws, day to day oppression, and plenty of other work.

Many friends of mine are straight allies, as are my family members.

As a bi man, it makes me feel happier and safer to have support from so many amazing people who may not be members of the LGBTQIA+ community but support me and it without reservation.

I’m not looking to attack or alienate allies here. There are just some things that can be done better by some.

Most people get that being an ally is a basic level of decency. It means you support people and their basic human rights.

The problem is that some people are less about actually being supportive because it’s the right and obvious thing to do, and more about making it a bit of a fashion statement.

It’s things like making A stand for ally or chasing after the idea of having a gay BFF because it’s chic or woke to seem extra accepting.

The LGBTQIA+ community is awesome and incredibly fun, but that doesn’t mean you need to immediately grab a letter to enjoy some of what it has to offer the world.

You can be a great ally by taking action and helping people more than by taking some selfies in the Village with the caption #truehome #gayingitup.

The acronym isn’t there to be the social equivalent of a woke Supreme sticker.

It’s there because certain realities come with not being straight and having a community makes that easier.

Supporting that community and using a level of privilege to help as an ally is great.

Taking the spotlight and thrusting yourself into a role of importance or calling every gay guy you know “biiiiiitch” when you’re not really that close and don’t know if they like it? Maybe less.