I’m Not Your Ally

I was reading an article about allies. I’ll give it this, I write, mostly, in favor of LBGT Rights and Religious Freedom for Pagans…and everyone else. The article was saying how allies are not needed because they do it to feel better about themselves or from some feeling of sharing “the struggle”…

So, I’m not an ally. I’m self-serving. I don’t want to “share the struggle”. I like not being a target. I don’t want to know what it’s like to be persecuted. The names and degradation cast do not appeal to me. I have no martyr complex. I am, though, a subversive working from within the system trying to change it. I am trying to change the attitudes of my demographic by showing it that there’s nothing to fear. I am also selfish and non-altruistic. My reasons for writing are specific people. Humans that I know. Yeah, like sometimes happens, I find that there are more people I know that are in one or the other of the groups I write about and have to add them to the “write for” part but, that’s rare. I’ll also admit that I am realistic. To change the world for specific people, I have to help the greater body of strangers.

I hope this doesn’t sound harsh. I can be a bit of a jerk but, I don’t see anything wrong with being protective of the people I think of as mine. I don’t really see a difficulty with my view. I expect people to be not altruistic. I expect that there is gain for the person doing the “activism” or “giving” or what ever you want to call it. I have reasons. Mine are that people, specific people, I care about should be treated as humans…Mine are also that I fear that what is applied to one group, be it religious or sexual orientation, could be one day applied to me. I see people muttering about a “war on Christianity” while looking to repress another group. Those mutterers fail to realize that the tools they use to limit a group could be used against them. They ignore that the Equal Protection clause means that the same laws have to be applied evenly. If we limit religious freedom for one group, it must needs be applied across the board.

I will also admit that I am predisposed to like people because they belong to one of a couple specific minorities. To be clear, though, this bias comes about, again, because of individuals I know. *editorial, 50.8% of the US population, based on 2008 data, is female and not a minority* Anyway, if someone tells me they are Pagan, because of Aj, I am more inclined to want to like them. I know, I should prefer my own group but, we have enough advocates and I really love Aj so, I expect, perhaps falsely, that I will find the same qualities in them I find in her. When I meet a Lady and find out she is gay, the Z Bias comes in to play. Z is one of my very favorite people on the planet and I, because of her, expect to like them. *other editorial, the people I am closest to are women and so, I tend to favor them, over men, as people I am potentially going to like. Men tend to be sissies and whiners* I also get that I am a Romantic, using the old meaning. Because of the biases I’ve shown, I tend to have an idealized view of the people within those groups that I care about. I can be blind, willingly, to faults. *sigh* It happens…

I know I’ve tracked down this path before this post. *sigh* Maybe I’m just a cynical old b*****d. I don’t expect that people become passionate about an issue without selfishness as the root. If I don’t have personal emotional loading as a basis, no matter how much logic I apply to my conclusions, I tend not to care. An example of that lack of loading is gun control. I have no emotional loading one way or the other and so, tend to let others have a strong view and vocal opinions.

I hope this is making sense.

So, *inhale* I want y’all to take this the way it’s meant. It isn’t that I don’t want people at large to be treated equally, it’s that I don’t know you. I know who I write for. I love some of them and merely like others of them. *editorial, there are more that I know and love/like than just Aj and Z* I try to be protective of those that I know *see comment about being “Romantic”* because that’s the way I’m wired. My passion for the subjects I write about comes from the people involved. I want safety and acceptance for them. The only way to get there from here is to try to convince people, all people, to be accepted for what they are. My heart and mind are not big enough to wrap around the numbers of unknowns. They are big enough to cherish those I DO know. I want the Ladies I know to be treated with respect, not because they are women but, because they are humans I love. I want them to be given dignity and safety not because they are Pagan or gay or both, but because they as individuals deserve it. To that end, it has to happen for everyone that fits one of those groups. I want to be able to sleep well knowing that some jerk isn’t going to do something to them out of xenophobia, religious bias, or fear. *editorial, I get that life is not “safe. We all will die*

In the end, I’m really not an ally. I am a person that is protective of people he cares about. I do gain from this effort. My gain is that my friends lives might be made easier. That they might be less concerned for what could happen to them. That they may have more time to spend on more important things than worrying about random violence or persecution. I am also self-centered in that I worry that the same tools to persecute may someday be used against me.

I really hope this made sense…

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4 comments

  1. I came out in the 1990s as a dyke.

    Allies are critical for unpopular social groups to gain social acceptance. It’s where it begins in fact.

    I am concerned about people being told that their willingness to be allies is suspicious and then dependant or conditional at some show of apologetics or self abasing appeasement.

    worse I am concerned that the “more oppressed than thou” that keeps people dividing into ever smaller groups, instead of rallying for common purpose

    that to be a transally you have to be willing to date, not merely be friends

    people who find it hard to make friends is generally because they make it too hard for anyone to be friend them.

    allies do not deserve ingratitude,

    1. I love Z to bits. Since I am neither gay nor female, I don’t face the same prejudices she does. That I am a middle aged white male also shields me from them. As a definition, I find this “verb
      əˈlī/
      1.
      combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.” I fail that test. I am her friend and a person that loves her for herself.You said this “Allies are critical for unpopular social groups to gain social acceptance.”, to me she is not an “unpopular social group”. She is one of the people that I count on. So, unless you count wanting her world to be better as “mutual benefit”, there is no gain to me. I am willing to publicly and vocally make it clear that, as a Christian, I find the anti-LBGT sentiment that my demographic seems to show to be “un-Christian”. I have, and probably will again, offended friends and blood family with that stance. So be it. Anyway, *sigh* even though I didn’t like the tone of the author or the article, I understood the point. I don’t write for the “warm fuzzies” or out of some sense of guilt. I eat the stomach acid that comes from seeing how she, and y’all, are perceived by people with no personal knowledge of the individuals behind the words they use to denigrate y’all. *awkward phrasing on that last. hope it made sense* I also write to help my fellow Christians to see all the varieties of God’s creations and to be able to appreciate the wonder of the humans He made. *editorial, you could substitute “Aj” and “Pagan” for Z and LBGT in the comment and also read it the same way* I don’t really want gratitude for doing what a friend is supposed to do, stand up publicly for the people they tell privately that they love. So, I hope this comment made sense. From that perspective, I’m not an ally.
      ******
      I wrote that and decided to add this, Z is real. That is how she’s listed in my phone and what I call her. The blog is an outgrowth of something I started on my Facebook page. I had known her for some years and didn’t know she’s gay. It never came up. I’m married and wasn’t looking for a date. As I expressed support for some people I knew that are gay, she kept hitting the “like” button. In those days, I’d have called myself an “ally” even though I don’t now. The reasons then as now are selfish, I care for some people that I feel like are getting screwed by society for being gay and treated as second class citizens. She and Aj encouraged me to formalize the casual way I was doing things by writing a blog. I agreed. Z being out is one thing. Z allowing me to use her as the real person that is written about is another. There are some constraints to bits of her real life that we agreed not to use but, she doesn’t exercise any editorial control. Her bravery and willingness to allow me to sometimes quote the hateful and hurtful words and attitudes that she faces leaves me in awe of her. She lets me use her life and person to “educate”, her word. Yeah, I love Z to bits and admire the Hell out of her.

      1. you are more than an ally to a community, you are a friend to individuals within in. it’s okay to feel good about being one of the good guys.

        “I also write to help my fellow Christians to see all the varieties of God’s creations and to be able to appreciate the wonder of the humans He made. ”

        ^ that is something that I find rather encouraging

    2. “it’s okay to feel good about being one of the good guys.” *grins* I feel good because some people I admire allow me to be their voice. I also feel good because my wife loves me. Lots of things to feel good about. *grins again* Yeah, the hardest part, as a Heretic Christian *my own way to self-identify* is convincing “conventional” Christians that what gender someone is attracted to or f**ks is not a disqualifier to their humanity. People can be dense. *grins again*

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