Uncomfortable? Then You’re Allying Just Right

Calling oneself an ally is sometimes treated as the first and last step.

Like, “hi, I’m with you people!” one minute and then, “So you can’t call me on my shit ever, or I’ll get angry and not been an ally anymore!”

Being an ally shouldn’t be easy.  It shouldn’t be conditional.  Just because a transgendered person once called you a nasty time, it shouldn’t mean that suddenly you no longer support all transgendered rights and think they should all be shoved back into closets.  Doesn’t it?

For some folks, I’m not so sure.

Being an ally also doesn’t mean you are not longer racist, sexist, etc.  We all grew up in a bigoted society.  We all have bigoted views.  It take work to sort them out.  And it’s not comfortable work.

The moment I hear a calm like “I don’t possess a single racist view”, I know I’m looking at someone who is finding their allyship of non-Whites way too easy.  I can’t count on this person.  I might as well wait until they get their feelings hurt so they can have a little tantrum and stop calling themselves my ‘ally’ anymore.

Allyship ought to be hard.  You are sorting through your own muck.  Sometimes, you get your muck called out by others, and you have to sort it out.  Sometimes you have to deal with some one else’s muck.  It’s not easy.  It’s not comfortable.

it’s not meant to be.


Yeah, calling out Uncle Bucephalus for referring to anyone as “those people” might not make for a comfy 4th BBQ, but it needs to be done.  Calling your FB friends on believing the Confederate flag isn’t a racist piece of treason cloth made for wiping my ass on isn’t comfortable, but it needs to be done.  Telling your little sibling why calling someone a ‘faggot’ is not on isn’t comfortable, but it needs to be fucking done.

And guess what, allies? You signed on for this job when you declared yourself as such.  It can’t be up to those who have to personally deal with bigotry to change minds and hearts all the fucking time.  We need y’all to stand up, risk losing that friendship, risk fucking SOMETHING, or what good are you?

And you need a better outlet for your hurt fee-fees.  Seriously.  Did you get your ass burned when called out on talking nonsense?  Did you wander into a conversation that was not for you? Were you talking more than you needed to listen? That’s very uncomfortable.


Because we can’t tend to your feelings AND discuss shit or process our feelings or whatever.  Education isn’t our job, though some have gone above and beyond doing so.  We need spaces to be hurt and commiserate.  Hey, maybe you can start something up of your own.  You can call it the Those Darn Minorities Hurt My Feelings Club.  Just do it over there.

Because if you can’t put yourself aside for a moment, while talking about how you’re gonna help us, what good are you?

And fuck, I’m no expert. The number of times I’ve fucked up on my way to allying with my transgendered siblings are many.  Misgendering, being existentialist, assuming a binary, sharing memes that were actually transphobic, and I’ve been told, and at times, not nicely, when I’ve fucked up. It has hurt. My fee-fees were sore as shit.

But I had to learn, and you have to learn, that our feels aren’t nearly are sore as people living their lives.  My feelings were hurt, but I don’t run the risk of being beaten to death for having the “wrong” parts between my legs.   Becky Allyship might have gotten taunted off a Black woman’s Facebook page, but the likelihood of her getting beaten and killed by the cops is low low low compared to every Black person on that page as well.  They’re not the same, they’re never gonna be the same, and we all need to get a sense of proportion.

Because if we can’t, then what use are we?

Uncomfortable? Then You’re Allying Just Right
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One thought on “Uncomfortable? Then You’re Allying Just Right

  1. 1

    Great post. I don’t always agree with Melissa McEwan (or, you know, with anyone…), but I found this post “On the Fixed State Ally Model vs. Process Model Ally Work” to be insightful and a helpful way to check myself. I have been called on my bullshit and epic fails many, many times, and it’s a certainty it’ll happen again (and again and again) as long as I’m alive and trying, however clumsily, to make the world a better place for people who do not share my privileges. I am fucking grateful for that opportunity—because that’s exactly what it is, a gift that nobody owes me of potential learning and growth—no matter how much it stings for a fleeting moment.

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