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Ally Basic Training Supplement: You Will Make Mistakes #BlackTransLiberationTuesday

August 25, 2015

Ally Basic Training


On this day when we honor specifically Black Trans Lives, I want to make a point that very few people will make to you.

You’re gonna fuck up.

You will fail to be a good ally.

It’s going to happen.

Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Day of the Dead

That’s me appropriating the fuck out of a culture that is not mine and thinking I look extra cute while doing so.Take that shit in. This is what I do! This is my wheelhouse and wow did I fuck that up in a major way.

And that’s not the last time I did so.

I’ve written in the past about my use of the most offensive trans slur. And how it was wrong. But even that blog post is a problem because aside from a bunch of stuff about Perez Hilton and Azelia Banks it’s mostly about me and my feelings and not, you know the people I hurt with my abject stupidity.

It should not have been about me.

It should not have been about me.

It should not have been about me.

It should have been about my trans friends.

It should have been about the pain I caused them with my stupidity.

As an ally, my entire job in the moments when I fuck up is to not center my feelings but to center the feelings of the marginalized. Guess what I didn’t do. Yep, I made a mistake and you will do the same. You’ll trip yourself up on your privilege or the training we all have to push aside the value and basic humanity of the marginalized. And when that is pointed out to you, you will get all up in your feelings just like I did.

That is wrong. Don’t do that.

Return to Step 1. If you’re making it about you and your feelings then you are failing to listen to other human beings, you’re failing to acknowledge that you and your feelings are what a system that marginalizes other humans wants you to do, you’re being an ass, you’re failing to center the marginalized, and you’re failing to earn yourself any trust.

You’re failing all of the steps that I have spent time and effort outlining for you. Fix that.

Black trans women are being slaughtered and too few people care. Too few people raise up their voices. Too few people say their names.

Jasmine Collins

Tamara Dominguez

Elisha Walker

Kandis Capri

Ashton O’Hara

Shade Schuler

Amber Monroe

K.C. Haggard

India Clarke

Mercedes Williamson

London Chanel

Kristina Gomez Reinwald

Penny Proud

Taja Gabrielle DeJesus

Yazmin Vash Payne

Ty Underwood

Lamia Beard

Lamar “Papi” Edwards

Bri Golec

Make this about them. Think about them. Say their names. Care that their lives have ended and join with them to value them. Seek out trans voices and listen to them. Seek out trans people and be led by them. Do better. Be better. You keep doing the work and so will I.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2015 9:02 AM

    One name on that list, is one name too many.

  2. August 26, 2015 2:45 PM

    Reblogged this on ADD Android and commented:
    I talk with people about what it means to DO allyship a lot. I also fuck up a lot. I try at every point of fucking up to own that and diminish the hurt I have creating by clearly apologizing.

    As a person with a non-visiable disability, I am often deeply aware of the vast sea of ignorance between me and a person tyring to understand ADHD (or say…Autism). I know they cannot know what it’s like to live in my skin…and sympathy only goes so far.

    That said…I get tired so so so tired of people KNOWINGLY harming people with disability that I run out of patience for explaining to those folks who mistakenly or through ignorance hurt me.

    I fuck up. I own it.

    Here’s a great peice on how to deal with it when you do fuck up and how to minimize harm to the people you are hurting or have hurt.

    Thank you to What a Witch for this thoughtful post.

    (I also have pictures of me stealing Day of the Dead traditional wear…in a pile of pictures I call SHAME.)

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