By Tori Tucker,
The Gay Agenda
Recently I’ve seen a video circulating on Facebook that is meant to be an alphabetical representation of the LGBTQ community incorporating modern dance.
While I have other issues with this video the first thing that stood out to me, as well as many others, has been the first letter in this video, “A”, representing “Ally”. To many this may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you are a member of the queer community, constantly bombarded with heteronormativity everywhere you look, this stirs up a number of bad feelings.
While being an ally to the queer community, cisgender straight individuals sometimes seem to forget that you can absolutely support a group of people while acknowledging that you are not a part of this group. Being an ally means that you are not the focus of a movement, but a helping hand lending support to people who may need it.
The point of pride parades is to celebrate identities that are marginalized, but there’s always that person who asks “well why isn’t there a straight pride parade?”
Well, the answer is simple; because life is a straight pride parade.
Almost every single form of mainstream media is catered to the heteronormative community, while us queer folk usually have to accept that our representation is that of a gay or trans stereotype with their storyline revolving around a coming out plot, a dead lesbian, or a sexuality that is not explicitly mentioned or played off as experimentation.
The creators of this video went seriously wrong by kicking off a video about the LGBTQ community by referencing a group of people who aren’t explicitly part of the community, especially since they could have easily have used the letter “a” to represent genders or sexualities that do fall under the “queer” label, such as “agender,” a person who does not identify with a single gender, “asexual,” a person who does not have sexual attraction to other people, or “aromantic,” a person who does not have romantic attraction to others.
I am not trying to suggest that being an ally isn’t important. It really is. But the trouble is that some self-identified allies seem to believe that by supporting basic equality they are suddenly a part of the LGBTQ community, which just isn’t the case.
What is an ally?
Being an ally simply means that you are willing to be a decent human being and not judge someone because of how they identify, and that you are willing to let people who are discriminated against because of who they are share the spotlight a little, which is so important and meaningful, especially during pride month.
So to all the incredible allies out there, go out there this month and support your friends, your family, and all your queer neighbors by supporting them in their fight for equality (and in their celebrations) and helping them shine their brightest, not by taking over a space that doesn’t belong to you.
There’s no better way to support a community than by helping those people to feel valued and safe. And for you queer folk out there, have a fun month and don’t forget to be unapologetically you.
Tori Tucker was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She graduated recently from Keene State College with a major in English-Writing, with minors in music and German.
Emma Simpson is a Women’s and Gender Studies major at Keene State College. She is the vice president of her campus a cappella group and involved with Planned Parenthood as a volunteer.
InDepthNH.org and Manchester Ink Link co-publish The Gay Agenda