The non-ally, is not an ally at all. Although they claim they want “fair and equal treatment” and “nondiscrimination” they support and/or implement policies and laws that do not allow certain groups (queer and trans*) to have the rights that everyone else has, such as the right to marry, the right to certain tax exemptions and breaks, the right to health care, the right to adopt children or have children, the right to be protected from being fired or evicted or refused a job or housing, the right to protection under the law when raped (as apposed to the rapists and killers getting off with little or no consequences which is exactly what happens now), the right to not be harassed and verbally abused and protected in the event this does happen, and a fuckton more. The non-ally will say, “everyone deserves to be treated humanely,” and yet beind the scenes they are making and supporting systemic issues such as those mentioned above.
A good example of this is Chick-Fil-A’s recent response to an gay student requesting they be removed from campus, since out university supposedly supports it’s students and calls itself LGBT friendly. The response is as follows:
“ Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Which is avoiding any responsibility whatsoever for the money they provide to ensure only heterosexual cis people get to marry and have children. It is saying we don’t discriminate, which is an outright lie. They may not call you a faggot to your face, but behind the scenes, where you can’t see, they are making sure you don’t get to have any basic human rights.
The Almost Ally:
The Almost Ally is an ally that thinks saying they are an ally and believing gay people should have the right to marry is enough. They forget about the many other serious issues. They forget about trans* people. They may even other trans* people. They still unwittingly or apathetically support laws and policies that oppress us. They say things like, “What you do is your business.” And they often feel the need to be rewarded for this. They want to be recognized as compassionate, loving human beings, even though they are not. They want you to pat them on the back and view them as progressive. They want you to bake them some cookies for all their hard work, but when the time comes and a friend or coworker starts saying hateful, spiteful shit about “the faggot next door” or “that tranny on TV” they sit by and say nothing because , “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we have to respect that even if they don’t believe what I believe.” They will not stick their neck out for you or defend you, even in your presence. And yet they will still want you to bake them some cookies.
The Bare-Minimum Ally:
The Bare-Minimum ally will be somewhat aware of where their money is going and who they are supporting in office. They will be vocal about being an ally, usually in the presence of queer and trans* people, but on occasion when there is nothing for them to lose they may say something in front of cis straight people as well. They may talk about all of their gay friends and how great they are at helping with shopping and how sensitive gay people men are. They may still feel afraid of the lesbians, because they’re angry dyke feminists and they’ll either hate you or try and seduce you, depending on your genitals and gender.
The Bare-Minimum Ally Will do things with you openly, and they will want you to affirm how kind and compassionate they are. They will want you to tell them it’s ok to say tranny or faggot. They’ll want you to tell others how great they are.
They will maybe even go to a protest or two to show how radical they are, and they’ll buy a little rainbow flag sticker for their car because of how cute and trendy it is. They’ll as you where you got your rainbow bracelet, so they can get one too.
The Human Being:
The human being is a rare creature. She doesn’t brag about fighting for the rights and safety of her queer and trans* friends. She doesn’t ask queer and trans* people invasive questions or expect them to pat her on the back, she believes what she is doing is the bare-minimum. She works to educate other cis heterosexual people and calls them out every time they say something problematics or fucked up. She even does it if she might be sacrificing her own safety or popularity or job or housing.
The human being doesn’t call herself an ally, if a queer person or trans* person calls her that they do so because she has earned that title through her actions.
She often sacrifices and endangers friendships and other relationships in order to defend queer and trans* people. She listens when someone, especially a queer or trans* person call her out for being problematic or insensitive or oppressive or ignorant. She listens, apologizes, and changes her behavior without any expectations and without and excuses. The human being votes, for people who are more likely to pass legislation that will ensure all attain human rights. She may even volunteer or donate money to LGBT health organization. She will listen and not tell queer and trans* people it’s their fault or interject or speak over them. She will let them be angry, and validate their experience and emotions, rather than derailing the conversation with statement like, “But I’m not that way”, or “Not everyone is so bad” or “Your anger is hurting your cause, you’re just as bad as the other side is” or “but I don’t understand and if you don’t educate me and hold my hand how will I ever”.
She educates herself by listening when you speak and thinking about your words, by reading queer and trans* people’s stories and books, but trying really hard to imagine a world in which heterosexual people only made up a quarter or less of the population and were beaten and abused and homeless and jobless and sexually assaulted and denied health care and treated like sick, mentally ill, deranged, illogical children. She tries really hard to imagine herself in a world where laws and policies and people worked against her, and believed they were being good human beings and doing the right thing. She tries really hard to imagine how pervasive the problem would be and how she would face it every day, but her experience would be erased because it was not the “norm” and those in power want to stay in power. And then she realizes, that is your reality, not hers, and how difficult it must be.
She tries to stop people from mutilating the genitals of intersex people and strongly protests the people who would compromise the bodily integrity of another human being simply because they do not conform to a cissexist binary.
She uses the right pronouns. She uses the right names. She does not ask about people’s genitals or their plans for them. She might even offer up her couch to her homeless trans* friend for a little while until she gets back on her feet. She is against essentialism and believes trans women are ‘real women’ and trans men are ‘real men’, regardless of their anatomy or biology or how they dress or talk or walk or what activities they like or what kind of sex they have or who they have it with.
The human being is quite rare, and so she doesn’t get offended when people say “die cis scum” or “I hate cis/straight people”. She doesn’t take it personally, and she even listens when people say those things and she thinks about their criticisms or straight and cis people.