Thursday, January 1, 2015

In search of improving my allyship

So, I'm amazed at how much hate there is in the world, and the need for some to force it on others.
I've been following the reaction of Leelah Alcorn's suicide. And the need for some from the religious right to seek out queer safe spaces and spew their hatred astounds me.
Or the comments on an article in B*tch magazine on how transgender and gender non-conforming teens interact with fashion. And the first comment is one bemoaning the fact that it isn't an article about women-born-women.
I know why the different opinions literally can't see the reason of the other opinions. And I'm not saying I could bridge that gap (I'm far too emotional to present a rational discussion in terms both sides would understand).
What I'm amazed by is the need for one group to seek out and attack the safe spaces of the minority group. Feminists picking on transgender teens. Christians picking on feminists. Christians picking on queer allies. It breaks my heart, and angers me at the same time.
I wish there was more I could do to protect these trans* teens from the ugliness of the world, but I don't feel qualified. I'm not trans*, and I don't want my presence to be seen as appropriating or invalidating trans* spaces. And there's the rub. I've read up on the issue enough through researching my own gender identity issues to know that safe spaces are invaluable, and while trans* folks need allies, it's not my place to speak for them or act for them.
So where is the balance? How do I not invalidate or appropriate while offering support?

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