Opinion: Surrender the spotlight

Published by , Date: October 24, 2019

I often play the role of the “token white straight man” in a lot of the groups I participate in and I’ve received a lot of notoriety for that. I’m often showered in praise for being ‘woke’ or whatever, but I often don’t allow that. I respond simply with “I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.” Just because I’m not racist, think women are people and don’t hate the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t mean I do anything special in my opinion. I do my best every day to be the best ally and advocate that I can be and sometimes the best way to do that is to be a silent supporter. No one should be put on a pedestal for loudly proclaiming they’re the most progressive or the best ally or anything like that. The best way to be an ally is realizing the causes you’re fighting for aren’t about you. You can sympathize but you can’t truly empathize with the struggles of marginalized groups. 

The best way to be an ally is to fight alongside of, not on behalf of, these groups. It’s using your knowledge and platform to educate and advocate about and for these people. Something as simple as going to events put on by your LGBTQ+ friends or educating your coworkers on the importance of correct pronoun usage is incredibly important. Being an ally is easy and important, but remember, it isn’t about you. It’s about the cause and the empowerment of others.  If you’re in it for the glory and to be seen as a savior, are you in it for the right reasons?


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