Attention Allies/Advocates for the LGBTQ community! Here is my take, as a queer woman, as to what your role to the LGBTQ community looks like. i am often asked this by straight people looking for their place and here's is my humble answer. Just a little reminder, allies/advocates are straight and come from a place of privilege that queers do not get to experience first-hand as an oppressed, second-class status of citizenry.
First thing, i do NOT need someone to walk in my shoes to get me. It has taken me long enough to get comfy in my own shoes and i do not need anyone else messing with the fit of MY shoes. JUST spend time with me and get to know me for who i am, warts and all! Thus, the experience of someone lying for a year and pretending to be gay so they can get an inkling of what we go through and to deal with their own homophobia is NOT kosher with me. It is deceitful and using the Bible to justify it reminds me of homophobes using the Bible to justify their hate. For me, it has become more about the person who lied than the lives of queer people. This person got to go back to their privileged staright life, whereas us queers live with discrimination and hate everyday, and thus, cannot get away from it. i really question and wonder about the queers who are in support of this project/experiment. Are they SO wounded that they will take ANY scraps thropwn their way?
Second, give queers the stage/platform to sgare their own unique stories. whether it be coming out, relationship to the divine, theology, politics, etc. Don't give the stupid excuse that there are not queers comfortable with being out, and therefore, not wanting on the stage. THAT is utter BULLSHIT!
Allies/Advocates, because they come from a place of privilege, and sometimes a place of being the oppressor, ought to be INVITED by those in the queer community to particiapate WITH queer people in elevating queers to first-class citizenry. Thus, they ought to take the lead of queer people and LISTEN to us as to how best they can help/aid us in our plight against injustice. LISTENING and LEARNING is KEY!ion
Allies/Advocates can also fight prejudice/injustice for the queer community by speaking out against injustice, homophobia, and hatred. In addition, they can vote in ways that support our community and call elected officials about legislation that affects our community. Also, they, they can serve on boards/volunteer with LGBTQ organizations.
A metaphor i use for allies/advocates is this: Midwifery. The midwife comes along side the mother giving birth to assist her BUT is NOT the one giving birth. She givers her encouragement and is a safe space for her. She is brought in at the request of the mother. The same is that of an ally/advocate. The ally/advocate is to bring safety and assist the queer community to allow the LGBTQ community to have a safe place to give birth to justice.
SO, are you willing to give up your straight privilege and status quo to REALLY serve the oppressed amongst you? Put aside your ideas of what an ally/advocate is to do? Listen to the queer community on WHAT we need from you? It is hard, i know. But to truly love and fight for us, are you willing?