My Story: What it Means to Be An Ally
What it Means to Be An Ally
I am a middle class, middle aged, straight, white woman. I am so privileged that when a group of people like me move into a neighbourhood, property values go up.
Many times I have been asked why I choose to stand in solidarity with refugees, indigenous peoples, the LGBTQ+ community and any other decent human being who is different from me in some way. The answer is simple: we are all in this together and none of us is free until all of us are free.
We all bleed and suffer the same. We all love and laugh the same. We all want our loved ones to be safe, healthy and free. We are all human beings who deserve basic human rights. We have much more in common than many of us realize because we have not taken the time to get to know each other.
Hatred comes from fear and fear comes from ignorance and ignorance is a lack of information and exposure. It is very easy to fear and hate someone we do not know. It is much more difficult to fear and hate someone we have sat with, spoken to and looked in the eye.
It is imperative that we engage the other. I know this can be difficult and perhaps even terrifying but, we must engage with those who are different from us so that we may find common ground.
I still stammer and stumble and stutter along. I make mistakes, use incorrect language and mess up things all the time but; I approach people with respect, an open mind and open heart and that is enough. I assure, that is enough.
Recently, a friend told me she was ashamed to be a middle class, middle aged, straight, white woman. I don’t believe any of us need to be ashamed of who we are, even privileged folks like me and my friend. I did encourage her to become an ally though because if we are not part of the solution then we are part of the problem.
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