Notes on Being an Ally


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(Image description: five hands outlined in white reaching towards each other on a black background. Image is from allyship.org)

Article by Ellanora Lerner

**Being an ally to someone means supporting them, not tolerating them. 
**Being an ally is not an identity, it is an action. And it is a continuous action. 
**Center the voices of marginalized people whenever you can.
**Address the ingrained racism/homophobia/ableism etc. in your own communities first.
**If you think you have figured out what people of a certain group think about something or how they act, you are doing it wrong. 
**You have an obligation to listen to marginalized people, even if you don’t agree with them. 
**Do not tell marginalized people what is offensive to them and do not tell them how to feel.
**Do not use other people’s trauma as the place to share your own.
**It will never be emotional labor for you to share other people’s trauma.
**Do not speak for marginalized people; share what they say.
**Do not ask what you can do to end oppression; the information available to you is already available to you.
**When you feel uncomfortable about something a marginalized person is saying, think about it for a while. They deserve to be centered in their own conversations and spaces.
**Sometimes you have to listen for a while before you understand.
**You do not get to claim allyship to a group: do it anyway. 

This is not a comprehensive list or guide to being an ally because that’s not how it works. How it works is that you have to continuously learn, listen, and act. Think about these things until you internalize them. Read the linked articles until you internalize them. And listen to the words of marginalized people until you internalize them. That’s how it works. 
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