The Easterner

“A” is for annoyed: Straight privilege strikes again

By Zoe Colburn, Copy Editor

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It’s that time of year again: Ally Week. An entire week dedicated to those who make the brave sacrifice of not hating LGBTQIA folks. At least not in the obvious and usual ways.

As ridiculous as Ally Week is, there’s something slightly more damaging due to its prevalence misconception within the LGBTQIA community: “A” stands for “ally.”

Now, I’m sure most people who are familiar with the acronym and the community have heard the acronym defined as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Allies.”

Honestly, that is some grade-A bull honky.

Not just because it assumes allies deserve a place in the acronym and are, therefore, a part of the community without ever having truly experienced any discrimination, explanation or flat-out rejection that is par for the course of being any form of queer-identified.

But it also allows allies and allosexuals (persons who experience sexual attraction) to push out asexual and aromantic-identified individuals.

While I will concede that folks have become better at recognizing asexuality and aromanticism, the mere fact that a search for “Ally Week” on the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) website yields over 20 results while a search for “Asexual Awareness Week” yields exactly zero results is not exactly encouraging. GLSEN is one of the top resources for LGBTQIA youth, parents and educators.

If they won’t recognize Asexuality Awareness Week, but will recognize Ally Week, what does that say about their priorities?

What is it exactly that makes allies believe they have enough of a place in the community to have a letter in the acronym? Sure, some allies may face minor problems from people, but they do not in any way share an experience with LGBTQIA folks. The problems experienced by allies are so far from what LGBTQIA folks experience.

When was the last time you heard of an ally committing suicide due to bullying specifically related to their being an ally? When was the last time you heard of an ally needing a support group to feel normal? When was the last time you heard an ally use the words, “So there’s a name for what I’m feeling?” followed by the immense sigh of relief that so often accompanies that phrase?

Oh, was it almost never? Shocking.

Allies are a big part of the fight for equal rights, but that doesn’t mean they are a part of the community. In fact, the word “ally” implies a person removed from the community but who is a friend of the cause. You can still help us without needing to be in our acronym.

Allies: You don’t share our experience, get out of our acronym. And for God’s sake, get over yourself long enough to realize you do not belong far enough in the forefront to get your own week.

Especially when it comes at the expense of queer folks.

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1 Comment

One Response to ““A” is for annoyed: Straight privilege strikes again”

  1. B.Clark on October 24th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Well, this article is full of hate.

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“A” is for annoyed: Straight privilege strikes again