Allyship Requires More Than Empty Words
Allyship requires support AND action. There is no such thing as a passive ally. You must put in the work. You must understand your own privileges, and by doing so, learn that there are limitations that come with being merely an ally. I’m a queer man. As one, I have a deep, personal understanding of the queer experience. I’m also a strong ally for many communities. For example — I’m an ally for women’s equality. I grew up the son of a single mom, who was the first in her family to go to college, put herself through school while raising two kids under the age of 5, and was the first woman to graduate from Ole Miss with both an MBA and a JD. I have three beautiful, intelligent, and fierce sisters. I’ve always identified more with women than men. All that said, I have many privileges as a man that prevent me from being able to fully understand the experiences of being a woman. Thus, I must work every day to acknowledge those privileges. I must accept the limitations of being an ally. I must listen to women. I must hear their stories and experiences. I must work to support women through action. That’s allyship. And, that’s what we need more of in the workplace.