Ally Seems Like a Four-Letter Word

White women, I present to the world like you

I get all the advantages and some of the disadvantages that come with our gender and our skin tone

I grew up in the suburbs, protected from the world like many of you

I now live in a rural community like many more of you

Let's talk about the patriarchy, sure

Let's talk about #MeToo. Let's talk reproductive rights, ok. I’m here for it. Let's talk about domestic violence or addiction. We know these things. We all make mistakes, like all humans....except for Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. But what I don't understand is why we keep missing the point.

Beginning to recognize our privilege but not giving up any of our power. Maybe not even seeing our power.

World, reveal to me the ways in which I am complicit

Cast a glow on the moments where I am silencing others

Close my lips and open my ears when I can't even begin to know what it feels like to be you and yet I am still speaking because I have been socialized that my voice can and should be included in the conversation

Better yet, if a bell could just go off where I need more information before I pass judgment

ring it with vigor

"Standing in solidarity" with the biggest air quotes of all time

Marching for diversity and inclusion but only if *white* women's rights are prioritized

We've been at fundraisers together, where I've seen you mistake a board chair for one of the servers.

I. Need. You. To. Do. Better.

Because I know that I need to do better, even though I got the cheat codes by being queer

There are some levels of this game where I can see how it feels to be "other" or denied rights because of who I love, but this does not allow me to say, "I totally know how you feel."

I get only a glimmer of that oppression, enough to squint my eyes at the horizon and investigate the light

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My trans brothers and sisters and my people who do not let themselves be shackled by gender....I see you. I see you, but DAMN, I have a lot to learn. I'm not going to get it right, but I'm working on it. I want you to know I'm working on it.

How often do we forget the T?

Or perhaps you prefer T for truth

the kind that makes the hair at the back of your neck stand up

and tilt towards the source of what's real

My underrepresented communities, I see you

Help me be better...unless you've had to educate 5 white women today and then like, we're cool, I'll read a book. Because I will continue to take ownership of my own education.

I am not an ally

I aspire to be the person who shows up for those who've struggled harder than I have because it's what we do for each other.