Hi there! I’m Naomi. Julie introduced me a few weeks ago as the social media manager at My Son Wears Heels. As a young queer activist and media-phile, I’m ecstatic to be part of a project that’s so sharply focused on bettering the lives of youth and families. The pressing nature our work becomes even more immediate with the recent death of high school student Leelah Alcorn. The 17-year-old specifically cited in her suicide note the severe psychological damage caused by the lack of her parents’ support.
A few weeks ago, Julie wrote about her trip to see The Santa Closet, and one line really struck me:
“It reminded me that all kids want to believe there’s someone who won’t judge them and who will love them just as they are.”
An old PostSecret image immediately leapt to mind, and after a little online digging, there it was:
Mickey had no obligation to support a little girl that day, but I’d like to imagine that the actor inside knew that with great Magic Kingdom-sized power comes great responsibility. We can’t all be Mickey Mouse or Santa Claus, but the truth is that we are all responsible. We create and form the society that Leelah begs us to fix.
In 2015 I am committed to being a better ally to young people who are trans* and gender expansive.
For me, the key to being a better ally is to keep in check my relationship to those I strive to serve.
Here are some statements I use to be a more responsible ally:
- I will listen before I speak. I will keep my comments focused and stay aware of my relationship as a cisgender person to trans* folks.
- I will lift up the voices of trans* folks and communities, diversifying my media consumption and using my platforms to draw attention to these stories.
- I will call out transphobia without speaking over trans* people.
- I will identify myself publicly as supportive of all gender identities, working toward an atmosphere of safety in my home and communities.
- I will acknowledge my mistakes (I am sure to make many), accept critique and strive to understand my missteps as I move beyond them.
- I will reach inside myself and find Mickey Mouse, a shoulder for a little girl to lean on, an advocate, a friend.
Are there any best-ally practices you’d like to share?
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