Specifically I am tired of being made invisible by you
Minimized and dismissed
Every time you tell me what a strong woman I am, call me sister, girlfriend, chick, lady. A long deep burning pain settles into my chest.
My hands shake
I feel desperate and nauseous. Trapped. Trapped in this place where I can only perform by ritual and rote the absurdity of your perception of me.
No room for myself in here
No room for authenticity
No room even for accuracy
As long as I play along and tell you what a good little ally you are. I must never point out the implicit transphobia that makes you dismiss me, misunderstand me, and requires I make you comfortable in the face of my trauma or I will be met with anger and tears.
Everyone wants to be an ally as long as it involves absolutely no work or effort
Save your tears
Save your explanations
Apologize and remember next time
Just Apologize and remember next time
Or stop calling me your friend
Stop calling yourself my ally
Because erasing me only hurts me
And it happens every single day
* This is where I step away from the prose to say something more directly and impartially to my audience and supporters who may consider themselves allies to someone.
For those of us who are aspiring to practicing better allyship, myself included, we must all work our hardest to sit down, not make allyship about ourselves and our feelings, really listen, and act in the manner we have been asked to. Though there is much more to it than that, really listening is one of the first steps we can take to supporting all of our friends and associates who are marginalized in different ways, especially those people who have multiple points of marginalization such as black women, queer people of color, and disabled people of color. Folks deserve true support, not lip service and microaggressions.
** he/him/they/them or no pronouns at all, are all acceptable choices
Keep breathing friends