For years I was silent. Maybe it was out of fear. What would be the consequence if I spoke up? Would I lose my job? What would my friends or family say? But now, all I can say is I am sorry for my silence.
You need allies.
Whether you are facing racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, you name it discrimination, you need allies around you. It’s difficult to know who the allies are among you if we remain silent. You need us to let you know that we acknowledge you for who you are, view you as a whole human being, and love you despite what others are saying. You need us to tell others that we stand in solidarity with you, even if we may not face the same forms of discrimination as you, but we are on your side. I am sorry for my silence when you need me to be your ally.
You need advocates
When you were (or still) struggling and unable to speak for yourself, you need those of us with the ability to speak up to do so. You need some of us to be more than allies among you, because you need us to advocate for you. We need to speak up in the places and spaces to say that you matter, you deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else, and that the discrimination you’ve faced, are facing, and continuing to face is wrong. You cannot be the only voice speaking up against the injustices that you’re facing. Sitting quietly by your side while you silently struggled is not enough. There is a reason for your silence, and I’m guessing it’s much larger than my fear of consequences. I am sorry for my silence when you need me to be your advocate.
I will not be silent any more.
At the risk of angering some, alienating others, and standing up for what’s right, I will not be silent in the face or your struggles anymore. I cannot promise that I will be a perfect ally or advocate, but I’m going to do the best that I can. If i’m not doing it quite right, I do ask that you (gently) let me know. The list of struggles by those around me can feel endless, but here are the issues currently weighing on my heart…
Gender identity/sexual orientation discrimination
Asylum seekers treated inhumanely at the United States port of entry
Religious discrimination, particularly against Muslims
(please note this list is ever growing and not all-inclusive)
I cannot promise that I will be a perfect ally or advocate, but I’m going to try and do the best that I can. I hope that together, we can all work to make this place a better world for us all. One step at a time.
NOTE: The timing of this post is fortuitous, and I cannot take full credit for this coming when it did.
Changes are happening after the outcry over the treatment of asylum seekers at the USA/Mexico border
This week concludes the celebration of Pride month.
This Saturday marks the ordination of someone in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ,that I admire and respect, as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. Their ordination is historic, as they are the first openly non-binary individual to be ordained in the PC(USA). I am better for knowing them, learning from them, and to know they are serving the church.