Outspoken Ally has a new, simple, mantra. Equality is Everyone’s Business. As a society, we tend to relegate certain discussions to certain social groups, holding fast to this idea that issues of equality – whether they be issues of gender, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc – are appropriate only in certain contexts. While it is right to prefer appropriate language (ie: what you might say to young children vs a room full of adults), the topic of equality belongs to all of us, in every context, with no exceptions. We each have a social obligation, as members of the human species, to ensure the equal and fair treatment of everybody. None of us are exempt from that, and none of us have any more or less responsibility toward one another. Equality is everyone’s business.
I was recently challenged with “it’s not happening to me, it’s not even happening in my country. Therefore, it’s none of my business. It doesn’t affect me.” The topic of discussion in this case was the Ugandan anti-gay law, and when I answered this guy with “oh, but it does affect you,” I got a quick and snappy “no it doesn’t.” It was hard to get through to him, but it was worth the effort. You see, I believe that when others are oppressed, for whatever reason, it affects all of us. It’s not that we necessarily suffer in any tangible way – the killing of LGBTQ people at the behest of a Ugandan news rag has no bearing on my employment, financial situation, or family life – but do we not possess empathy? If your only reason for reacting to injustice is to protect your own interests, you miss the fundamental interdependence that sustains us as a people. We are not individuals operating alone, we are a collective that works best when unified. Failure to respect that fundamental truth is, in my opinion, both dishonest and selfish. Empathy, when acknowledged, channels co-operation, and it is vital to our human nature. It matters a great deal to me that we consider our capacity to feel for and help others, a moral obligation.
Equality is everyone’s business. That’s why I want to encourage you to get involved, and I want to take that journey with you. I’m looking for passionate people to write blogs affiliated with Outspoken Ally, called “OA Blogs.” Here’s how it works: You email me, expressing your interest (firstname.lastname@example.org). I respond with a list of only 6 guidelines for OA Blog writers, and ask you for a short piece as an example of how you would write. Then, we set you up with a blog, and I put up a link and description of that blog on a soon-to-be-created ‘OA Blogs’ page on this site. There will be no deadlines, and I only ask that you keep within the 6 simple guidelines that I send you. In addition, it doesn’t matter where you live. You can blog from anywhere in the world!
As a part of the Outspoken Ally effort, these OA Blogs are intended to help those looking for strength and encouragement, and to educate those looking to be informed. Here are the topics I need bloggers to write about:
: Living Trans
: LGBTQ+ Dating (possibly a forum?)
: Living the Patriarchy: A Woman’s Experience
: Growing up gay/lesbian in the evangelical community (also a possible forum?)
: The struggles and triumphs of a gay/lesbian/queer person today
: LGBTQ+ issues in pro sports
: Misogyny in pro sports
Those are the OA Blog topics I’m looking for, and I am also open to suggestions if you have another idea! Let me know: email@example.com.
I should give recognition to the absence of racial topics in the list above. The reason for that is that racism is being battled in thousands of ways by just as many qualified people. I simply feel that Outspoken Ally can’t really do much to contribute to that discussion, as it has been going on for so long and has so many passionate and outspoken champions already. That being said, if you have something important to say about it, email me! I’m open to an OA Blog on racial issues, it is, after all, also an important matter of equality!
You may not feel comfortable writing, preferring instead to be a quieter voice in this fight. That’s okay. We all have our own ways of standing up for our fellow human beings. If you do feel comfortable writing, I hope you consider joining Outspoken Ally. Although small as of yet, Outspoken Ally has made a difference. The precious few who have found encouragement and strength in what continues to be written here, matter a great deal to me. Being a voice that means something to them is why I do this, and those numbers will grow as more people are brought into the effort. Remember that, no matter who you are, equality is YOUR business. Equality is Everyone’s Business.