Real World Allyship
I spend so much time talking about allyship. I do this because, without them, my work, and that of others is for nothing. Allies can go into mainstream society and enact change that will positively impact the LGBTQIA+ community across its intersections.
However, where are the Allies? What is being done?
Now I don’t worship at the church of Kardashian-Jenner. I support women in business, so congrats to them for all that they do. However, Kimberly Kardashian has said many things that made people angry. But if we applied it to allyship it begins to make a lot of sense.
Allyship is support and action from those who're outside of the LGBTQIA+ community. When it comes to allyship, these are the people that act as bridges to progress change for us. The thing is, not much is being done, and allies seem to be work-shy.
This is where Kimberly comes in, her now-infamous comment “Get your f–king ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days” is so pertinent - this is exactly what allies should be doing - WORKING.
Real-world allyship is not easy, not quick, and it is so much more than sharing a pastel graphic on your Instagram story.
In businesses and individuals there are 4 Levers of Allyship:
1 - Self Enquiry & Privilege
You may not know it, but you have areas of your life that grant you more power. You will be surprised - google the wheel of power and privilege to explore this - look at your own bias and identify the areas where you could create change.
2 - Empathy & Cultural Intelligence
Understand people have different barriers and restrictions to you. You can’t understand what you haven’t experienced. So immerse yourself in other people's experiences to learn and grow empathy. Then use this empathy to drive and create Cultural knowledge, which can then be used to create Strategy, and eventually lead to action.
3 - Systems and Policy Change
Think about where you have power. Think about how you create space for differing experiences. How can you communicate this? How do you hire/reward/promote people who do this? Use the empathy you learned in step 2 to create change.
“What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get changed”. Really be aware of allyship as a 365 days a year need. Constantly assess your approaches and understanding. Enact this through listening, hiring and understanding.
So I have laid it out plain and simple - this is how to do the work, businesses and brands that have a responsibility - please go forth and do this! Oh and not just during Pride - but every damn day…
Shot by Ruth Pechey