Editor’s Note: This week, I’ll be sharing guest blog post from folks who identify as allies and what that means to them.
Tiffany Harkelroad blogs at Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Yesterday, I went to have my annual blood work done. As I registered at the front desk, I handed the clerk my insurance card. Because I am not employed outside the home, I am covered by my husband’s insurance benefits from his employer. This is not something I had to fight for, it was simply something granted to me.
Three years ago, my husband and I went through a legally recognized marriage ceremony. We had an opportunity to come before our family and friends, and express our love, commitment, and unity as two people. There was never a question as to whether or not the state would recognize this union legally.
No one has ever hated me because I am straight. No one has ever pray painted “hetero” across the front of my house. No one has ever beaten my body because of who I love. No one has attacked me online through bigoted slurs because of my sexual orientation.
So why am I an ally? Because all those things that I said above, all those things about my life… those should be true for everyone. Regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of gender identity, regardless of anything.
Recently, the school district I attended in childhood has, under the leadership of Bridgeport School Superintendent Ted Downing, refused to ask the students to participate in Spirit Day. Ted’s reasoning is Spirit Day, a day to fight back against bullying of and inequality for LGBT kids and adults, was not their fight. I respectfully disagree with that idea. Until all citizens are treated equal, it is everyone’s fight. Where would the country be now if white men never defended the rights of black men, if men never defended the rights of women, if able bodied citizens never defended the rights of those with disabilities? To say something is not your fight because it does not involve your particular narrowly defined demographic is terribly short sighted. It involves Americans, it involves human beings.
As long as injustice exists, it is everyone’s fight.