Thursday, July 23, 2015

Get Your #illGoWithYou Button! An Ally Project

#IllGoWithYou allies go into bathrooms and other spaces with transgender people who may be afraid or concerned about their safety. An #IllGoWithYou ally offers support, buffering, and nonviolent assistance when asked.

What is this idea?

We, the organizers, are part of the queer community. And while we can generally “pass” enough to avoid comment in gendered spaces, not all members of our community can do so, want to do so, or are confident in their ability to do so. This threatens the safety of transgender, genderqueer, and other gender-nonconforming people. Additionally, the legal status of gender-nonconforming individuals accessing gendered spaces is inconsistent, and often challenged.

We say this sucks. No one should have to feel unsafe using a restroom or other gendered space that conforms with their gender identity.

Our pledge, the pledge of #IllGoWithYou, is that those of us with passing privilege offer to be a bathroom buddy, a watch-your-back person, a stand-up-for-you person. #IllGoWithYou says “I will have your back. I will be your witness.”

What Can I Do?

First of all, be the change you want to see in the world. If you see someone being bullied for their gender expression or identity, speak up, help them get out, or get help.

The #IllGoWithYou organizers have also created #IllGoWithYou buttons you can wear on a jacket or backpack to indicate publicly that you are willing to be tapped as a bathroom buddy (or other type of ally–sometimes you just need someone to pretend to know you long enough to get some random jerk to back off).

You can also Tweet or post on Facebook, Tumblr or other social media with the #IllGoWithYou hashtag. Remember that hashtags are NOT case-sensitive, but you CANNOT use an apostrophe! We’re normally in favor of good punctuation, just not in hashtags!

Steps For Allies

Be visible: Wear one of our buttons or use the #IllGoWithYou hashtag to indicate willingness to be a buddy.

If you are asked for help, and you feel safe doing so, help! Ask how you can help your buddy the most.

A special thank you to Allison Hickman for sharing this important post on Facebook

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