How to be an Ally… or How to Support My Truth

Dear ones most of my life I’ve focused on how I can be an ally for others, people of color, elders, people with different abilities, people who are neurodivergent… It’s new, tender and vulnerable for me to ask for support from you as an ally. I kind of wish we already lived in a culture that sees and honors who I am. After touring many places and cultures this year I’ve become aware that I need to ask for your support with this because my liberation and your liberation are the same thing. So I made this list because I’d love to have more success experiences in my relationships and it feels easier to write this here than to interrupt our conversation to make a request.

  1. My pronouns are: They/Them. Use them. Please don’t call me a girl, woman, ma’am, daughter or other gender assigned noun. I’m gender transcendent. If you notice other people misgendering me please interrupt them and remind them.

  2. Remember that gender is a social construction. There’s nothing new about gender diversity. On 6 of the 7 continents there are cultures who have recognized and honored more than two genders. Begin to learn about them here and be willing to dismantle what you have learned about the gender binary. 

  3. Be more interested in who people really are and the gender expression that empowers them, rather than maintaining a familiar construct of only men or women.

  4. Don’t assume someone’s pronouns, including your own. Ask.

  5. Get curious about how you’ve been socialized as a man or woman and how that may be shaping your sense of power, safety, sexuality, how you share your voice, and the kind of social impact you can create. The more you can re-educate who you are, the more possible it is for you to see who others are.

  6. Be mindful not to make sweeping statements like, “men are…women are…”

  7. Notice when spaces are superimposing a binary (ie men and women bathrooms or having to pick man or woman on an ID) and imagine what it might be like to be asked to choose between two identities that are not yours. Then say something or do something that reflects human beings are way more creative and diverse than those options.

  8. I didn’t choose to be an activist around gender. Sometimes it takes up more focus in conversations than I want it to. If you’re curious to learn more read my books or take my workshops. I love supporting others to explore themselves through those offerings. I don’t always want to have a conversation about gender. Please check in and ask if connecting about it would be energizing for our relationship in the moment. 

  9. Be mindful that sex and gender are not the same thing. Your sex is your physical bits and your gender is your how you experience and express your energy. Gender may be fluid and dynamic moment to moment.

Zahava Griss