#8: A dilemma

I’ve come to a realization about my topic. It’s not something I can explain simply, it’s much more easy to explain in the form of questions.

What does it mean to be a good ally? Am I, as a white person, qualified to do the things I have talked about doing? Am I truly passionate about this?

I feel utterly horrible about this, but I just can’t be as passionate about this as I am about other things. I want to be a good ally but I don’t know if I can get involved enough to do this to it’s fullest extent. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and I recently attended a conference on how to talk to kids about racism. I’ve come to the realization that I am not the one to champion this issue. I know that if I saw a straight cis-gender person pushing for something similar, I would feel uncomfortable. And I don’t know why this is. I don’t want people of color to feel like I am appropriating their experience or that I know more than they do. I think my role in this is to be a supporter and advocate without championing this issue. I’ve decided that I can’t go forward with this idea for many reasons. I’m not passionate enough. I’m not the right person and I don’t need to make myself a champion for every cause, that is not my responsibility.

I’ve been looking through everyone else’s ideas and I can easily see myself jumping onto a few of them. For instance, Fiona and Eva’s nonbinary issue is something that is very important to me as a trans person and I can see myself becoming very passionate about their cause. There are also many idea’s involving mental health issues that I can also see myself becoming passionate about. I have Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder and PNES which is a non-epileptic seizure disorder. Mental illness advocacy and support is very, very important to me.

Overall I find myself in a moral dilemma of sorts. Is it my responsibility as a white person in a place of privilege to keep working on an issue I am less passionate about, or do I find something new and exciting?

Nathan DeGroot

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