When the lovely We Love Pure approached me and asked if I wanted a special t-shirt to support the pride campaign, my answer was YES YES YES PLEASE.

Obviously. I'm aware that this was the worst introduction to a blogpost ever, but I'm too excited to care.

As you probably already know my favourite store ever is Weekday (totally unexpected, I know). I'm sorry if my obsession with Weekday is getting annoying, but I can't help but tell you about their really cool t-shirt collection for the pride campaign. So, Weekday designed a collection of t-shirts in every colour of the rainbow. Each colour had its original meaning printed on it. Naturally, I loved the collection and the idea behind it. At first I was a little hesistant to publish my Instagram post where I talked about this shirt, because I'm not part of the LGBTQ+ community, which made me scared that I would come over as a shallow person who only cares about Pride when it's in the form of fashion. That brings me to the thing I've been thinking about: being an ally.

To be honest I didn't know about the term ally until a few weeks ago. This is all very new for me and there's a lot to say about this topic! An ally is someone who wants to fight for the equality of a marginalized group. For example, a person who identifies as heterosexual who stands with the LGBTQ+ community. Technically, that would make me an ally, but I don't think it's up to the person itself to say that about themselves.

Since I don't know a lot about this, I decided to ask my friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and have more experience with allies. The lovely Ella and Laura were awesome enough to answer my questions and tell me some more about alliship!

1. Have you had any (good or bad) experiences with allies before?

ELLA:  i've had multiple experiences with allies, both good and bad. the bad experiences are generally from people who don't really know how to help and think that they need to make a big deal out of something small. However, the good experiences made me realize that there'll always be someone there to listen and support.

LAURA: I have had experiences with allies before, mostly with my friends who support the lgbtq+. Sometimes I like to talk about the injustices members of the lgbt are facing- like president elect Tr*mp's ban against transgender people serving in the military (as if war wasn't a burden in it of itself, he dared call  transgender people "burdens", talk about blatant transphobia!), but most times my friends don't feel comfortable talking about it, which defeats the point of raising awareness. Talking to you about allies has been a great experience! I am so, so happy that you want to write about this, #woke. 

2. How do you feel about allies on social media? Do you think it's less genuine or do you think it's a great medium for allies? 

ELLA: I think allies on social media is a wonderful thing when people know what they're doing. Sometimes it is hard to sound genuine online, like you were saying, but if you truly believe in what you're saying and you're helping in some way I think it's lovely.

LAURA: I think social media is a great medium for being an ally! You can bring so much light into real-world issues, whether they are happening near you or not. Especially if an ally has a big platform, a lot of activist accounts I follow are allies and they constantly keep everyone updated on issues that are going on. A lot of people don't like real life confrontations, so they can use social media to speak up.

3. What is an ally for you?

ELLA: An ally to me is someone who is willing to take action when they see something happening to a queer person; whether that be online or while you're walking down the street. i think an ally is someone who cares about people around them, specifically people in the LGBT+ community in this case, and isn't afraid to say something when they see discrimination happening.

LAURA: For me, an ally is any person that supports the lgbtq+. But it's more than just being okay with members of the lgbt, a lot of girls in my school say they are allies because they have a "gay best friend" but feel uncomfortable around lesbians, or agender people- total hypocrisy! Allies should support all members of the lgbt community, even though we don't all face the same struggles as other members we are still members of the same community.

4. How do you feel about people labeling themselves as allies?

ELLA: I think labelling yourself as an ally can be a good or bad thing depending on the person that's labelling themselves that. for example, if someone calls themselves an ally but doesn't do anything- doesn't help in anyway- then that's sort of abusing the term. however, some people might label themselves an ally and that might be the thing to get them to "open their eyes" to what's happening around them. (it's sort of like setting a goal? sorry if that doesn't make much sense!)

LAURA: It's great that people label themselves as allies. If they think they are one, they can certainly use the term. More and more people have spoken up as allies (which is so great), so much that now the term seems popular. Of course, with any popular term, people label themselves with it because they think it's "trendy" or "cool" (not cool). If you genuinely support the lgbt, you are an ally! Woo-hoo! Let's fight against hatred and intolerance together!

5. What are some things people who would like to be an ally should keep in mind? Do you have some things they should never forget?

ELLA: I think an ally should remember to not speak for the LGBT+ community. also, i think this is common sense, but for someone to be an ally you should always treat people with respect. even if you don't relate to them, we're just living our lives the way we want to and disrespecting someone for how they identify is never okay.

LAURA: Allies should remember to act as an ally. Like I said, it's easy to label yourself as an ally but forget to actually behave as one. There aren't any sets of criteria you have to fulfill to be a "true" ally. Some things you can you do are: raising awareness about what is happening in the lgbt community; speaking up against hatred (whether it be in real life or teaching something to an internet troll-intervene when you see or hear something wrong!); finally, remember to stay up to date with what's going on. Read the news, ask your lgbt pals about their experiences, follow some activist accounts, etc. Of course you don't have to do all these things, just keep in mind that you have to demonstrate your support. And thank to everyone who stands with the lgbt!

6. Are there any more things you would like to say about allies, things you couldn't mention in the answers of these questions?

ELLA: Another thing is to always think about what you're saying when talking about queer people. a lot of people i see being homophobic or anything like that, sometimes don't realize they're actually being disrespectful. Use that situation to educate the person in question! when an ally or a queer person gets angry at discrimination about queer people and tells the discriminator off in a rude way, that person might associate all allies and queer people as being aggressive. (which, of course, isn't true.)

so my advice is to be as nice as you when telling people off and educate! educate! educate!
however, if someone is not respecting you and not accepting what you're saying you have every right to be angry. just be sure to not make any situation like that worse.

Thank you so much for answering these questions, Laura and Ella! Of course these opinions don't count for the entire lgbtq+ community, because everyone has different opinions on this! I'm so grateful to have friends like you who are nice enough to answer these questions for me.

Now onto the photo part of this post. I think the tee really matches my aesthetic at the moment because red is really my colour and the fact that LIFE is printed on the front makes it even better than it already is. This piece of clothing is truly amazing, no kidding.

You can't really see the LIFE logo here, but I just wanted to put this picture on my blog because of its AESTHETIC. (I can't believe I talk about things like this all day.) 


Better pictures of the t-shirt! I'm just wearing it with some And Other Stories trousers and my outfit essential, a resting bitchface! Can't go one day without it.



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