Allyship, am I doing this right?
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
“Do I, as a cis white male, regardless of my queerness and experiences of pain, have anything to add to this conversation? And, maybe more deeply, does my voice detract from this project? ”
This was my first thought when we started working on a show about Endometriosis and misogyny. There’s an old saying that goes “if an acrobat wakes up in the morning and isn't in pain, they are probably dead” and it feels the same to live with a chronic illness, so we have some common ground.
The beginning of truely non-performative allyship comes from letting go of the need to defend yourself, acknowledging your privilege and then shutting up and listening. They call it active listening, rather than just waiting to speak.
I’m researching, questioning and choosing to believe those with personal experience, doing all the things that I would tell any straight person to do, when asking how to be a better supporter of their queer friends. It feels great to finally be taking my own advice but despite my pretty intimate relationship with pain, it’s hard to feel valid when compared to anybody living with Endo, but that’s not the point, I’m not here to feel valid, I’m here to learn something new.
The subject matter of the show doesn’t specifically apply to me* but as a performer it’s my job to act as a conduit for those stories and that is the most immediate task I can take on as an artist, the most concrete way I can assist someone.
Excited and nervous,
footnote: as a male presenting body, privilege applies to me, but specifically, I don't experience chronic pelvic pain.