(Podcast Episode) A Postscript to our Writers’ Round Table on Queerness and Allyship

As Andrew and I listened to the playback for parts I and II of this month’s Writers’ Round Table about queerness and allyship we both found ourselves exhausted from the emotional labor that we’ve been doing this month. We were both unprepared for the things we felt-trauma, disappointment, frustration, and for the homophobia we would have to deal with. After a long conversation, and a great deal of emotion from both of us, we recorded this end note. We recognize that we are only two voices of many in the very diverse queer community, and are definitely feeling tremendous responsibility to be aware of our place while we find the balance between speaking with our authentic voices and amplifying other voices and acting as allies where we’re needed.

We know that we are very lucky to have the kind of allies we do on our Ivory Tower Boiler Room team. Our team works very hard to allow us to manage minority stress and that goes a long way to allowing us to do our best work and to be at our most present. We have the good fortune to work with people who truly understand allyship. Our team members know that the role of an ally is to support and amplify and uplift. They know that they cannot speak for us but they do speak on our behalf and in doing so relieve both some of the stress from us and provide some of the education that is needed. At the same time, they are also wise and astute enough to recognize that there are things they do not know and are willing and open to learning more about them and doing the kind of self-reflection that helps them grow as allies. They also are aware of not asking us to take on tremendous amounts of additional emotional labor when they do have things to learn, often pursuing knowledge on their own and confirming or checking in with us when they have checked things out.

These conversations about allyship and dismantling patriarchy and essentially rebuilding a world into our ideal vision are not easy. They also are not single conversations, there are ongoing conversations with work and reflection in between. I often think of the story about the old man planting the fig trees and how he is ridiculed for planting trees that he will never enjoy the fruit from only to remind his tormentor that someone planted trees for him to eat from and now he does the same for the people who come next. Plant trees, grow strong roots, flourish, and provide support and shade.


Allyship is needed in support of all unheard communities. While we’re speaking specifically to LGBTQ+ allyship, some of these links address allyship in other communities and the general principles are universal.

Trans Allyship Information from PFLAG

Syracuse University’s Guide to being an Ally

Ways to be an ally in the workplace

Skills for Allyship

The Do Something Guide to Being an Ally

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