Poem: Your Allyship (straight allies flag)

Straight allies flag. Awkward.

This Pride month I’d like to address low expectations in our ‘allies’. This poem was informed by years of crappy little things – but the poem crystalised when I learned there is a straight allies flag. (The black and white bars imagery is taken directly from the homophobic ‘straight pride’ flag.) I just found it bitterly funny that there are hetero ‘allies’ who would go the lengths of having their own flag, just to clarify that they aren’t queer.

Your allyship wants to clarify its role to everyone
Does not want to be mistaken among our ranks
“I’m straight, but I think it doesn’t matter who you love or what you are”
Your allyship has not listened enough to know
That indifference does not sound like solidarity

Your allyship expects to be told how good it is
And how fierce it looks today girlfriend
Your allyship thinks my girlfriend is just a friend
Your allyship needs to stop using the word ‘girlfriend’ like that

Your allyship expects congratulations for turning up at Pride
Consumes the most consumable parts of our culture
And messes up our pronouns
‘Compliments’ us with a surprised
“But I’d never have known!”

Your allyship assumes heteronormativity
In the spaces we hold open for our ‘other’
Your allyship slams doors it cannot even perceive
But it’s fine because some of your allyship’s best friends are gay

Your allyship needs to grow the fuck up

Your allyship can now toddle about on its own
But is not yet ready to stand shoulder to shoulder
Your allyship wants a cookie for knowing that you don’t hit people
Wants to rest in its low expectations pushchair
While we push
And bawls, wounded, if someone explains
Why that thing it said wasn’t very nice
Or what it could do better next time

Your allyship wants to take part
But is still shitting its pants and crying
When it’s someone else’s turn

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