Star posted this earlier and I think it deserves a post.
Especially this portion:
Look. I know we’re all hurting. And when the world is confusing and we’re feeling lost getting righteous and angry becomes a feel-good release. But shutting people down who are trying to help is not good. It is not helpful. It’s not how we build a movement.
We need all the people to do all the things. Period.
There have been a lot of takedowns regarding the whole safety pin thing, and some of them are very fair concerns: co-opting by non-allies and people not being willing to back up the symbol with actual action (physically if needed) being the two that come first to mind.
But here’s the thing, well, actually two things:
- At least half, if not more, of the articles I’ve seen criticizing the use of the pins are from people with relative privilege – often white cis-het men. Not that they shouldn’t criticize – I’d say the subject is fair game to all involved. But sometimes it seems like they are talking to drown out the voices of the people actually affected. Why don’t we ask the queer, trans, female, Muslim, Jewish, black, chronically ill/disabled (spoonie), native, Mexican (among so many other groups) folks, ya know, the people who are getting harassed, what they think about it?
- Which brings me to the second point. As someone who fits in several of those categories (and is read to fit in another), I actually appreciate the effort that people have put into making this a thing, especially when they are willing to put action behind this symbol. I think a lot of the people who might have worn it and followed through may be getting discouraged by all the criticism. I’m not going to give them a cookie for something they should be doing anyways, but it is nice knowing who I can count on.
This whole movement, made much more urgent by the results of the presidential election, was a catalyst for me choosing to identify as non-binary transgender instead of just non-binary. I cannot step back further into the closet – that is not a direction I feel is an option for me, so I press forward.
However, I do recognize my relative privilege in this. I pass as a white, straight, cisgender woman when I am in public with my two male partners. When I am out with my girlfriend I pass less, mostly because I am privileged enough to act queer in public without much consequence.
So I do wear the safety pin, because I cannot use that privilege as a shield when others are on the front lines of this battle for basic human rights and considerations.
I will fight.