There are lots of guys out there who refuse to offer their support to people from marginalized groups. But not this one: Keith Willman is a true ally – just as long as his black, brown and queer friends are willing to be extremely patient with him!
“I am an ally to all marginalized people,” said Keith, whose marginalized friends have patiently explained every nuance of every issue for hours on end.
Keith believes that the best way to be an ally is to rely solely on the emotional labor of others to explain things to him.
“My friends are so patient with me,” said Keith. “For example, if I say something offensive and they call me out on it, they allow me to get defensive until they carefully and tactfully explain what I did wrong.”
“I’ve spent hours explaining the difference between sex and gender to him,” said Jack, a trans man and childhood friend. “I’ve given him every link to every article, but it seems like he only gets it when I’m literally holding his hand and explaining it to him? Like, dude, this is weird.”
“He can’t count on his friends to be perfectly understanding every time he says something problematic,” added friend Maria Tavarez. “He could just Google like, one issue on his own. Just one, man. Come on.”
But Keith doesn’t necessarily see it like that.
“I love being an ally,” said Mr. Willman. “And I love that all my friends are so willing to work with me to keep me that way.”