The most critical point you’ve made here is that being an ally requires action, not pretty, soothing words or re-post of glib memes while we watch our friends and loved ones go over the edge, but a mental and physical preperation to keep the vulnerable safe and alive. The safety pins have received a mixed response, but a genderqueer friend of mine made a fair criticism when they flat out asked “What would you do?” My answer was that I would physically interject and get that person to safety. I would hang on to them to keep them from falling over the edge. This past week I bought two tactical pens, one for myself and the other for my husband. It seems like such a minor thing, but it is the first weapon I’ve ever bought myself. I’ve lived in cities and urban areas for almost 10 years and never felt the need to protect myself with even something like pepper spray. As I finalized the purchase on what is essentially a blunt object that can be used as a knife, some of my composure crumbled and I cried. Because I live in a country where people I love are in danger and being an ally means a willingness to step in and put my own safety at risk. However, I couldn’t live with myself if I did any less.

Coffee snob. Horror writer. Tall. Polyamorous, pansexual, queer nerd.

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