Opinion: Educate yourself on black experiences to be a good ally

The LGBT+ community should never forget that the modern Pride movement was led by trans women of colour.

Protestors at the Black Lives Matter protest in Dublin, one ally holding a sign that says: Justice for George

Davy Quinlivan of ACT UP Dublin shares how he educated himself on black experiences in order to be a good ally.

We are at the start of Pride month. Pride was a protest and a riot against police brutality. The uprising was led by trans women of colour. Some sex workers. Some living with HIV. You do not get to pick and choose what part of that suits you.

As a white person, it is not enough to just not be racist. You must be anti-racist. In your actions and in your day to day life. Not helping dismantle the system allows for privilege and discrimination to remain the status quo.

Do not ask black people and other people of colour in your life for the tools to help (unless they specifically request something of you). You have the internet. Below is a list of books/movies/clips I have found beneficial to my own understanding of these issues.

Easy/Short/Free clips you should watch:

The Urgency of Intersectionality – Kimberlé Crenshaw

James Baldwin’s speech in Berkley 


“You always told me it takes time. It’s taken my father’s time, my mother’s time – my uncle’s time, my brother’s and my sister’s time – my niece’s and my nephew’s time. How much time do you want, for your progress?” – James Baldwin

Toni Morrison in conversation with Oprah


“What struck me most about those who rioted was how long they waited. The restraint they showed. Not the spontaneity, the restraint. They waited and waited for justice. And it didn’t come. No one talks about that.” – Toni Morrison

Books (International):
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
James Baldwin – James Baldwin
Redefining Realness – Janet Mock
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Your Silence Will Not Protect You – Audre Lorde
Don’t Touch My Hair – Emma Dabiri
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues – Angela Y Davis

Books (Ireland):
Correspondences – An Anthology to Call for an End to Direct Provision
We’ve Come A Long Way – MERJ Ireland

Books (Teens)
Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Books (Children):
The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson
My Hair Is a Garden – Cozbi A. Cabrera
Something Happened In Our Town – Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins & Ann Hazzard

A Seat At The Table – Solange

Lemonade – Beyonce

Hopelessness -ANOHNI

Process – Sampha

If Beale Street Could Talk
Hidden Figures
The Learning Tree
Tongues Untied
13th – Netflix

1619 – New York Times
The Stoop – Leila Day and Hana Baba
No Country for Young Women – Sadia Azmat and Monty Onanuga

These are just a handful of ways to educate yourself on black experiences for you to do in your own time and should not replace being an ally, helping, supporting, amplifying, elevating and platforming the voices who most need to be heard in all of this!

Please elevate those voices and support campaigns such as :

MERJ, MASI – by making a donation via PayPal to: [email protected], Black Pride Ireland.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.