Whether you are identify as trans, gay, or one of the other letters in LGBTQ community, or one of our valuable allies, you will at some point find yourself explaining something to someone of another point of view. This is a fact of life. If you have already been in this situation and survived, go you. Give yourself a pat on the back. For some of us, it comes up more than others. There are a plenty of articles on being an ally. Like this one, that one, or the other one. I am not about to write another. This is about being an ally to yourself.
Depending on the situation, you are forced to debate a topics that are personal and close to you. This might be a hypothetical about someone using a bathroom, or it could very well be your friend’s livelihood, or your personal rights. Things get heated quickly. You will screw up from time to time. You will get defensive. You will get drawn into the argument. You will succumb to your passions. You will overshare, and you will allow it to be personal. You will let it get to you.
First, acknowledge that these heated feelings mean you are still human and still care. Pain and anger mean you still give a damn about yourself and others. You are still connected. Go you!
Second, walk away. Allow the other person to sit on those thoughts for a while. And you can take a breather to calm down. You go full tilt all the time, and you forget what you are fighting for. You are bound to forget the goodness in the world.
Third, forgive. Forgive yourself. Don’t worry that you weren’t perfect and didn’t change everyone’s mind. Don’t sweat that you made a misfire or weren’t the perfect ally to “the cause.” And forgive the other person for not seeing your point of view. They may come around eventually. Remember that time you were deadset against doing something and ended up having a good time, anyway? Same thing.
Fourth, go for a walk. Spend some time with family or friends who will give you a break from arguing, debate, researching, and thinking politics. Seriously, take a break from the darn articles. I don’t care what was said at who’s convention. Just go. Your people miss you.
Fifth, do some journaling. If you are still feeling argumentative, write down your feelings and explore them. Ask why you feel so strongly and why it bothers you. Maybe start a blog. You can also call your state and federal representatives and get some things off your chest. It’s their job to hear your concerns and change the system, so you are no longer upset about it.
Sixth(Optional), hold a townhall meeting and invite them. Publicize it if they don’t show up. Be an active participant in changing the way things are. Don’t just vent your frustrations about the system, change the system for you. Become a leader in the community and actively change things. Take back the power in your life. Maybe even run for senate. Note: This path makes you fully accountable.
Wash and repeat.