In an earlier post, we explored the world of asexuality, now that it is very much part of the LGBT+ conglomerate. But quite often, there’s confusion as to whether the A might also stand for ‘allies’ and, in fact, the full LGBT+ alphabet is often written out with two As, confirming that in 2017 we do indeed include ‘allies’. But what exactly are they? Are they simply open-minded people who believe in rights for all, or are they more active participants in the civil rights struggle around the world? It’s definitely something worth discussing the next time you’re in the midst of gay massage London is teeming with allies, it would seem, and they’re also becoming prevalent in other places around the country, especially cities like Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester and even Birmingham.
It seems extraordinary today that at one time in the not-so-distant past, allies were so scarce, we didn’t even bother to give them a name. Being an ally wasn’t a thing. It was assumed, unless categorically stated otherwise, that everyone was uptight and old-school, believing in fixed, religiously-informed ideas about what was right and what was wrong. People looked down on anyone who fell within the LGBT+ spectrum, especially those who formed the L and G letters. The few brave souls who spoke up and said something were shouted down by politicians, the press and the religious hierarchy.
Today, an ally is a generally taken to mean a heterosexual or cisgender person who believes in equal rights for all and is fully supportive of gender equality and LGBT equality, challenging the ugly spectres of bigotry wherever they arise. An ally will often go on marches or lobby politicians for change, even when the change will not benefit them personally. Until this era of ‘allies’, LGBT equality was one of the few causes that lacked external help – generally, the only people prepared to help the cause were other LGBT people. This contrasts directly with, say, the civil rights movement for racial equality, which enjoyed widespread support from people who were not part of any ethnic minority. So allies are a remarkably new concept.
The next time you book gay massage in London, you may, in the course of your day come across many allies after your booking. Or perhaps you are one. Allies are a great sign that the world, or at least the parts of the world in which allies exist, is moving forwards towards a greater understanding that all humans deserve to live lives free from harassment, free from persecution, free from social opprobrium and hate. Even though the political situations in so many places can seem full of unrest, not everything is gloomy. We can be thankful for allies.