I Am More Than an Ally

I just realized that it is the last day of June, “Pride Month” and I have almost let the whole month go by uncelebrated. So in the last possible blog of June I want to write as an ally to all my LGBTQ+ friends and family of which there are many.

Early on in grade school I had a friend K. who did not like to play rough sports on the play ground with the other boys. K. was a cool kid, not very tall, with this gorgeous hair and very funny. I can remember recruiting him to help hold the Chinese jump rope around his ankles when we needed an extra person. That started him hanging out with the “creative play” group as we were always bringing new things to play at recess, like jacks or yo-yos since we were tired of getting killed in dodge ball. Although none of us knew anything about sexuality in second grade, we did understand different and our group of creative girls welcomed K into our fold with open arms. I think we all were a little jealous of his beautiful strawberry blond hair.

Sometimes some of the Neanderthal boys would try and pick on K, but K was smarter than them and he had our group of very vocal girls supporting him. When I was in junior high school K told me that he never would have made it through school without our friend group. I did not understand then that K was gay, just different, but different was OK with us.

As I grew up I always liked the different people. Not that I didn’t like the regulars, but I felt some kind of calling to bring outsiders into the fold. This was somewhat due to the fact that I was drawn to the funniest people or the quickest wits. I quickly learned that if I wanted a good laugh that a gay audience would never disappoint me. If you have one gay friend you are going to get a dozen.

Girl, let me tell you, everybody needs some gay friends. At our wedding when all the different group photos were being taken, Russ’ Aunt and uncle were sitting in the room where the groups would gather. First the families, then all the friends from Wilton, where I grew up, then my college friends. Russ and I would stand in the middle with all our people around us.

The last group photo, Russ stepped out of the photo and a dozen gorgeous men surrounded me. Russ’s Aunt said, “What group is this?” One of my friends said, “We are all the men Dana would not marry.” Russ’ Aunt looked confused. What is wrong with Dana?

I never said out loud to Russ’ Aunt, “These are my best gay friends. And those women over there, my friends Gloria and Laura, they are lesbians, and by the way, my sister and her girlfriend are lesbians as are my father’s secretary Kathy and her girl friend. All here at our wedding.” I should have said that. But that was ages ago and I did not feel it was my place to tell other peoples stories.

I don’t know what happened to K as I lost touch with him when I went to boarding school, but I’m sure if he were around and I needed someone to spin the jump rope he would volunteer. Today I am more than an Ally, I am a friend and I count myself so lucky to have such a diverse group of dear friends who are always good for a laugh or a hug, whichever is needed.

One Comment on “I Am More Than an Ally”

  1. beth says:

    beautiful, and i was a single mom, waitressing and putting myself through school, my gay waiter friends were like wonderful aunts to my daughters.

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