• Christina Peña

What is Allyship?

Have you ever questioned what it truly means to be an ally? This word has been thrown around a lot over the past few months. It is used as a connection when you can’t fully understand the pain of another community. We are in an interesting moment of time right now.

The world has never talked about race like this. There are 3,340,000,000 results on google right now just for the word race. People are questioning now more than ever, the systems and the history that has brought us to this movement. And yes it is a movement. 

When I was 15, Oscar Grant died. I don’t know if you know who that is, or if you even remember his story. But I do. He was a 22 year old black male shot in the wee hours of the New Year in 2009. A time for celebration ended quickly when he was shot by a transit monitor. I remember talking about it in school. Teacher after teacher looked at the children before them and didn’t have words. I remember 1 class where no one said anything. We just sat in silence. There was chatter in the halls of protest and change. We were children talking about a better world we wanted to create. We were afraid. We were voiceless. I remember shaking. I remember that the uncertainty of what we were doing was deafening. But we did it anyway. 

Allyship is not about being comfortable. It is about showing up and doing what is needed. I'm not here to tell you what to do or what you should do. I am also not here to speak for the entire BIMPOC community. But I just want to tell you about my life. I am a 26 year old mixed race female, who I spent years trying to define what that means, trying to determine how much of myself to share with the world because I don't know how they'll handle it. How will they care for my trauma? 

Have you ever had to tell a story about your trauma? I have repeatedly. I mean look at the last three paragraphs of this blog. I do it time and time again. I tell stories that I'm not even sure I remember witnessing. But somehow, they linger in the tips of my body built for fighting. I continue to make it public because I am my ancestor's wildest dreams. Thank you, Kiet. And I can't just disappear. I push forward. I put in emotional labor, so that allies, like you will show up. You will know that there's someone worth fighting for.

At this point I feel as if I have shown a child how to pull a rabbit out of the hat. But I feel as if that is what we truly need as a community. We need to be able to show you the bad, so that you can never walk past it again. You can never choose to step on my back to get you further in your career again.

It is no longer an option for me to stay silent. Truly I have never been silent. I have been screaming for La Llorona for years. Only now you have now opened your ears to finally hear me.

44 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All