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Allies forum?

on Mon 12 Mar - 0:25
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Hi, all,

Do you think it’d be useful to create a forum for allies to discuss the principles and problems of allying? Would the traffic be enough to justify it?

Best,
UN

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Re: Allies forum?

on Mon 12 Mar - 2:50
Sounds useful to me.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Mon 12 Mar - 3:25
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I like the idea. I think there are two big potential positive outcomes:

1. More and better conversations should happen when it is easier for users to find the threads that interest them.

2. It will let new potential ally members know that they are valued here. And they should be, because change in society probably requires many more allies than there are actual consang people.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Mon 12 Mar - 14:15
I understand the need for greater understanding and acceptance, however one, if not the, most important factor about being able to speak openly on a forum such as this is that everyone here has faced the same or very similar struggles and decisions. A person that has never had to live day to day with the obstacles and mental stress that someone in a relationship such as ours has to face, simply can't be privy to the thoughts and feelings of someone like us. We are a select community where anonymity is a must and one that I hope will stay a closed community.
Chris
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Re: Allies forum?

on Mon 12 Mar - 17:54
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Chrisandsteph... I'm not sure how to say this, but we have numerous allies here who aren't in a consanguine relationship. Many, I think, wouldn't want to be, but they understand & support us just the same. Maybe their understanding isn't total, maybe it is, that's something people could debate. You're right about anonymity, it's unfortunately a must for now, even here. Not because of our allies though.
If you have thoughts or concerns about this, please let me or the other admins know. Or you can post here, either way. Hopefully it's not something we wouldn't be able to resolve!

My thoughts about the Allies forum. Yes I think it's a good idea, allies face problems for supporting us too - social stigma is fairly powerful. And also, besides helping each other & giving support for each other, maybe it would help them help us better too. Like a thinktank forum, right?
"It will let new potential ally members know that they are valued here. And they should be, because change in society probably requires many more allies than there are actual consang people." and I totally agree with this! every strategic scenario in my mind, we'll need allies sooner or later. And sooner feels better to me. Letting people know they're valued is only fair, especially for the risk they've taken. Yes, it may not be the same risk, but what are they gaining from it? it's a selfless risk, one I deeply appreciate.

Saying that. I understand we have sensitive & seldom understood relationships. Our community's openness is partly possible because we know we won't be judged so unfairly here. And that fellow posters will know what we mean without having to explain something not always easily explained. Chris, would you & Steph be willing to try? my hope is, someday we won't need such severe anonymity. But, I'm not sure if we'll get there without trying to build bridges. Starting here, with allies, is probably the safest environment we could have. It stings when people don't understand you, or at least does to me, but I feel we should try. Does this make sense? please let me know your thoughts about it, & take care.

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Re: Allies forum?

on Mon 12 Mar - 21:48
Hi, Chris,

chrisandsteph wrote:I understand the need for greater understanding and acceptance, however one, if not the, most important factor about being able to speak openly on a forum such as this is that everyone here has faced the same or very similar struggles and decisions.

Allies often face struggles and decisions too. Different from yours, certainly, but very real for those of us who take our allying seriously.

And we often get wounded in action, in ways that are difficult for non-allies to imagine. Part of allying involves baring our souls to those individuals or couples that we try to support, just as they bare their souls to us. Almost all allies I know of are off-Regular, with all that entails, so we’re not just uninvolved cheerleaders. We have some skin in the game, too.

None of the more active staff of KS are currently in a consummated relationship. So we are all, technically, allies as well. I think there’s a reason for this that’s not too hard to understand if you think about it.

It’s a different struggle, but it’s still a struggle.

I hope this sheds some light on our situation.

Best,
UN

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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 12:05
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chrisandsteph wrote:A person that has never had to live day to day with the obstacles and mental stress that someone in a relationship such as ours has to face, simply can't be privy to the thoughts and feelings of someone like us.

I am an ally, and I definitely agree with the above. But while we may never fully understand, that doesn't mean we cannot give our full-hearted support.

I am glad you have raised these concerns. I always think it is great to speak freely, express opposing viewpoints, and be challenged in one's views. That's how we build a better community and ultimately a better world.

I definitely think we need allyship. You've got me thinking, though, that if we move too quickly, we may risk building a frivolous allyship. We should probably pace ourselves to maintain the openness of this community while building a serious allyship. We should ask ourselves how and whether an allies forum can help build that serious allyship better than what we could accomplish with no forum.

Also, because of the need for anonymity, allies are especially valuable to this community because we don't have to be anonymous. As allies, we should really be asking ourselves how we can use this relative privilege to further acceptance of cansang relationships.

As for why I am an ally, personally... I have been part socially maligned group whose relationships were not considered valid, though they are gaining some acceptance. So that primed me to be sympathetic and understanding. I like this community because I can make meaning of that experience here without having such a deeply personal stake.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 12:24
Some good points there, JS. Different allies contribute in different ways, according to their talents and interests.

Allies need to support each other, too. Allies need allies.

Best,
UN

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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 15:09
I understand that not everyone here is, has been or will be in a constang relationship and we appreciate all the support and positive vibes that come with this group. It just makes me nervous. We moved away from everything and everyone to be together. Friends, family, hometown, house, job, everything but suitcases and boxes, we left behind to make a fresh start. We moved hundreds of miles away to escape to be a couple. We go to the mall, we still look for familiar faces. We go out of the country on vacation and we are afraid to hold hands in the airport where we have to change planes because someone who might have known us in our past might be passing through too and see us. We use our real names on here and real email address and that makes me nervous as well. I take it a lot more serious than Steph does but it never ends. There is always that little guy sitting on my shoulder that says be careful, don't get to comfortable, be ready for the time when your exposed.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 16:11
Hi, Chris,

Maybe I didn't state this very well. What we're proposing is just a new group on KS. It'll be the same people, talking about the same stuff, under the same Kindred Spirits umbrella. You would be able to read everything that is said and report anything that you find objectionable for any reason. No one is trying to hide anything from anyone.

And I fully understand your concern about getting identified. I'm kind of in the same boat, though not as bad. What you're going through with Steph is hard, unfair, and wrong. But I really don't think putting an Allies forum alongside GSA, Non-GSA, and General would pose any problems to you.

Does that make sense?

Best,
UN

P.S. BTW, part of what the allies (and staff) do is to try to protect everyone from inadvertently identifying themselves. I've done this two or three times, including for some very smart people. We're on your side.

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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 16:27
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It makes sense and I'm sure it'll all be good.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 16:38
chrisandsteph wrote:It makes sense and I'm sure it'll all be good.

Thanks, Chris! And, of course, the consummated folks will be welcome to post and comment there as well. We'd like to hear if there's something we could do that we're not doing, or that we could do better.

Best,
UN

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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 22:59
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I think this is an excellent suggestion, probably something I should have thought about myself ages ago (actually I'm now kicking myself for having not thought of it before). There are a lot of allies on this forum, and each and every one of them is valued for showing their support. We should recognize that support by giving allies their own space to discuss the issues that uniquely concern them, since they are likely to encounter discrimination from bigots too. In fact, I'll create it right away, give me 10 mins.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Tue 13 Mar - 23:18
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Done Smile

Chris and Steph, the purpose of the new subforum is simply to give allies their own space to talk. The allies who will have access to it are people who are already upgraded members and introduced themselves as allies, they may not have experienced consanguinamory, but they understand our plight and they support us (even at risk to themselves), and deserve their own space as valued members of our community. You will have access to the new forum too and you'll be able to both see what is written and reply to any topics created, but people who are logged out or not upgraded members won't even be able to see the forum, let alone read it's contents or contribute to the conversation. I've successfully run this secure space for two years now, it has been and will continue to be a private space for both consangs and their allies. The ONLY forums that the general public are able to see are those you can see when you're logged out, the other spaces are private. You have my word that this is not going to change.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Wed 14 Mar - 11:55
personally, i think you need allies for any form of activism to be successful. it is not the oppressed minority that ever changes things. look throughout history. it has ALWAYS been their advocates that change laws, cultures, societies.

an allies forum WOULD be a good place to start. i have a few ideas for activism myself. personally, i do not think it wise for anyone actively in a consang relationship to step out and say so, but an ally suffers no legal fear from simply stating that they support their rights.

we need advocates...

and by we, im not sure if i include myself in that, seeing as i am not in any romantic consang relationship at the time.
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Re: Allies forum?

on Wed 14 Mar - 18:17
Okay, this appears resolved! very good ^_^
Chrisandsteph, if using your names & email is uncomfortable for you, let me or the other admins know! it shouldn't be hard to change either, if you'd feel better with increased anonymity. Personally, I'd recommend it, but ultimately has to be your choice. Security is tedious maintaining!
As for that constant worry, "be careful, don't get to comfortable, be ready for the time when your exposed", that's understandable. If you have prepared plans for worst-case scenarios, that might help. What's helped me is knowing that really, it's not in my power. I can influence some things, the rest is chance. It's like living in fear of death. Accepting such possibilities is always easier said than done though, and often it's the people who love us & we love that we worry about most.
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