This writing illuminates a queer theory orientation to ally work, and hopes to contribute to a stance for being accountable allies for heterosexual and cisgendered workers engaged in therapeutic work with members of communities who identify outside of heterosexual normativity. Some tentative notes on the uses of language in relation to people of diverse sexes, sexualities and genders will be presented. I will offer a description of what acting as an ally entails, and describe my understandings of ally work alongside queer, Two-Spirit and transgender communities, and particularly the gifts of queer theory in terms of attending to the fluidity of ally positions. I will outline the analysis of power that invites collective accountability for allies and the possibilities and hope that being imperfect allies offers. Finally I will describe some of the limitations of ally work, and practices for holding onto hope when we fail to be in line with our commitments to being allies.
Keywords: Queer theory, ally, solidarity, collective accountability, collective ethics.