This is a restored post from my WordPress. Originally posted May 25, 2020. I remember writing it, it was my last message to the community as an ally, when I was already planning my coming out as a map. Some realia here are outdated, but the general point stands.
I was thinking whether I should make this a WordPress or YouTube post, and I decided to go with both and put a cross reference. Here’s the YouTube version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4QogEpPxEE 2023 comment: the video is no longer available.
First, I want to make a disclaimer. We all start in social activism with beliefs that aren’t our own and don’t have a solid foundation. We make mistakes, we are corrected, we get better, move further, grow and develop. When I just joined the map community, I didn’t see the difference between maps and pedophiles, called pedophilia a mental disorder, didn’t know about non exclusive maps, and believed not acting on attractions is difficult. It’s been 3 years since, I let maps and older allies teach me, I read medical papers, and now I don’t share any of that anymore. So this post is not an attempt to say I am better, but a summary of things concerning allyship that I myself had to learn the hard way.
So, first, why are you an ally? What brings you to the community? Different people have different reasons, I can’t really pinpoint what mine was, it feels now like I was following antis’ hate, like a smell, to the source, without any particular purpose. Later I formulated it as opposing people who want to shut me down. Some people come to the community because their close ones are maps. Some come through CSA prevention. But whatever your initial vision was, you stay as an ally because you want to make the world better for maps. The core of allyship is working for maps and putting maps’ wellbeing first, not watching over maps to make sure they don’t offend, not using the map community to hunt for sexual predators. Maps are the ultimate goal of your actions, not a stepping stone to something else. And no, prioritizing maps doesn’t contradict child protection, because maps and children aren’t the opposite sides.
Second, how you interact with the community. After several months you’ll get friends you have fun with, there also will be people who dislike you for this or that. This all is valid and natural, nobody demands you to always work and never argue with any map at all. But you have to remember that this community wasn’t made for you, people aren’t obliged to make you feel safe in limits more than basic politeness. If someone was rude to you, failed your expectations, solve it with them, don’t make the whole community responsible for not protecting you. If someone is safely and privately, as in, without endangering any children, expressing their mapness in ways that make you feel uncomfortable, keep you feelings to yourself and a selection of consenting listeners. If you ran into one predator, report and warn other people, don’t rant about the maps’ true face. I think this is clear enough. Just don’t make any posts about how you came to the community with open heart and we used you after one bad experience.
Third, your language. Map attractions aren’t urges, there are offending maps and nomaps, not “maps and nomaps”, it’s anti contact, not “no contact”, pro map means map ally, not pro contact map, map covers nepiophilia, pedophilia, hebephilia, and (partially) ephebophilia, the upper age limit for ephebophilia is 19, not 17. We also don’t say “love is love”, “pedosexual”, “age is just a number”, and so forth. If you find me an account using these words that’s been active for more than one month, I’ll draw your some random bullshit for free.
Fourth, your expectations. If you’re going to actively write, draw, make map group chats, redistribute help sources, and just be useful, people are probably going to be grateful to you. If you just show up and say “hey, guys, I don’t hate you”, you will be taken for granted. Not hating and not harassing maps is the bare minimum, just like not abusing kids. All it means is that you’re not a bad person and deserve to be treated with respect, but it doesn’t make you a hero yet. So don’t take it personally. Maps overall aren’t assholes, they’re just people with standards. But speaking of maps who are assholes, you’re going to meet those too. The map community is just as diverse and flawed as any other random selection of people united only by one biological trait. Once in a while you’re gonna see antisemites, sex predators, and other people you don’t want to see, and I don’t want to see either. That isn’t going to happen more often than in any other space (and way less often than in the anti community). Many other maps and allies also won’t want them here, and with collective effort they can be removed. Be attentive, be rational, don’t expect more purity from maps than from other groups of people, and don’t jump to deciding all maps are bad if one map is bad. Basically, see point two again.
Oh, and another thing, something I never did, and none of the people who I respect did. Don’t come to the community to fuck. Whether you’re an adult or a minor, it’s predatory of you and absolutely inappropriate. Don’t advertise sex services in map tags. Don’t say you need an old man to have sex with you. Don’t call yourself a “map lover”. Don’t say you support maps because you’re attracted to them. As we said back on tumblr, louder for the people in the back: minors who seek sexual attention from maps are creeps and chasers. Maps are people, not your fetish.
Hope that’s all. If you have any questions, ask. I managed to reactivate my CC recently https://curiouscat.me/wierstamann. 2023 comment: now it’s https://curiouscat.live/wierstamann, and I prefer to be asked at https://ask.freak.university/@wierstamann anyway.