So, here is the thing. I am very glad you decided to ally with minor attracted people. I appreciate it. Most of us do, if we are being honest, though there are some of us out there who believe we should go it alone (sigh). But the reality is, sometimes allies act in ways that… really are less than helpful, if not just downright rude. Sometimes, outright ignoring our voices to speak for us things most of us would never say or misrepresenting what entire groups of us think.
The premise of this article is that if you acted these ways as a white ally to a black person… um… well… you would get labeled as racist in a heartbeat and dismissed just as quickly as those people in white robes burning crosses. So, please, put your ego aside for a moment and listen. Many of these things are rants against real stuff real people who really claim to support us have actually said or done. So, please do not be the people I rant about in a blog post. Be better than that.
Stop That! Get Some Help!
Yeah, here is a rather long list of things NOT to do. Think of this as your “Don’t be that guy. That guy’s a jerk.”
Fictional material, by which I mean drawings, fantasy, and computer-generated art that does not use photos or real children in the process of its creation. Stop taking a dump on it as if doing so protects children.
A lot of times, allies like to downplay this issue, but the blunt reality is, we need it. We need more of it. If our choice is that or child sexual abuse images, figure out which is more important to protect: A fictional kid or a real one. It does not lead most of us down dangerous paths. Most of us can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and you, as an adult-attracted person (presuming you do not use the whole ally label to be taken more seriously by people and are actually minor attracted yourself), have access to thousands of safe and legal websites that serve as a masturbatory aid. The biggest issue minor attracted people deal with is sexually harmful imagery that depicts real children.
While understandably controversial, we need to study the effect fictional material has to further determine what use it could serve in keeping children safe, not ban it because ew or because people might use it to groom (adult porn can be used to groom too, should it be banned?). For most minor attracted people, fictional material is the only ethical outlet they have. Hearing an ally disagree with that assessment is almost as frustrating as hearing the “death to pedophiles” nonsense that gets directed at us all over the internet.
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Yes, those lines we draw to protect ourselves and others. Respect them. When we draw them and you cross them, crossing them sends up lots of red flags for us and we will not be inclined to trust you. I do not care how idiotic you think they are, be a nice person and respect them. They are almost always in place for very good reason.
Naming you our ally without talking to a lot of us and getting to know us is presumptuous and rude. Our first instinct is, “Who is this, exactly? What do they think about this issue? What about that one?” It is a recipe for you to be treated with a heavy amount of suspicion, and there are easier ways to impress us than just putting “MAP ally” in your Twitter profile.
Choose Your Words Wisely
No, we do not have urges, compulsions, or impulses around children, so you can stop using those terms right now. And to be frank, throwing around “pedophilic disorder” in public is just… confusing and stigmatizing. Calling us pedophiles and trying to lecture people about what pedophile, hebephile, and ephebophile mean? Just stop. No one cares about the labels, minor attraction is easy for people to process and making it too complex for people is just… not helpful. If you really want to be helpful with your words, keep it simple and do not give your words and easy target for trolls: Minor attraction, minor attracted people, and they function just like your attraction to adults, so yes, calling them urges, obsessions, compulsions, impulses… just no, stop that. They are attractions, nothing more. We watch the words you use. So use good ones.
Do you go around calling bicycles “two-wheeled bicycles?” What about “four-wheeled cars?” How about “cold snow?” When we describe things like that in the English language, it usually denotes an unusual feature not a usual feature, and there is no evidence to suggest that all or even most minor attracted people harm children. So, slapping “non-offending” in front of that or even “anticontact” is just a subtle way of saying you think most of us are offending or think it is okay for kids to be sexual with adults, and seriously? Get the hell out with that assumption. That, again, is just as stigmatizing. Trying to fight stigma with stigma is stupid.
Redirecting Stigma Away From You
This brings me to another important point. As an ally – particularly if you put it in your profile or say it out loud – you will be accused of being minor attracted or a pedophile. Let me illustrate some wrong responses: “I’m not a pedo, I don’t need to stay away from kids.” “I’m an ally, not a MAP, don’t tell me to kill myself that’s rude.” “Of course they should stay away from kids, I agree with you!” If you are so concerned about stigma that you are willing to throw it right back at us, you just showed that you are not, in fact, an ally and many of us will treat you accordingly.
The one universal thing about minor attracted people is that we take our privacy and confidentiality very, very seriously. So, if we share something with you in private, you are expected to not screenshot it and post it anywhere, ever, you are expected to be a mature human being and respect that what someone shares with you privately is meant to be private. Some information in the wrong hands can dox someone or out them to the entire internet or their community.
Go ahead and do that. No, really! By all means, come on in and try to pretend to be a minor attracted person. Chances are very good that we know exactly who you are from day one and will be watching you, and yes, I am sure you are curious to know that we actually do know how to genuinely help people without “converting people” to be minor attracted (no, that does not actually work like that). So sure, get to know us that way too if you do not want to just take our word for things. Again, we know who you are, you stick out like a sore thumb, and you could just talk to us and get the same information, but of course your infiltrators are just free entertainment too.
Yeah, go to hell. Most of us (I got lucky) do not live in a location where there are people qualified to properly treat minor attracted people, so requiring anyone to “get therapy” in order for you to support us is just rude and cruel. No one really chooses where they are born or where they live. So, spouting that crap just makes you a jerk. Be the kind of jerk that at least filters it between your brain and your mouth/keyboard. If you really want us to get help, then go donate and put your money where your mouth is or know where to send minor attracted people for support.
Stay Away From Kids!
Again, go to hell. Why should we stigmatize ourselves because you want to spout your uneducated opinion at us? Should you stay away from the people you are attracted to or otherwise be considered a risk to rape them? If it does not apply to you, do not apply it to us. Most who sexually harm kids are not minor attracted people in the first place, so all you really do with that opinion is spread myths that dump on a group of people because you think we are boogeymen/women.
Why Be So Loud?
Because of people like you, Karen. People who say they support us but then tell us to shut up, sit down, and be quiet, which really tells us you do not support us at all, are people who are not real allies, so just stop already.
Minor Attracted People Getting Help Protects Kids!
Yes, of course it does, but saying it like that sort of implies that all minor attracted people are a risk to kids, and… no. Just stop. Framing it that way on the surface is just as stigmatizing because of that implication, and furthering stigma to combat stigma is just plain dumb. Stop that already. And arguing with them about it in public when you could just message them just makes for public drama. On that same topic…
Excluding some minor attracted people because they do not fit your views from getting support or being just as human as anyone else is bad. Stop doing that. Boundaries for you and you only are one thing, excluding people from support or thinking “well those people aren’t in the MAP community because they believe…” is just bad form. Again, knock it off. Nobody likes a divisive asshole. You do not speak for our entire community, and trying to in this regard is just… no.
Now All The Positive Stuff You Should Do
If you have gotten to this point and are mostly nodding, agreeing, and thinking to yourself, “This all makes sense, duh, of course,” then you should also know that standing up for us is still very much a brave thing to do and something you will get hate for if you attract the wrong kind of attention. So, jumping right in and being a good ally by trying to be brave without asking us for some advice on how to handle the stigma and hate and how to stay safe doing it is also bad. Mostly for you, but then you start to get frustrated with us for “not telling me ahead of time” that it might happen and such, so… please use some caution and sense here.
Stay Safe Online
Use a pseudonym that is not tied to your real identity. This includes creating an email not tied to your real identity. Compartmentalize these identities from one another. If you feel you must use your real name, lock down any personal information you have floating around. I mean phone numbers, addresses, emails, connections to friends and family. Search your name online and make sure those things are not easy to find. If you think those suggestions are overly paranoid, you should be warned that putting “map ally” in your profile WILL bring you before hateful groups of people who troll the internet looking for people to harass, and they will not distinguish between a “map ally” and a minor attracted person, you will be lumped in with us and become a target for these groups of people.
Keep your passwords safe (and random): Use a password manager, and use a different password for each account you have. Many free programs to manage passwords exist. I recommend: https://keepass.info/download.html Keepass has free open-source software for most operating systems, and has integration for Android and Apple devices as well as the capability of running entirely from a flash drive. Also, know what hacking is and how you can prevent it.
Ignoring them only goes so far. Some of them are very persistent, and the louder you are, the more of a target you are for them. Believe it or not, you can be a “map ally” without virtue-signaling it in your profile and making yourself more of a target – follow prominent accounts, look for high-profile content, and stand up to the hate that way.
Get To Know The Issues
I mean lots of them, and again, this takes time. Investigate the idea of primary prevention. Take a look at the sex offender registry. Learn what proper support for minor attracted people looks like. Look at some of the arguments that get slung our way. Learn some of the science around minor attraction and why learning to live with our attractions is basically the only option.
In the end, there are many reasons to be very careful when becoming an ally, and many ways to do it. Are you financially well off? Donate to child protection programs that prioritize evidence over “war on sex” or censorship narratives. Do you have lots of time? Jump into the fray online (after using these tips, of course). But calling yourself a MAP ally while not listening to our needs, our perspectives, and our issues is a surefire way to find your way onto the blocklist of some or most of our community. We take protecting ourselves very seriously, and we will not hesitate to use any means necessary to protect our communities from people who wish us harm, such as public callouts, private warnings, blog posts, etc.