An ally is a member of a privileged group who takes a stand against the oppression of a group that they do not belong to. Anyone can be an ally and there are many groups, especially in 2018, that need allies. But there are many people who claim to be allies, whether it's to the LGBTQ+ community, the black community, women, those affected by immigration/immigration laws, religiously oppressed people, people of color, or any other marginalized groups, who put their "identity" above actually fighting for and supporting the people that need it.
Being an ally is more than just claiming that you support and stand behind a certain group. Being an ally doesn't let you ignore your privilege-whatever it may be. It is more than having hashtags in your social media bios and writing lengthy posts on Facebook. Being an ally doesn't give you the right to speak over the voices of those who are actually in the marginalized group. If you are really an ally, you will put in the work.
Being an ally means listening to your friends who have oppressed identities and hearing their stories. It means actually going to #BlackLivesMatter protests, Pride, and Women's marches. It means VOTING for someone who will fight for rather than further oppress these groups. It means educating your friends or family on these topics. It means sharing your pronouns with a group even if it makes you uncomfortable because there's more than likely someone around who needs to hear that validation. It means walking your black, female, or LGBTQ+ friends to their cars or home at night to ensure their safety. It means staying nearby when you see the police talking to a person of color to make sure no injustice takes place or if at the least, recording the situation to give a voice and provide evidence for the potential victim of violence. It means believing people who share their sexual assault stories NO MATTER WHAT. It means saying something when you hear someone say a racial/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic/etc. slur or joke. Being an ally means you actually take action.
Allyship is something that should be practiced every day. It requires constant education and work. Does this seem like too much for you? I mean you didn't sign up for this, right? It is a lot of work and let's face it, you have the PRIVILEGE to not worry about all this stuff...If this is your mindset, you shouldn't be an ally. Because if actually fighting for justice is "too much" for you, just imagine living the injustice every day. Being neutral and remaining silent in arguments of oppression puts you on the side of the oppressor. So are you going to be part of the solution or part of the problem?