Hall of Appreciation- Male Allies
We will continuously update this page in chronological order!
Note: you do not have to be female presenting/ identifying or a non binary debater in order to submit to the hall of appreciation. If a female presenting/ identifying debater or non binary debater taught you how to be a better male ally and that left a positive impact on you, feel free to share with us. Submission page is found here.
February 4, 2019
there are several people who’ve made huge impacts on me as an extemper & as a person, and i’d like to give them the love they deserve. first, he’s not a woman or nb, but my incredible (private) coach rene otero for being one of the kindest people i’ve ever met. even before he was coaching me, he went out of his way to make me feel like i belonged in this community, which i’ll never forget. rene is easily the most insightful, genuine, and inspiring person i have the pleasure of interacting with, and a true ally. i’d also like to highlight two women who are truly my biggest role models in extemp, both of whom i met at camp just last summer. first, juliette reyes, who’s encouragement, kindness, and support kept me in this event, when i didn’t feel good enough to belong. she went out of her way to welcome (and then tolerate for two weeks of camp and then for many months after) a freshman who could barely find the strength to ask questions during lectures out of fear. thank you juliette, for showing me a woman with unabashed strength, courage, and pride. last (but not least or she’ll kill me), mo marks, who’s changed my perspective on so much in the short time i’ve had the pleasure of knowing her. from showing me a new way to look at extemp & myself, keeping me on track when i get too brazy, & being someone who i look to as a role model in more areas than i can count. mo has the strength, intelligence, passion, and work ethic i’ve always strived for, and i have so much love & respect for her. even when we first met, the way she carried herself, the intelligence of her questions & statements, the way she made others feel at ease with just one joke made her unforgettable. thanks guys 🙂
January 16, 2019
when I attended a debate camp this summer, I was assigned a male partner who criticized all my work, brought me down time after time, and overall made me feel as if I was worth nothing in the debate sphere. eventually, I was allowed to switch partners and move away from the toxicity, doing my best to tell myself there would always be horrible people out there.
a couple of months later, the same partner reached out to me and asked if he could talk to me, and I said ok. he proceeded to spill to me how he had been affected by negative views from debaters in his community to believe that others should be put down rather than treated well, and how two strong female debaters had recently taught him how wrong those ideas were. he apologized for all of his actions and told me how much he appreciated having me as his partner, and his entire perception of debate had changed after a lot of self-reflection. I couldn’t believe it at first, but he went on to confess he had been a jerk and now strongly believed in empowering all genders, races, sexualities, etc. in debate. I soon forgave him and we’ve stayed good friends ever since, even meeting up at tournaments sometimes.
I’m posting this to show how no matter how toxic the debate environment might seem, there are always people out there (like BR) fighting for change. remember to give others second chances, even if they seem like horrible people, because everyone can change.
September 15, 2019
I had a male camp partner this summer, and after the summer he told me that partnering with me changed his views on how to approach the issue of women in debate and that meant so much to me. Because I saw that change, he stood up for me in numerous upsetting instances and inappropriate interactions that I had with opponents/ judges/ labmates. So this thank you is for him for being an ally and making my camp experience good when I had to deal with a lot of toxic stuff!
(Note: kept vague for anonymity)
September 15, 2019
A coach who had judged me multiple times before told me that my commitment to PF alone was an inspiration to female debaters. he reminded me that freshman year I looked up to female debaters and strived to accomplish what they did and told me that I was that role model to so many people. that was at nats my senior year, it was the best way to end my debate career.