You good?

New Yorkers use the question “you good?” for a far greater variety of situations than most. One way I’ve seen it employed as a form of allyship is when riding public transit.

Picture a young woman getting hassled by someone on a bus and a big fella sitting nearby takes off his headphones and gives her a head bob and a quick, “You good?” If she doesn’t answer, he comes over to sit next to her.

I’ve employed it myself. Seeing a couple in a the middle of a drunken fight. I’ll follow them for a while until there is a break in the shouting and I can make eye contact with the woman. “You good?” She might wave me off. Or she might give me the pleading look that says, stay with me. Stay here. Stay as a witness.

I know a lot of people dislike taking public transit because they prefer the safety of their car but I have found transit is the best place to be a good ally. It helps if you have this question at your disposal.

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