Thursday, 24 October, 2013
From Acceptance to Advocacy: Being an Ally to LGBTQQIA Communities
Join us as we discuss the best ways that LGBTQQIA and ally students can work together for inclusion and equality. Free pizza and drinks provided by OUTreach. This program coincides with National Ally Week, October 21-25, 2013.
All current allies or those interested in becoming allies, LGBTQQIA students, staff, and faculty are invited.
What is an Ally?
An ally is someone who advocates for and supports members of a community other than their own; reaching across differences to achieve mutual goals.
Why do LGBTQ+ people need allies?
It is a widely available statistic that an estimated 10% of the population is comprised of LGBT people. This means that one in four families have a sexual minority within their immediate circle and almost everyone loves someone who is LGBT within their extended circle of friends.
Despite decades of progress towards universal human rights, the LGBT community still confronts criticism, discrimination, and animosity. Alarmingly, these prejudices and stereotypes are often much more socially acceptable when directed towards sexual minorities than towards many ethnic, racial, and religious minorities.
By forming an alliance with those that we love, we can forge a bridge of understanding and support that will strengthen the fabric of our society.
What can allies do?
- Help LGBT people feel supported and included.
- Help others understand more about LGBT experiences.
- Support fairness and justice for everyone.
- Make our neighborhoods, communities, and our world a safer place for everyone.
How can I get started?
Strong allies learn about LGBT issues and share their insights with others. Here are some basic ways to do so:
- Educate yourself
- Ask Questions
- Support Your LGBT Friends & Family
Support your LGBT friends & family
- A real friend walks in when everyone else walks out.
- Let them know you care.
- Invite them (and any significant other) to activities with your heterosexual friends.
- Learn to use the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, and transgender comfortably and correctly.
- Be interested in their romantic life and significant others. If they are in a committed relationship, be sure to ask about "partners," rather than "boyfriends" or "girlfriends," showing your acceptance of both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
- Join PFLAG, GLSEN, GLAAD, and other support groups.
- Share the same kinds of pasttimes.
- Talk to them about the same things as you do with other friends (music, weekends, parties, parents, dates, movies, studies, etc.). Their sexuality is just one part of their life (just as it is with yours) and should not dominate all of your conversations with them.
- Volunteer for or contribute to organizations that support the LGBT community.
- Be as physical (or not) just as you are with heterosexual friends.
- Check in with them if there has been an anti-gay incident on campus or in the news.
- Do not inform others of their sexual orientation or identity without prior consent. In fact, as with all good friends, if they tell you anything in confidence, honor that trust. Go to queer events now and then, such as the Utah Pride Festival.
Educate & Advocate
- The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the ability to advocated and educate in areas uncomfortable/unsafe to the LGBT community.
- Make LGBT issues a comfortable part of your everyday conversation, just as you might talk about music, a class, or political ideas.
- Let people know you don't want to hear offensive slang, anti-gay jokes, stereotypical remarks, or put-downs of LGBT people.
- Write an editorial when someone prints a slanderous article about the LGBT community.
- Stand up against harassment of a person or group perceived as LGBT.
- Join a political rally.
- Write a letter to your legislators encouraging them to defend the civil rights of the LGBT community.
- Report illegal discrimination, hate crimes, and abuse to the authorities.