In case you didn’t know, October is LGBT History Month and this week in particular is Ally Week. Whenever this week appears in my life, I am conflicted on how an ally is actually defined. The main thing I think of is an ally doesn’t just tolerate the LGBTQ+ community but accepts the community and even more than advocates for these people so goals can be achieved. Have you ever heard someone say, I don’t mind gay people, but I just don’t believe they should get married. These kind of phrases and opinions are not what makes up an Ally, at least in my mind. An ally is someone who not only accepts same sex marriage, but is willing to bring up the issue and fight for equality of all people. Also an ally is willing to become more educated about the community. If you don’t understand that much about the transgender community and the process of transitioning, read more, start a dialogue, and that’s where the support begins.
Another issue I have with ally week is that some people I know who are LGBTQ+, get down on the allies, constantly stating that they will never understand. To an extent I agree, a straight female will not have the same experiences as me with my differing sexuality, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot empathize and offer help in any way possible. There needs to be a mutual understanding between both groups: allies want to help and know more and LGBTQ+ should be willing to give the benefit of the doubt. For me support and advocacy is a two way street.
So do you think you’re an ally? Let’s find out!
1. I support the LGBTQ+ Community.
2. I know what the whole acronym means and if not I want to learn.
3. I don’t use terms such as “that’s so gay.”
4. I believe that people should not be discriminated for their sexual, orientation or gender identity.
5. I try to stay up to date with current LGBTQ+ current news.
6. I believe in the phrase “Keep calm and love who you want.”
7. It dismays me how many hate crimes are committed in the country and I want to bring awareness to this issue.
8. I try to be as inclusive as possible.
9. I go to events and organizational gatherings that broaden my horizon about the LGBTQ+ community.
10 I tell people that I’m an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
If you answered yes to at least seven of these questions, then you’re an ally! Congrats. Of course I am not the official person to say who is and who isn’t an ally, but I know for me this is what it would take for me to think of someone as ally. I want to bring up number 10, because even though its simple, its important, in order to be an ally you must speak up about being one. When you are able to tell people about your ally status then that leads to supporting the community better. Other people may also want to get on your level which leads to other supporters.