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Thread: LGBT Community: Alliles

  1. #1

    Default LGBT Community: Alliles

    Good morning fellow ADISC-ers, and LGBT community!

    I have had something on my mind for a while, and I have finally found a safe place where I can try and get my thoughts out, so here goes. I myself, I am straight, and I have never held a prejudice against anyone; I have friends who've come from all corners of the world, members of many religions, different political values, and sexual orientations. Perhaps one of my greatest friends, she had thought about inviting me to a pride festival, but I was traveling out of the country during that week. I thought it was a very nice offer, and I have always considered myself an ally. I understand that an ally is someone who is open and supportive of, not just their friends, but anyone who is a member of the LGBT community. I feel like that's the extent, as allies are not necessarily 'in' the LGBT themselves being straight, but then again, they're not necessarily 'out' either. Perhaps neighboring communities could be a way to phrase it. I feel like it could also just be scratching the surface. Plainly said, what all can allies do? How can allies be more supportive/active members of the community? What all can allies do to give back?

    curious, and would really just like to know!

  2. #2

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    Allies can pull people up on homophobic behaviour. As an example, if a co-worker or family/friend say something like 'that is so gay' then tell them it is wrong.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by FudgedInLuvs View Post
    Good morning fellow ADISC-ers, and LGBT community!

    I have had something on my mind for a while, and I have finally found a safe place where I can try and get my thoughts out, so here goes. I myself, I am straight, and I have never held a prejudice against anyone; I have friends who've come from all corners of the world, members of many religions, different political values, and sexual orientations. Perhaps one of my greatest friends, she had thought about inviting me to a pride festival, but I was traveling out of the country during that week. I thought it was a very nice offer, and I have always considered myself an ally. I understand that an ally is someone who is open and supportive of, not just their friends, but anyone who is a member of the LGBT community. I feel like that's the extent, as allies are not necessarily 'in' the LGBT themselves being straight, but then again, they're not necessarily 'out' either. Perhaps neighboring communities could be a way to phrase it. I feel like it could also just be scratching the surface. Plainly said, what all can allies do? How can allies be more supportive/active members of the community? What all can allies do to give back?

    curious, and would really just like to know!
    I think being a good ally starts with what you're doing right here. It comes from your heart and demonstrates a willingness to learn and be open. Just be willing to listen and keep asking questions and talking about it. You are already a valuable ally.

    Another thing is to never assume that friends, family or colleagues are straight. By letting people know that you support the LGBT community, then you may very well be encouraging someone who is still in the closet to open up and divulge what can be very difficult, personal information. Someone close to you could be struggling with their identity. By not assuming someone is straight, you are giving them the space they need. It can still be scary as all hell to come out of the closet since many of us have been rejected by former friends or family. Just be supportive and know when to listen. It means a lot.

    Remember that jokes about LGBT people are offensive. Challenge them whenever you hear them and let people know you find them offensive. Defend your friends against discrimination. Simply believe with all your heart that all people should be treated with dignity and respect.

    Confront the politicians who try to pass off anti-transgender laws as being necessary for the security of the majority of the population: For example, anti-transgender bathroom laws and banning transgenders from serving in the military. Recognize that 'security' is a code word for intolerance and fear.


    Lastly, throughout my years on this planet, I have come to realize that we must all be allies to each other. Men need to support the rights of women, whites must work to eliminate the oppression of Blacks and visible minorities, and heterosexuals must support the LGBT community. The silent majority must be vocal in supporting the equality of all citizens. We don't arrive until we all arrive.


    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    - Martin Niemoller


    Peace, and thank you.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 05-Aug-2017 at 20:49.

  4. #4

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    For me at least, I feel like allyship should just be the default. It should just be expected that one is an ally.

    Maybe I have a low bar for allyship, but if you support LGBT rights and use basic common sense by doing stuff like calling out people who say "X is so gay!", treating LGBT people with basic respect, not othering them and treating their relationship as some spectacle, using the correct pronoun for trans people, fighting against Anti-LGBT legislation such as those "Religious Freedom" bills, those stupid bathroom bills, and the Trans-Military ban, etc (or at least that stuff should be basic common sense), then I consider you an ally. Standing in solidarity with a group should be an easy task. Not something you have to think about provided you're a decent human being and know the most basic stuff about respecting others. Then again, common sense isn't that common. But yeah. You seem to be doing everything right as an ally.

  5. #5

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    To start with, recognize that gays, transgenders, and bi's are not special. (Although I admit to a little jealousy towards bi's. They have double the dating possibilities.) It's a two part problem. The first part is achieving a common understanding, and the second is negotiating the practical matters. Accept that your understanding is not the only one, and it isn't necessarily the best understanding. Realize that when we talk about rights we are really only talking about opinions. When push comes to shove only the Supreme Court's opinion matters. Try to avoid too much pushing and shoving. A sense of humor helps.

  6. #6

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    Further to my previous post yesterday, I was thinking about this while out on my morning run, and I started to think of some more practical steps you could take.

    Download LGBT Ally posters. The link below gives you an idea of some of the promotional materials where you can download posters and LGBT Ally kits. The GLSEN link in particular contains a wealth of information, including a kit about how to be an ally and a poster you can download. Although much of the information is geared towards students and youth, most of it is still relevant and adaptable. I think posters and visuals are very important. Because of the nature of my work, I have posters, buttons, and flags strategicslly placed throughout my office which affirm my values around racism, sexism and homophobia. On a number of occassions, people confided in me because they could see visually that they were in a safe space. Post them everywhere you can, in your office, on your front door at home, and distribute them to your friends, colleagues and family and ask them to do the same.

    https://www.glsen.org/safespace
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/204421270558586027/

    Send a letter to the editor.
    Secondly, if new laws pertaining to treatment of the LGBT population are coming up, it's guaranteed to get a lot of media and a lot of rhetoric. A great way to be an ally is to submit a letter to the editor indicating why you support the LGBT population and why you are opposed to legislation that is harmful to them. You can reach a lot of people through this method of communication and help influence opinion in your local community.

    Keep yourself connected and informed. Keep yourself up to date on the issues affecting the LGBT population. You can get on the mailing lists of national organizations that provide calendars of events across the country. It lets you know what the issues are and what people in your community are doing. It keeps you informed of the issues and it can help you get actively involved. Centerlink is a national coalition of LGBT community centres and they have tons of information, along with a current statement regarding Trump's attack on transgenders in the military.

    Centerlink
    https://www.lgbtcenters.org/localsta...al-groups.aspx

    Volunteer Work. Volunteer work is the most critical component in fighting for our rights. Most of the LGBT groups run on volunteers with very little funding. It's a great way to get hands-on experience and there's no better way to meet like-minded people who share a common concern.

    These are some of the more practical ideas that crossed my mind since you posed your question. I hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    I think Starrunner has a ton of great ideas, but in my humble opinion being available to your friend that invited you to pride is the most powerful thing an ally can do. Yeah, being active in the community, letting other people know you're an ally is good, but as I'm sure Starrunner can attest many of us in the LGBT community had had very tough dark times where we would do anything to know there's someone that we could call at 1 am. I know that there's a couple of friends that if I'm having a bad day I can count on, and to me they're more valuable than all the money in the world

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