Interested in how you can be a part of the movement to make communities safer for LGBTQIA+ people? Learn about being a straight ally!
Defined generally, an ally is “a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in their personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population.” (Evans & Washington, Becoming an Ally)
Becoming an effective ally requires a great deal of self-reflection, humility, and exploration of one’s own privileged identities and biases. It may be uncomfortable and confrontational at times, but being an ally means you have an important role to play in the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals and the community at large.
An Ally strives to…
- be a good friend and an open-minded listener
- be informed with regard to terms related to gender, sex, and sexuality
- believe that all persons regardless of their age, sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression should be treated with dignity and respect
- confront their own prejudices
- join others with a common purpose of developing a culture free of homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism and learn how to respond to homophobia or transphobia in the community
- recognize their shortcomings, but not use them as an excuse for inaction
- recognize the legal powers and privileges that cisgender straight people have and which LGBTQIA+ people are denied
- For more information about the effects of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people in the United States read the American Psychological Association’s fact sheet.
- commit themselves to personal growth in spite of the discomfort it may sometimes cause
An ally is NOT someone with ready-made answers, or only someone with professional training to be a service provider, lawyer, or advocate.
As CPAF works to further its mission to build healthy and safe communities, we continue to learn more about the importance of allies in protecting LGBTQIA+ members of our communities who are vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual assault. As an agency, we are constantly learning and re-thinking how we can more effectively create safe spaces, provide sensitive services and resources, and be a better ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. We invite you to join us on this journey. To continue learning more about being an ally, read the PFLAG Guide to Being a Straight Ally.