DSU’s Alliance participated in Ally Week from Sept 24-28. The group had a table set up in the Trojan Center outside of Student Services, and in addition to giving out candy, stickers, and buttons, the group also displayed a pledge poster for students to sign to showcase their support for LGBTQ members of their community.
According to Merriam-Webster, ally is defined as a person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle. Fittingly, the goal of Ally Week is to break down stereotypes and exclusion and to highlight support for LGBTQ students as well as students with disabilities or students of color. Started in October of 2005 by GLSEN, (formerly the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) Ally Week is a nationwide student-led effort to stand against the bullying, harassment, and name-calling of the LGBTQ community.
According to GLSEN, someone can be an ally in the following ways:
- Intervene when you hear anti-LGBTQ language/remarks.
- Speak up when you hear racist language, stereotyping, or jokes.
- Be conscious of your privilege and speak from your own experience rather than assuming the experience of others.
- Practice using someone’s pronouns respectfully.
James Bigger, Vice President of the Alliance, said that the easiest way to be an ally is to just be open-minded and respectful of those who are or who may be LGBTQ. “There’s always people in the closet…or who might not be comfortable, and I would suggest being an open ally is the best way to show your support.”
For additional information on how to be an outstanding ally, visit www.glsen.org/allyweek or check out #MyAllies on social media to see those who are directly affected by allies.