Being a Better Ally to LGBT Youth

For this year's Ally Week, our campaign is focusing on the idea that everyone- no matter how they identify in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, etc. can become a better ally to someone else. All members of a school community who consider themselves allies can become even better allies for LGBT students by deepening their understanding about what it is like to be an LGBT-identified student in school today. We hope the activities below shift the national conversation on allyship from becoming allies to taking the next step in learning how to be a vocal and active member of the social justice movement of this generation!

“Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.  (1929-1968)



Actions in a minute: 

  • Make a personal and intentional vow to explore what it means to become an Ally to LGBT identified youth.
  • Tweet about GLSEN’s Ally Week using hashtag: #AllyWeek and #BetterAllies TWEET!
  • Post a link to our Ally Week website on your Facebook page
  • Speak up when you hear anti-LGBT language or remarks
  • Learn how to become an Ally to trans and gender nonconforming youth here.
  • Ask your Congressperson to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act!

Actions for an hour:

  • Pay attention to how often you hear anti-LGBT bias language in your life, empathy is often the driver of change.
  • Watch GLSEN Greater Cincinnati’s Stories Project Video to understand why students need allies in schools (featured to the right). 
  • Print out our “I am an Ally” selfie resource and post it on the GLSEN Facebook page
  • Begin to think about being an ally as a way of living, and not an identity
  • Purchase and send a Safe Space Kit for your classroom, or your alma mater
  • Read GLSEN’s Educator’s Guide to Ally Week!
  • Learn how to support trans and gender nonconforming students.

Actions for an afternoon:

  • Learn about LGBT students experiences in school by reading GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey Executive Summary
  • Seek out Power, Privilege and Oppression training workshops at an LGBT Center near you.
  • Ask about someone’s experience and create space for story sharing.
  • Write an article for your school paper around what being an ally means to you.
  • Buy an LGBT themed book and donate to your school or local library.
  • Build a lesson plan to help your class think deeply about the ways homophobia, transphobia, racism and classism impact students on a daily basis. For reference use: Working with LGBT Students of Color: A Guide for Educators 
  • Learn about how to become a GSA (Gay, Straight Alliance) advisor. If you are already an advisor, watch a webinar about supporting your GSA.


Click here to learn how to be a better ally to trans & gender nonconforming students! 

Click here to learn how to be a better ally to LGBT students of color! 

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