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.