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Actions for Allies


This Ally Week, we invite you -- no matter how you identify -- to think deeply about how you can be an ally to LGBT youth. Allyship is about more than supporting equal rights for marginalized groups; it's about advocating for those groups, uplifting their voices, and reflecting constantly on the powerful intersections of identity, privilege and justice. We hope you'll use these ideas as a starting point in your journey to visible, vocal allyship.  


On your own: 

  • Make a personal and intentional vow to explore what it means to become an ally to LGBT identified youth.
  • Intervene when you hear anti-LGBT language or remarks.
  • Ask your Congressperson to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act.
  • Use "I" statements: In conversations about LGBT issues and allyship, be conscious of your privilege and speak from your own experiences, rather than presuming the experiences of LGBT students and others. 
  • Read essays and articles written by LGBT people about LGBT issues. 
  • Ask your LGBT friends (respectfully!) about their experiences and how you can be an ally to them. 
  • Similarly, practice having conversations about LGBT issues without demanding personal information from others. Never assume a person's identity based on how they look, who they do or do not spend time with, or what others say about them. Only that person can tell you how they identify, and on their own time and terms. 

With your GSA:

  • Create a student bill of rights describing the climate of respect and inclusion you'd like to see at your school.
  • Share stories about your greatest allies, your journey toward allyship, or the times when you've needed an ally but couldn't find one. 
  • Write a group op-ed for your school newspaper about the importance of allyship.
  • Hold an Ally 101 workshop for your peers. 
  • Create a bulletin board to display at school about what allies can do to support LGBT youth. 
  • Do an inventory of LGBT-inclusive resources at your school, like Safe Space stickers and LGBT-inclusive books. If you can only find a few (or none at all), talk to your advisor about how to bring more resources to your school.
  • Talk to your school administration about creating gender-neutral bathrooms at your school.  
  • Watch GLSEN Greater Cincinnati’s Stories Project video and discuss your own experiences of needing allies at school. 

If you're an educator:

  • Learn about LGBT students' experiences in school by reading GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey.
  • Collect or request LGBT-inclusive books for your classroom or library. Need suggestions? Check out the American Library Association's Rainbow Lists and Stonewall Awards
  • 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 a reference on intersectionality, try this resource: 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 or your school has an existing GSA with a different advisor, watch a webinar about supporting your GSA.