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Actions for Allies

Photo of 2 LGBTQ students on either side of Ally Week logo

We can all listen, learn, and take action as allies to LGBTQ students.

While registration for Ally Week is for student leaders and K-12 educators, all of us can commit to making our local schools LGBTQ-inclusive. Pledge to take action, and we'll share the information and resources you need.

Then, see below our lists of actions to take in support of LGBTQ students and all their overlapping, intersectional identities.

Remember, supporting LGBTQ students means fighting systems of oppression and supporting students of diverse genders, students of color, and students with disabilities.

Photo of GSA members in meeting

Ways to Be an Ally to:

 

On Your Own icon

On Your Own

  • Intervene when you hear anti-LGBTQ language or remarks.
  • Be conscious of your privilege and speak from your own experiences, rather than assuming the experiences of LGBTQ students and other marginalized folks. 
  • Sign up for GLSEN UP to take policy actions in support of LGBTQ students on the local, state, and national level.

In Your Student Club icon

In Your Student Club

  • Create a student bill of rights describing the climate of respect and inclusion you'd like to see at your school.
  • Create a bulletin board to display at school about what allies can do to support LGBTQ youth. 
  • Do an inventory of LGBTQ-inclusive resources at your school, like Safe Space stickers. Talk to your advisor about how to bring more resources to your school!

As an Educator icon

As an Educator

  • Collect LGBTQ-inclusive books for your classroom/library. Need suggestions? Check out the American Library Association's Rainbow Lists and Stonewall Awards
  • Learn about how to become an advisor to your school's GSA or other LGBTQ student club.
  • Learn about the experiences of LGBTQ students from GLSEN's National School Climate Survey.

 

On Your Own icon

On Your Own

  • Read our resource on being an ally to trans and gender nonconforming students.
  • Practice asking someone's pronouns in a respectful way. Learn more by reading our pronoun resource.
  • Familiarize yourself with the rights of trans and gender nonconforming students in schools. Make sure to always respect and protect trans students' rights!

In Your Student Club icon

In Your Student Club

  • Read about how to make sure your GSA is trans-inclusive!
  • Try out this activity on authenticity and the right to tell trans narratives.
  • Ask your school administration about creating all-gender bathrooms at school. Use our guide to meeting with decision-makers as you work to create change!

As an Educator icon

As an Educator

 

On Your Own icon

On Your Own

  • Familiarize yourself with the Black Lives Matter policy platform, which explicitly includes educational equity for queer and trans students.
  • Speak up when you hear racist language, stereotyping, or jokes at school.
  • Reflect on and consider the advantages or disadvantages you may have faced based on your race, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

In Your Student Club icon

In Your Student Club

As an Educator icon

As an Educator

 

On Your Own icon

On Your Own

  • Eliminate ableist language from your vocabulary. Check out this article to learn about how we sometimes inadvertently perpetuate ableism through language. 
  • Read this article about an ally asking for help in supporting a college GSA member with Asperger syndrome.
  • Learn about the Disability Rights Movement through this timeline by PBS or this this one by the National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth.

In Your Student Club icon

In Your Student Club

  • Watch this TEDx video of the late Sam Berns speaking about his life with progeria. Have a conversation about how the video affected you and what you learned.
  • Watch George’s story from “I Am Driftwood” to learn about the intersections of LGBT identity and ability. 
  • Interview teachers to ask how they accommodate students with disabilities.

As an Educator icon

As an Educator

  • Start a conversation with your students about ableist language. Then, you can work together to come up with alternatives to ableist language in the classroom.
  • Incorporate books and lesson plans about disabilities into your curriculum.
  • Show the videos above to your classroom and lead a discussion about the intersections of ability and other identities.