Are you my ally? That’s a good question. I have a lot of friends who accept and support me in the path I’ve had to take but are they allies? I hadn’t thought about it until I read the article “PFLAG presentation focused on educating allies.” It states that allies are members of the dominant group who make an effort to end oppression.

Who are the other guys? For the most part these are ordinary people who don’t have a lot of knowledge about the LGBTQ and normally wouldn’t care but are influenced by a small group who are very vocal about their beliefs. This small group use tittles to indicate that they are larger than the really are. These groups normally have the word “Family” in their titles and try to convey that they represent a lot of people instead of the few they really are. But they speak up, are loud, and are heard by the much larger group. They are the oppressors.

Hetrosexism (from Wikipedia) is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favour of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior.

See, this is the problem; you have these vocal groups who do their best to convince others that their vision of life is the only true one or that equality with the LGBT will be harmful to society in some vague way. They do this in hopes that politicians are listening. They have no conception that homosexuality and transexuality are natural. And they are normal – they’ve existed since the beginning of recorded history. But the LGBT are not THEIR normal. They are not big in numbers but they are very intense.

This is where the allies come in. We also need a group who are not afraid to say that homophobia, transphobia and hetrosexism is wrong. They need to be loud and just as intense as the other group.

In the PFLAG article previously mentioned, a presenter gave ten tactics for allies. They were:

1. educate yourself
2. work where you feel comfortable
3. be open about having LGBTQ friends
4. speak up
5. do not patronize businesses that discriminate
6. support LGBTQ friendly organizations
7. don’t be an ally alone! Join an organization like PFLAG!
8. realize that there are many ways to be an ally and that people are allies for a variety of reasons
9. be ready for this to not always be easy
10. Also realize that it can be extremely rewarding to know that something said or done can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

So will you be my ally?

Teresa

Links:

PFLAG presentation focused on educating allies
http://www.washburnwi.com/articles/2011/07/13/community/doc4e1dbb20522cb138548381.txt

Wikipedia – Heterosexism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosexism

Wikipedia – Homophobia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophobia

Wikipedia – Biphobia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphobia

Wikipedia – Transphobia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transphobia