Monday, October 19, 2009

Straight But Not Narrow - Ally Week!

This week is all about the straight folks, or at least the ones that support us gay folks. (OK, it's also about the gay folks who support the other gay folks. It's about all of us!)

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) is sponsoring Ally Week.

Allies generally are non-LGBT people who are committed to ending bias and discrimination against LGBT people, but the term ally is more inclusive (particularly within the Safe Schools Movement) and can refer to anyone who supports ending anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in schools. For example, a bisexual adult can be an ally to LGBT students, and a lesbian student can be an ally to a transgender student.

During Ally Week, people are encouraged to take the ally pledge:

"I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported.

That means I pledge to:

  • Not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) language or slurs.
  • Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed.
  • Support efforts to end bullying and harassment."
This is one of the 10 easy things that you can do to take action.

Students are encouraged to sign up for specific events and activities on the website. You can also connect virtually through Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

On the website, you can download ally pledge cards and stickers, as well as order posters, t-shirts, and other promo materials. You can read and submit ally stories online, and you can learn about local and student organizing.

Ally Week is just one part in a larger program to create safe schools for all students and ultimately create a safe environment for all (including LGBT) people.

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