Monday, March 26, 2012

The Ally Challenge

About a year ago, I was intrigued with Peers for Pride and decided to apply in hopes of becoming a better ally to my familiy and friends. This experince has given me a load of knowledge, understanding, and the motivation to continue in this work.

A few weeks ago I did a survey on "What makes a good ally?" I was very impressed with the response. Thank you all who took a part in the survey, I feel very priviledge to read such amazing responses! Sometimes, in any advoacy work, I think we simutaneously under/over estimate "the fight!" I found that there is a very good understand of what an ally does, yet there is a lack of active allies on campus.

Ally vs. Friend
There is a point where having "a lot of gay friends" turns into being a active voice for the community. Ally roles have different stages, you may start being there for a friend who "just came out" and end up at a rally for equal rights. However, you won't develop your role as an ally if you don't push yourself!

For those of you that find yourself somewhere between accepting and activism - I want to challenge you!

How can you be a better Ally?

Be Aware- If you see inequality going on in our society, you are aware of the oppressions. Please continue.

Education- What are the issues? Find resources that can help you understand issues that the LGBTQ community faces. (Go visit the GSC!)

Skills-  Practice having conversations about this issues, social constructed norms and how we can change it. Don't feel defeated if these conversations don't go the way you want them to, you'll master the skill with practice!

Action- Be proactive! Find support, guidance, and different ways to be involved in the community! Convey the message.

Ally work is fulling and difficult at times. Not everyone is open to the fight and everyone goes at different pace as an ally.  If you're not sure where to start or find yourself in a bind, you always have the support and resources of myself, PFPers, and the Gender and Sexuality Center.

Please continue to seek knowledge, grow, and make your voices louder. Set goals- big goals, expand your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Challenging yourself makes this work possible and valuable. 

We are Mid semester and as my time with Peers for Pride comes to an end I find myself looking for another opportunity to continue growing as an ally. I'm not really sure where this may lead exactly, yet I am sure that my journey has only begun!

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