What kind of ally are you?

Posted in Reading list by Nancy on June 17, 2010

Re-blogged from here

1. Active Oppression

  • Laughing at or telling jokes about LGBT people
  • Making fun of people who don’t fit traditional notions of gender roles and sexual identity
  • Verbal and/or physical harrassment
  • Working for anti-LGBT legislation, i.e. employment and housing
  • Gay-bashing or other forms of violence

2. Indifference & Ignorance

  • Business as usual attitude
  • Passive acceptance of actions by others which demeans LGBT individuals, i.e walking away and/or not contronting said behaviors
  • Ignoring the topic, i.e lack of discussions
  • Adopting a liberal attitude of “what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is none of my business. I just don’t want to hear about it.”
  • Being friendly before you knew somebody was LGBT but ignoring them afterwards.

3. Oppression Through Lack of Action

  • If you hear a friend telling a demeaning joke, recognizing it as oppressive, not laughing at this joke but not saying anything about it either.
  • Being uncomfortable but not confronting homophobia
  • Labeling individuals based upon stereotypes – or not confronting those who use stereotypes to label others
  • Avoiding participation in events that might make others suspect you are a LGBT-ally, or LGBT yourself

4. Confronting Oppression

  • When you hear a homophobic joke, you confront the speaker about it.
  • Making a choice to participate in events (or spaces) that are LGBT-friendly/inclusive
  • Be aware and confront statements such as, “I’m not prejudiced but…”

5. Growing as an Ally

  • Read books/journals by and about LGBT individuals
  • Being sensitive to issues LGBT individuals face
  • Attending LGBT-friendly events (such as PRIDE!)
  • Educating yourself about LGBT-issues instead of relying on “experts”

6. Becoming Active as an Ally

  • Educating others, engaging others in LGBT-oriented conversations, presenting programs to others.
  • Be “out” as a supporter of LGBT issues and individuals
  • Encourage and promote respect for one another, and celebrate the differences between individuals.

7. Challenging Systems

  • Creating a climate where individual and cultural diversity is recognized and celebrated
  • Working for a LGBT-positive legislation
  • Addressing LGBT issues through training and workshops
  • Supporting “out” LGBT individuals
  • Changing and challenging discriminatory institutional practices and working to change such practices.

Of course this doesn’t just apply to LGBTTQ issues.

I think most people I know sit at 3 on this scale. This also makes me aware of my own inaction.

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