I am a daughter and granddaughter. I am a sister. I am part of the work force. I am a student. I am a volunteer. I am friend. I am an ally.
I have many different roles that are part of my identity. But the one that I am most proud of and that matters in all of these roles, is the fact that I am an ally, not just during Pride month. I am an ally to my sibling who recently came out as gay, I am an ally to my friend who is sharing her life with her girlfriend. I am an ally to my colleague who identifies with a gender she wasn’t assigned to through birth. But it goes even further than being an ally to the people in my life that identify with the LGBTQ+ community. I am an ally. Period. No matter whether we are talking about sexuality or gender identity or any other issue. I truly believe that being an ally to the people we care about or the people we interact with is key.
So the question really is, what is an ally? What does it mean to be an ally? It probably means something different to everyone you are asking. To me, being an ally means being supportive and speaking up when I feel injustice is being done. We live in a world where attributes like gender, race, sexual identity, physical disability and so many other things matter that are only on the surface. But just because I do not face the same discrimination and challenges does not mean I can’t be of support to the the people that are affected. If you want to take it some step further and outside of the LGBTQ+ community, being an ally means supporting people in their battles while we are not fighting the same ones. Essentially, to me it means being a friend.
Being an ally is about recognizing the stigma that people of the LGBTQ+ community face and trying to reduce that stigma, in whatever way possible. In the end we are all human, we all just want to be accepted for who we are and in the end only love should matter.