Mark Allison, Senior Content Writer
Allies help empower the community, and they offer really meaningful support to organizations that work to eliminate harmful bias and promote equal rights. Allies are also important, I think, because they help make connections between people instead of putting up barriers.
Hilary Lentz, Digital Communications Manager
Allies are important to the LGBTQ+ community in a number of different ways. In terms of driving change in our workforces, communities, and laws, their voices represent power and privilege in overcoming discrimination, advocating for equal rights, and driving inclusion. However, allies are also important in the coming out process with family and friends. They offer an ongoing support system, and in the instances where a person’s friends or birth family aren’t supportive of their LGBTQ+ identity, allies are an important part of what we, in the LGBTQ+ community, call our “found” or “chosen” family.
Jess Weron, Project Engineer, Water
The community relies heavily on allies to make impacts in the community. LGBTQ+ people in America continue to face discrimination in their daily lives, and while more states every year attempt to pass laws to protect the LGBTQ+ community, we continue to see legislators advancing bills that target transgender people, limit local protections, and allow the use of religion to discriminate. So far this year, five states have already passed or implemented executive orders limiting the ability of transgender youth to play sports and receive certain medical treatments, and there’s been little to no backlash. But in 2017, when North Carolina passed a bill for transgender bathroom provisions, there was a lot of backlash, and the bill was quickly repealed. So that’s really the impact of allyship. Transgender people cannot advocate for themselves alone; there are not enough people in the LGBTQ+ community alone to fight all of these provisions, but together, with allies, we can make positive change.
Heather Wilkie, Associate Business Analyst II, GeoDecisions
Allies can use their position and privilege to fight against discrimination in the community, and people are often more likely to be accepting of the LGBTQ community if their friend or someone in their “in group” is an ally.
Chuck Yorks, Principal Technician, Transportation Operations
Allies are important to everyone, and by allies, I don’t mean cheerleaders. Allies don’t stand back. Allies step up. Allies are advocates for fairness, for an open mind. Allies don’t hold back. Allies speak up. Allies are important for any person who feels alone, isolated, or left out. We’ve all needed them, and we’ve all appreciated them at one time or another because there are bullies among us. Bullies bully overtly and quietly, out of ignorance and sometimes out of hatred. The words “ally” and “bully” are pretty close when you spell them out – only a couple letters difference. Don’t let it be you.