University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Tips on being an ally from Pride Week

April 18, 2013

Queer Students Alliance’s Pride Week, sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Center and a number of other organizations ends tomorrow, but the lessons its offered to the University of Texas community will continue to resonate. One of those valuable lessons has been the importance of being an ally to the LGBTQ community.

In Shane Whalley’s Tuesday Ally Workshop, several attendees learned the definition of an ally: “any heterosexual person who opposes heterosexism (the system of oppression that reinforces the belief in the inherent superiority of heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships) and homophobia and actively supports LGBT individuals and causes.”

 

Ally Workshop

 

 

 

A list of LGBTQ vocabulary was the first part of the three-hour workshop, held in the Student Activity Center. “We can get permission to ask questions,” Whalley said. “We cannot assume how people identify and we cannot use the politically correct manual.”

 

Ally Day

 

To be an ally, Whalley says, requires intentional relationships. “We want to work toward being in worldly relationship with reciprocity.”

There’s a helpful PDF at the Gender and Sexuality Center website which includes a longer list of advice for allies. But a few tips include:

  • Confront individuals that perpetuate homophobia and heterosexism.
  • Have a good sense of humor.
  • Expect to make some mistakes, but don’t use that as an excuse for inaction.
  • Understand that you can also be targeted for being associated with LGBTQ people and for assumptions made about the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of the ally.

Pride Week continues through tomorrow. Tonight the Texas Exes LGBT Network will hold it’s April Happy Hour at the Firehouse Hostel and Lounge from 5 p.m. until 7: https://www.facebook.com/events/235077396632179/

There are a few other events tonight and tomorrow, too:

Get Sexy, Get Consent
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, SAC 3.116
Presented by Voices Against  Violence

Gaymers Meeting
7:00-10:00 pm,  SZB 278

Friday, April 19th
National Day of Silence
Join your fellow students as we participate in a vow of silence to call attention to the
silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.

CARE Free HIV Testing
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Queer Spirituality Meeting
12:00pm, Gender and Sexuality
Center

Queer Pop Culture Trivia Night
6:00 pm, Quadrangle Room in the Union
Presented HangOut and oSTEM.

You can see the full list here: http://texasqsa.blogspot.com/p/pride-week-2013_22.html

 

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