More people need to speak out as Allies for the LGBTQ community

It is time for us as human beings to look past personal predjudice and learn to empathize with one another.


by Kate Jones, Multimedia Editor

Why do I need to speak out against injustices that other people are facing, if it has nothing to do with me?

The famous quote, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—  Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me,” was written by Martin Niemöller during the Holocaust.

Niemoller was a Protestant pastor who opposed Hitler during the Holocaust and was eventually imprisoned for speaking out against Hitler’s regime. This quote is still extremely prevalent in today’s society, especially now more than ever. It is my belief that even if you yourself are not facing injustice that we still have the responsibility to stand up against the prejudices that people face every day because of their race, gender, sexual orientation and sexual preference.

The first step in becoming an ally is awareness. Pay attention people; look around you and see first hand the experiences that other people have to deal with everyday. Be aware that you are in a place of privilege and will never fully understand what it’s like to be in someone else’s place.

Be aware that as an ally you are not in the position to ever speak for a poc or a member of the LGBTQA community because you can fully understand their experiences. For example, I identify as Bisexual so I am able to relay my personal experiences onto other people. However I cannot try to speak for others who might have had different, more difficult experiences than me.

Standing out and speaking up for others is a great thing, however there are ways that people can be bad allies. One sign of a bad ally is if you constantly feels the need to be recognized for being an ally and not a hateful person. It is not a radical concept that the LGBTQA community should be treated as human beings. Yes, people are thankful for your support. No,  don’t expect to be crowned “Queen of the Gays” for standing for something that should be the norm in 2017. The stereotype of the gay bestfriend is borderline offensive, you shouldn’t go out seeking a flamboyant boy who can “help pick out your outfits and gossip about boys” That’s not what being gay is, it’s dehumanizing and frankly kind of weird.  

Another way you could be being a bad ally is if you are assuming what people are going through. You can never fully comprehend what goes through someone’s head or what they have experienced in their lives, so don’t pretend you can. If someone asks you a question tell them, “Now I cannot personally speak from experience but if you want to you should ask someone that has.” Send people to websites such as glaad & the Trevor Project.

This does not mean that you cannot stand up for what you believe in and help spread awareness. There are many different platforms that we can be allies for others.  It is important as an ally to raise people up without tearing anyone down while we do so. In order to destroy the cultural normatives and stigmas surrounding the LGBGTQA community it is going to take a lot more than 140 characters of rage. We need to start including EVERYONE in our conversations, whether that be in our classrooms, at the dinner table or even at church. This does not just mean lesbian-bi-gay community but our Transgender, Intersex, Pansexual, Genderfluid and non-binary community as well.

Another important thing to do as an ally is to accept. It is important to be accepting of all people and personal belief systems. I believe that everyone has the right to an opinion and to uphold their own personal opinions as long as it is not in any way harming other human beings.

What we need now as one human race is empathy, love and support from everyone, for everyone because if we don’t have that, then what do we have?