Ally Week

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Ally Week is a national youth-led effort empowering students to be allies against anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying, harassment and name-calling in K-12 schools, it is also used in some colleges.[1][2] It was created by Joe Montana and other youth members of the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network GLSEN National JumpStart Student Leadership Team.[3][4] It is done in the same spirit as Day of Silence to educate on anti-LGBT harassment issues.[5][6] It is usually held in September or October, often coinciding with National Coming Out Day on October 11.[7] October is also LGBT History Month. The event started in October 2005 and has grown since.[8] This year Ally Week will be taking place October 13-17, 2014.

The goal of Ally Week is to diminish stereotypes and exclusion while highlighting that peer support for LGBT students is stronger than the students themselves may have thought existed.[9] People across the country can engage in a national dialogue about how everyone in and out of school can work to become better allies to LGBT youth. Whether you're a lesbian adult working to make schools safer for today's youth, or a gay student organizing to create safe spaces for your trans friends, everyone has an opportunity this week to recognize their allyship and take action to become better at it.[10] In a survey of 240 undergraduates regarding what peer support they felt LGBT students had, research found that their personal attitudes were significantly more positive than they thought their friends and fellow students held.[11] Allies are identified as supporters but not necessarily members of a marginalized group.[12]

During Ally Week people are encouraged to sign an ally pledge "taking a stand for a safe and harassment-free school for all students", and that they will not use anti-LGBT language and slurs, they will intervene if possible to stop bullying and harassment and support safer schools efforts.[13][14] In 2008 the pledge cards were mistakenly used with kindergartners and opponents of gay marriage used this to correlate to the Proposition 8 battle in California, GLSEN stated they would review materials and ensure they were appropriate for all grade levels.[15]

In 2010 the campaign is encouraging awareness of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, similar to the recently signed "Dignity for all Students Act" (New York State) legislation to protect LGBT students from bullying.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Windmeyer, 256.
  2. ^ Meyer, 78.
  3. ^ Goldman, 261.
  4. ^ Jason Lamphier, "Hottest Young Gay Activist", page 131, Out, June 2006.
  5. ^ Goldman, 323.
  6. ^ Marcus, 115.
  7. ^ Meyer, 78.
  8. ^ Daryl Presgraves, "GLSEN's Ally Week Brings Attention to Importance of 'Allies'in Safe Schools Movement ; Students Across Country Take Pledge to be Allies Against Anti-LGBT Bullying", U.S. Newswire, October 16, 2006.
  9. ^ Goldman, 187.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Goldman, 187.
  12. ^ Meyer, 78.
  13. ^ Goldman, 187.
  14. ^ Meyer, 78.
  15. ^ "Parents protest student pledge forms on gays", Associated Press, October 30, 2008.
  16. ^ Joseph Pedro, "Going Back to School — Let's Make it Safe!", Passport Magazine, August 30, 2010.
  17. ^ Joseph Pedro, "New York Governor Signs Comprehensive Anti-Bullying Legislation", Passport Magazine, September 8, 2010.


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