Most LGBT organizations have straight members involved; others actively encourage straight participation. A gay–straight alliance is a student-run club that brings together LGBT and straight students to create a platform for activism to fight homophobia and transphobia. There are also some groups that unite the LGBT community to work together with straight allies. Founded in 1973, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the original straight ally organization, started by Jeanne Manford, mother of the Straight Ally movement. Based in the United States, PFLAG unites parents, families, friends, and straight allies with the LGBT community to move equality forward for LGBT people. In 2007, the organization launched a new project, Straight for Equality to help more straight allies become engaged in the LGBT movement in the workplace, healthcare, and now in faith communities. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is another organization specifically formed to group allies of this cause.
Some children of LGBT couples are straight allies, notably Iowan Zach Wahls, the son of two lesbians, though he has expressed a different view of his relationship to the LGBT community:
To be clear, I don't consider myself an ally. I might be [a] straight cisgender man, but in my mind, I am a member of the LGBT community. I know the last thing that anyone wants is to add another letter to the acronym, but we need to make sure as a movement we're making a place for what we call "queer-spawn" to function and to be part of the community. Because even though I'm not gay, I do know what its like to be hated for who I am. And I do know what its like to be in the closet, and like every other member of the LGBT community, I did not have a choice in this. I was born into this movement.
Straight allies may receive criticism for a variety of reasons. For example, some believe that straight allies are unable to step outside their own heteronormative world to advocate. Straight allies are also criticized for using LGBTQ advocacy as a means to gain popularity and status.
Straight allies protesting at Seattle March for Marriage Equality
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Victoria marching at Melbourne Pride 2011, Australia
^Dawkins, Richard (2006). "A deeply religious non-believer". The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN0-618-68000-4. Retrieved 2006-12-02. [F]ree speech is deemed not to include ‘hate speech’. But hate only has to prove it is religious, and it no longer counts as hate.... You can’t get away with saying, ‘If you try to stop me from insulting homosexuals it violates my freedom of prejudice.’ But you can get away with saying, ‘It violates my freedom of religion.’ What, when you think about it, is the difference?
^Dennett, Daniel (2003-07-12). "The Bright Stuff". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-02. I am neither gay nor African-American, but nobody can use a slur against blacks or homosexuals in my hearing and get away with it.
^"Greens Oppose Howard Stance On Gay Marriages" (Press release). 2003-08-05. Retrieved 2006-12-02. There are thousands of same sex couples currently raising children in Australia and providing a secure and loving environment for their children.... To support the continued discrimination against gay couples who want to marry is at best mean spirited, and at worst homophobic hysteria.
^Jackson, Derrick Z. (2006-02-01). "The King who led on world peace". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-06. I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'
^Shawn, Wallace (Autumn 2004). "Interview with Noam Chomsky" (PDF). Final Edition Magazine (Seven Stories Press). Retrieved 2006-12-02. So, just in our lifetime, itʼs different.... The same with gay rights. There have been big changes in consciousness, and theyʼre important, and they make it a better world.
^DeTurk, Sara (2011). "Allies in Action: The Communicative Experiences of People Who Challenge Social Injustice on Behalf of Others.". Communication Quarterly59 (5): 569–590. doi:10.1080/01463373.2011.614209.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Becker, Ron (2006). "Gay-Themed Television and the Slumpy Class: The Affordable, Multicultural Politics of the Gay Nineties". Television News Media7: 184–215. doi:10.1177/1527476403255830.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)