Ally Week

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Ally Week is a national youth-led effort encouraging students to be allies with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) members of their community in standing agasinst bullying, harassment and name-calling. It takes place in K-12 schools and 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]

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]

The 2016 day for Ally Week is September 26–30.[18]

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.
  18. ^


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