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 against 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] 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.[10] Allies are identified as supporters but not necessarily members of a marginalized group.[11]

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.[12][13] 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.[14]

In 2010 the campaign encouraged 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.[15][16]

The 2017 day for Ally Week is September 25–29.[17]

See also[edit]

Notes[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. ^ Goldman, 187.
  11. ^ Meyer, 78.
  12. ^ Goldman, 187.
  13. ^ Meyer, 78.
  14. ^ "Parents protest student pledge forms on gays", Associated Press, October 30, 2008.
  15. ^ Joseph Pedro, "Going Back to School — Let's Make it Safe!", Passport Magazine, August 30, 2010.
  16. ^ Joseph Pedro, "New York Governor Signs Comprehensive Anti-Bullying Legislation", Passport Magazine, September 8, 2010.
  17. ^ "About Ally Week". GLSEN. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 

Sources[edit]

  • Goldman, Linda, Coming out, coming in: nurturing the well-being and inclusion of gay youth in mainstream society, CRC Press, 2008, ISBN 0-415-95824-5, ISBN 978-0-415-95824-0.
  • Marcus, Eric, What If Someone I Know Is Gay?: Answers to Questions about What It Means to Be Gay and Lesbian, Simon and Schuster, 2007, ISBN 1-4169-4970-4, ISBN 978-1-4169-4970-1.
  • Meyer, Elizabeth J., Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schools: Volume 10 of Explorations of Educational Purpose, Springer, 2010, ISBN 90-481-8558-0, ISBN 978-90-481-8558-0.
  • Windmeyer, Shane L., The Advocate college guide for LGBT+ students, Alyson Books, 2006, ISBN 1-55583-857-X, 9781555838577.

External links[edit]