straight for equality
why you should get involved

Don't get us wrong—the goal is that one day we won't need to talk about the need for allies and equality and inclusion will rule and none of this will be relevant. (At PFLAG, we joke that our job is to do such a good job at achieving equality and inclusion that we’ll be able to put ourselves out of business.) But for now, it is relevant.

Consider this: As of this writing, roughly 50% of people who are LGBT are not out in their workplaces. About 63% of LGBT Americans say that they’ve experienced discrimination in their personal lives, in places like the workplace, housing, and education. Among LGBT youth in schools, nearly 65% say that they feel unsafe in their schools simply because of their sexual orientation, while almost 38% say they feel unsafe because of their gender expression.

In order to change these jarring statistics, we need to have a spectrum of diverse voices expressing their support for equality and inclusion—and that includes people who are not members of the LGBTQ community. Allies have a unique power to send the message that inclusion and equality aren’t just things that people in the group affected want (in other words, LGBTQs), but something that everyone wants. And in order to make that unique, “It’s not about me, but it really is about me” statement, talking about our background as someone who isn’t LGBTQ, but owns this issue is often necessary.

By now, you’ve hopefully started taking a bit of an ally journey of your own. Maybe you’re rethinking how you personally understand the term “ally.” There’s a chance that you considered where you might be on your ally spectrum right now and what it will take to move forward. Maybe you’ve even started thinking about what some of your barriers might be to becoming an out and proud straight ally. If you’ve thought about these things—or thinking about them now—we’re on the right track. Why not get started by visiting the Ally Spectrum?